A park at high altitude with minimal light pollution perfect for clear star gazing and with views all the way to Brisbane.
This is called a ‘Dark Sky Park’ and is what Sunshine Coast Council is planning for the Sunshine Coast.
As well as council’s Urban Lighting Master Plan adopting the principles from the Dark Sky Park Association, these parks are part of the fast growing international trend in astro-tourism.
Environment portfolio and hinterland Councillor Jenny McKay said council was excited to have identified a great potential location to be a dark sky park, although other opportunities were still being explored.
“We have identified Howells Knob Lookout as a wonderful possibility to be a dark sky park – the combination of high altitude and minimal light pollution means that presently the lookout is arguably the best dark sky observing location in South East Queensland, close to the Coast,” Cr McKay said.
“The area is zoned rural which means there will be no residential development in the foreseeable future and the site has the closest and best viewing to Brisbane.
“We still haven’t ruled out other options though, and are investigating prospects for a larger dark sky park venue that could facilitate greater capacity than Howells Knob.”
Council’s Urban Lighting Master Plan aims to improve public lighting outcomes by achieving greater energy efficiency and reduced ongoing costs for 27,000 streetlights through the use of new LED and smart control technologies.