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While sounding like some late night flowery encounter, stargazing with Rose involves an hour or so with Rose Wyatte, Thala’s resident astronomical scout, who guides guests through the southern constellations at the on-site observatory.
Lying a short walk (or buggy ride) from Thala’s foyer, the observatory sits amongst native bushland, and comprises two weighty telescopes. Here Rose often stands enthusiastically with her flashing green pointer, which she uses to locate portions of the sky in order to share her astronomical knowledge.
A cheerful and knowledgeable guide, Rose has turned her stargazing tours into one of Thala’s most popular activities. When asked what inspired her tours, she says her inspiration came from Thala’s founder and owner, Rob Prettejohn. “I can only hope to inspire others to enjoy stars just as much as I have been inspired”, she says.
When asked about some of the perks of the job, Rose discusses the enthusiasm and humour of Thala’s many guests.“I’ve had a guest put a Mars Bar out to help me find Mars, as only Saturn was out in the sky”, she says. Other encounters include the glow bugs coming out to talk to her laser pointer, and the nights when the frogmouth owl hoots while she’s explaining the bird constellations.
Rose’s tours are also extremely accommodating, as when one person found stargazing complicated and overwhelming, she advised them to concentrate on the moon, which they found much more enjoyable. Others, says Rose, concentrate on their own aspect of the stars, which often contributes to a unique group perspective.
While she confesses she hasn’t yet embraced the astrological and often romantic association that “everybody wants from the stars”, Rose’s enthusiasm for astronomy is palpable and infectious. Take a tour and it will surely rub off on you. “I look forward to many more sky watching experiences, learning more about the secrets to the universe”, she says.