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NOCTURNA Dark Sky Retreat

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Event description

Turn off your devices, turn down the lights, and tune in to the rhythms of nature.

Join us on lutruwita/Tasmania’s stunning East Coast, one of the darkest inhabited spots on Earth. Here we’ll spend a sumptuous weekend of stargazing, Indigenous astronomy,  live music, beautiful Tassie food and drink, fascinating scientific talks, cold water swimming, yoga and breath workshops, and gathering around the warm glow of open fires with a whisky or mulled cider.

Welcome to NOCTURNA, a celebration of the fragile beauty of the cosmos — embracing our long winter nights and taking the time to gaze at our still-pristine dark skies, a precious natural resource that is under threat from light pollution. The increasingly widespread use of artificial light outdoors not only impairs our view of the universe, but also adversely affects our sleep, our mood, our environment — and the many nocturnal species that inhabit it. Situated at the breathtaking Spring Bay Mill, we’ll hear from astronomers, neuroscientists, members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and Dark Sky Tasmania about the simple steps we can take to preserve the darkness and our connection to nature.

The weekend opens with the Dark Sky Dinner on Friday 11 August prepared by celebrated Tasmanian chef Lilly Trewartha, featuring music by renowned harpist Emily Sanzaro and talks by Professor Barbara Holland and Dark Sky Tasmania's Landon Bannister. Stay on site in a cosy glamping tent or eco pod, wake up with Deep Time Yoga with Dr Penny Jones and cellist Georgia Shine. Spend Saturday immersed in science, music, conversation, storytelling around the fire, and astronomy talks under the stars. Explore the fascinating site alongside its current custodians, Graeme Wood and Anna Cerneaz, and discover how this place — once the largest wood chipping mill in the world and before that, home to the Oyster Bay people of trayapana — is being lovingly and painstakingly restored. Sunday begins with a mind-expanding breath workshop with Dave Murphy and a cold water swim. Spend the day exploring the East Coast, then head home energised, nourished, and inspired.

Want to do it all?
Our exclusive NOCTURNA Retreat tickets are on sale now for a limited time only.

Included in the Retreat Ticket:
Dark Sky Dinner on Friday 11 August prepared by chef Lilly Trewartha + all Friday evening programming
Deep Time Yoga with Dr Penny Jones and cellist Georgia Shine
Site tour with Spring Bay Mill custodians Graeme Wood and Anna Cerneaz
All Saturday programming, including scientific talks, storytelling around the fire, Aboriginal astronomy, live music, and more
Breath workshop with Dave Murphy followed by a cold water plunge on site at Windlass Bay
Continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, plus a simple lunch of hearty vegetable soup on Saturday
Voucher provided for dinner on Saturday, which can be used for any meal from the available options
Option to stay on site (accommodation must be booked separately at checkout). Although the Retreat ticket provides all meals, those staying on site are also welcome to use the beautiful communal kitchens to prepare their own food throughout the weekend.

NOCTURNA Dark Sky program tickets - On sale soon.

    NOCTURNA is presented by Beaker Street and Spring Bay Mill, in association with Dark Sky Tasmania and with support from Events Tasmania and National Science Week.

    A Seat at the Table
    Beaker Street Festival’s pay-it-forward initiative, A Seat at the Table, helps make our science and art offerings accessible to those who can’t afford to purchase a ticket. When you buy a ticket you have the option to donate towards the cost of a stranger’s ticket. You won’t know who you’ve helped, but your donation will go directly to allowing someone else to access this great event.

    If you’d like to request one or two free tickets, please let us know. If we can offer you a seat, we’ll notify you by email.

    More about Beaker Street Festival 

    Beaker Street Festival is an annual celebration of science and art in lutruwita/Tasmania. Stop into the Festival Hub at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on the evenings of August 4th and 5th for live music, art/science installations and performance, hands-on microscopy, Tassie food and drink, and 150+ scientists to chat with!
    Venture further afield for the Beaker Street Crawl around Hobart, our NOCTURNA Dark Sky Retreat on the East Coast 11-13 August, scientist-led field trips and diversions, and so much more! View the entire program at 

    AUGUST 4-13 2023

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    Refund policy

    Refunds are available up to 14 days prior to the event