About Queensland Astrofest
The Queensland Astrofest has been the major star party in Queensland since its inception in 1993, and is open to all amateur astronomers. It is convened by the South East Queensland Astronomical Society, the Brisbane Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Association of Queensland, the Amateur Telescope Makers of Queensland, the Southern Astronomical Society, and in 2013 we were delighted to welcome another local astronomy club, Star Gayzers, to take part in Queensland Astrofest and to inject some new energy into the event.
About the location
The Queensland Astrofest is held annually at Lions Camp Duckadang, Linville, Queensland – situated 166 kilometres north-west (within 2 hours) of Brisbane and under dark skies. Accommodation consists of three dormitories equipped with beds, toilets and a common room each. Camping sites for tents and caravans are also available. There will be a well-equipped camp kitchen available next to the dining room complex with gas rings, microwave ovens, toasters and electric frypans, some pots and pans.
For more information about getting there, refer to these instructions.
Also available in/around the building are crockery, cutlery, dishwasher, fridge and freezer. At the rear of the kitchen is the laundry with an automatic washing machine and dryer (bring your own detergent). Other facilities are a large assembly hall (table tennis, indoor bowls) and a bar-b-que in the rotunda.
Outdoor facilities include three compact tennis courts, a swimming pool, an adventure trail and a rope course. A deep reach of the Brisbane River below the complex is suitable for fishing and canoeing (canoes provided) and there are orienteering tracks for the energetic.
At the Queensland Astrofest, attendees will be able to mingle under the broad band of the Milky Way at the zenith, where expertise, techniques and friendship are shared and blended in a typically Queensland way.
Each year the Astrofest has attracted many interesting guest speakers: Jeff Ryder (1993), Rev Bob Evans (1994), John Dobson (1995), Bill Bradfield (1998), Rob McNaught (1999, 2008), Fred Watson (1997, 2000, 2001, 2007), Gary Kopff (2002), David Malin (2003), Ian Wilson (2005), Brian Schmidt (2006), Michael Drinkwater (2009), Tamara Davis (2009), Trevor Barry (2010), David Wiltshire (2010), Charley Lineweaver (2011), Sarah Sweet (2012), and Anthony Wesley (2013).
There are talks and workshops on equipment, tools and techniques throughout the week. On the Saturdays, the group photograph will be taken, and that other great tradition will also be held… the Counter-Weight Toss. Early afternoon will be the Guest Speaker Address, and the ATM Awards are presented during the evening meal. The Astro Feast (as it is called) allows attendees to enjoy a great meal while the presentations occur and the Raffle is drawn.
Meals are available at the Dining Hall twice a day; lunch around midday, while in the evening our hosts prepare a set menu item. Side dishes of salad or chips at both times. For catering purposes these should be requested at time of booking the accommodation. All proceeds from these meals support The Lions and Camp Duckadang. For those who wish to prepare their own food, a cold room is provided for storage.