IceInSpace AstroCamp, 18-21 January 2007

The IceInSpace AstroCamp at Lostock is a new star party, in only it's 2nd year, being organised by the IceInSpace community. The event will be held over 3 nights, from the 18th to the 21st of January 2007, at Lostock Scout Camp, Lostock in the beautiful Hunter Valley area of NSW. The location was chosen because of its proximity to Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle, and at under 4 hours drive from Sydney you'll be amongst clear, very dark skies in a lovely country setting. If you want to see how it went last year, check out the Previous IISAC Events page.

There is bunkbed accomodation for up to 50 people in the two onsite farmhouses, or you can camp out in the large fields which have held over 500 scouts - so space is not a problem! The farmhouses also have a BBQ, full kitchen facilities, 240v power, 10 showers and 10 toilets, fridges and freezers. For off-site accomodation, the Lostock Caravan Park is only 6 km's away on the edge of Lostock Dam.

There'll be plenty to do when it's not dark, with a swimming hole to cool off during the hot summer days, as well as organised talks and workshops to cater for both newcomers and experienced amateur astronomers alike. You can go for leisurely drives through beautiful rolling hills, or a short trip takes you to the popular Hunter Valley wineries area.

Take this great opportunity to meet up with and observe with the friendly people in the IceInSpace community. The AstroCamp is not restricted to IceInSpace forum members, it's open to anyone from anywhere! Of course we'd love you to join the forum community and join in the discussions and the fun, and we're very welcoming to newcomers.


A very big thanks to our generous sponsors who have donated prizes to IceInSpace AstroCamp 2007. They are:







Gecko Optical Classifieds. Free to place Ads with a photo.


Vital Stats

 Date:  18-21 January 2007 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights)
 Location:  Lostock Scout Camp, Lostock (near Dungog/Gresford. It's about 3-4 hours drive North of Sydney)
Cost:  See below for breakdown of costs
To Book:  IceInSpace AstroCamp Registration Form (opens in a new window)
Agenda:  IISAC2007 Agenda (45k PDF)
Forms and Policies:  Light Use Policy, General Field Policy, FAQ, Acknowledgement and Disclaimer, IISAC2007 Observing Suggestions
Maps:  General Location, Aerial Map, How to get there, Field Map
Lat/Long:  Long: 151° 25.476 ° E , Lat: 32° 18.875 S , Elevation: 200m
Group Photo:  Saturday, 5:30pm at the Bottom House. Please make yourself available!
Forum Thread:  For all discussions and questions
Anything else:  Email me: mike AT iceinspace .com. au


Features of the Site

  • Exclusive use!
  • Very dark skies
  • 2 farmhouses with up to 18 bunkbeds each (bring own linen)
  • Loads of room for camping
  • Huge observing fields with good open viewing (no trees etc)
  • Can park car near scope/tent
  • Power available on-site for recharging batteries, astrophotogtraphy, etc.
  • Undercover area for meetings/presentations/wet weather etc
  • The houses have full kitchens (stoves, cutlery, glasses, hot water, fridges and freezers)
  • Amenities block with 5 showers and 5 toilets for both male and female
  • The farm houses also have additional toilets and showers
  • Swimming hole for cooling off during a hot summer day
  • Off-site caravan park at Lostock Dam, about 6km's away
  • Supplies at Gresford, 20km away.

Competitions and Prizes


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Argo Navis DTC

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SkyWatcher 880 10" dob

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FLI DF-2 digital focuser

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Optex 20x80 Giant Binoculars

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STAR Atlas:Pro - Level III

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David Malin signed prints

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Deep-Sky Planner software

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CopyToDVD software

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$50 Jumpnet Voucher

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Observing Handbook of Deep Sky Objects

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Bauer Deluxe Laser Collimator

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Bintel Superview Eyepiece Set

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AS&T Subscription + Pocket Sky Atlas

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13mm KK Magellan Widescan III eyepiece

There will be a range of competitions and prizes on offer at the IceInSpace AstroCamp 2007, including:

Lucky Door Prizes

Novelty Competitions

  • TBA 

The Important Competition Rules are set out in the Rules and Conditions section below. Please make sure you read them.

What To Bring!

Following is a list of items we strongly recommend that you bring to the AstroCamp.

  • A chair (foldup/other). There will not be chairs available, please bring your own.
  • A picnic table, or other small table to eat on. There are very few tables on site, please bring your own. 
  • Insect repellant (there will be mosquitoes and flies!)
  • Toiletries (towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush etc)
  • 1 toilet roll. (These will go into a "pool" for use by everyone in the 10+ toilets on site)
  • Linen (pillow, sheets, blankets, sleeping bags)
  • Tent, pegs, etc (if camping)
  • Drink bottles for water (it will be hot, drink plenty of water)
  • Hat and sunscreen (it will be hot!)
  • Swimming costumes, towels (there is a beautiful swimming hole)
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks (dinner is provided each night). The nearest town for supplies is Gresford, about 25-30 minutes away.
  • Batteries for powered scopes (240v power will be limited to the area around the farmhouse)
  • Cardboard box for your laptop (see Light Use Policy)
  • Torch with deep red filter (see Light Use Policy)
  • Garbage Bags. There are no facilities for litter disposal. We will all have to take our rubbish away with us.
  • Tarps for under your scope (if required)
  • Tarps/covers for over your scope (if required) 
  • Dew shields/dew heaters (it can get quite dewey)
  • Wet weather games (hopefully they won't be needed!)
  • If bringing children, please bring enough games and toys to keep them happily busy! :)
  • Your signed Acknowledgement and Disclaimer form.

Things to Know!

Along with the What to Bring section above, here are a few important things to know if coming to the IceInSpace AstroCamp 2007 at Lostock.

  • Please come to the bottom house (HQ) when you arrive to collect your info pack, name tag and raffle ticket for the lucky door prize. We will also note down your car registration number for emergency purposes.
  • The Acknowledgement and Disclaimer form must be signed and handed in when you arrive. This is to protect IceInSpace and the organisers against legal action if someone hurts themselves at the camp. All care is taken, but ultimately you are responsible. Please read the legal waiver now. And remember, it must be signed and handed in if you wish to stay at the camp.
  • There is no mobile reception at Lostock. Once you're in Gresford, CDMA will work but GSM may not. There is a phone in the bottom farmhouse which can accept incoming calls, but can only make outgoing calls to emergency (ie: 000).
  • An "info pack" will be distributed when you arrive, containing rules, policies, the agenda, and local tourist information.
  • There are 2 farmhouses, the bottom house is the HQ and the top house (5 minutes walk) also has facilities and beds. Each farmhouse holds about 18 beds. For those that have booked bunkbed accomodation, it is first-in best dressed when choosing your bunk. If you're bringing a family and wish to all be in the one room, please request this at the time of booking and every effort will be made to accomodate this.
  • In the case of an emergency (bushfire, etc), please meet at the muster point outside the bottom house - see the field map.
  • Please be all packed up and be ready to leave the camp by 11am Sunday. We need to leave it how we found it, so please help clean up any mess you make, take your rubbish and leftover food/drinks with you. Volunteers who wish to stay behind and help clean up will be most appreciated.

Daytime Activities, Guest Speakers and Workshops

A number of activities are planned to keep us busy during the day, while still allowing plenty of time to just relax, or go on sight-seeing tours of the Hunter Valley or local surrounds.

Please see the Agenda (IISAC2007 Agenda (45k pdf)) for the day and time that these activities are on.

Guest Speakers

The following guest speakers will give intruiging and interesting talks to entertain and enlighten us.

  • "Darkroom Magic to Digital Manipulation" by David Malin
  • "SETI and Radio Astronomy in Australia" by Noel Welstead
  • "Building a Large Aperture Dobsonian - some secrets revealed" by Peter Read
  • "What's it like to be an Umbra-Holic" by Dave Gault
  • "From Wide Eyes to an Astrograph - the making of an Astrophotographer" by Mike Sidonio
  • "Importance of Thermal Cooling and Building a Cooling Mirror Cell" by Anthony Wesley.
  • "Wolf-Rayet Stars" by Andrew Murrell
  • "What's in the sky at Lostock" by John Bambury


  • It is hoped to have workshops on collimation and other telescope issues - if you'd like to present a workshop please contact me.

Vendor Stalls and Swap Meet

A place for the vendors to sell their wares, and for amateurs to offload and pick up some second hand bargains. Vendors currently confirmed are:

What's in the Sky at Lostock?

Late January is a great time to be observing under a dark sky. Wind your planetarium software forward and see what great stuff is on offer! Here is a sample of objects that will be in favourable viewing positions during the IceInSpace AstroCamp 2007.

Night Sky Tours

Night Sky Tours will be conducted every night from 8:30pm by Tony Buckley, Lachlan McDonald, Andrew Murrell and John Bambury, as Australian representatives of the Three Rivers Foundation for the Arts and Sciences (3RF), with selected 18" and 25" obsessions, down on the lower field.

Food and Beverage

The bunkhouses have fridges and freezers, as well as a full kitchen, cooking facilities and 2 BBQ's. As part of your booking fee, a BBQ dinner will be provided each night for your consumption. Gresford RFB will be catering the dinners, and it will consist of steaks, sausages, salads and desert. Because the meals are catered by the number of people that booked, if you turn up without booking please be aware that there may not be a meal for you.

Breakfast and Lunch is not catered, and you must make your own arrangements. You are welcome to use the facilities provided and they are available for use by all paid attendees. Home-made sausages may be available for lunchtime sausage sandwiches for a small fee (approx $1).

Tea and Coffee will be on-tap, 24 hours a day. Cans of cold soft-drink will be available for $1 each. Tube iceblocks will be available for Xc each (TBA).

The nearest shops for restocking and supplies are in Gresford, which is about a 25-30 minute drive from the camp.

IISAC2007 T-Shirts

IISAC2007 t-shirts are available for anyone to purchase, even if you are not attending the camp. You can use the booking form (link below) to place your order for the t-shirts.

The shirts are available in the following sizes:

  • Adult sizes: S (w:46cm/l:71cm) , M (w:51/l:73cm) , L (w:56cm/l:76cm) , XL (w:61cm/l:79cm), XXL (w:66cm/l:81cm) , XXXL (very very big shirt- w:71cm/l:86cm)
  • Kids sizes: XS (w:41cm/l:51cm)


  • Adult sizes: $25 each
  • Kids size (XS): $20 each

The shirts will be available to pickup at IISAC2007. If you are not attending and wish your shirts to be posted to you, add $5 postage for the first shirt, and $3 for each additional shirt.


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IISAC2007 t-shirt

Prices and Booking

Book early! Bunkbed accomodation is limited, so be fast to secure your spot. On the booking form, you'll choose your option of bunkbed, camping or off-site accomodation.

10th January 2007 - BUNKBED ACCOMMODATION FOR SATURDAY IS BOOKED OUT! Limited spots for Friday night, plenty for Thursday night.

Click on the link below to open the registration form and book your place!

 IceInSpace AstroCamp Registration Form (opens in a new window)

  • Participants who have made a booking and paid their money are eligible for the lucky door prize competition.
  • Payment methods and other registration rules are set out in the Registration Payment rules set out below.
  • Late payment may incur a late payment fee; please see the Late Payment Fees rules set out below.  

The cost shown is a per-person, per-night cost. If you are staying 2 or 3 nights, multiply the cost by 2 or 3. A child is under 13 years of age.

$32 (Adult) / $27 (Child) $30 (Adult) / $25 (Child) $28 (Adult) / $23 (Child)

The price covers:

  • Use of the facilities
  • Catered Dinner 
  • Coffee/Tea on tap
  • Entry into the lucky door prize competition

Optional Extras:

  • IceInSpace printed t-shirts (Adults $25/Kids $20)
  • "Astronomy 2007" yearbook (limited stock) for $X (TBA) 

Rules and Conditions


  • IceInSpace and the organisers of the AstroCamp accept no responsibility for the safety or security of your posessions while at the Astronomy Camp.
  • Please supervise all young children, as there will be expensive telescope equipment that the owners won't want knocked over.
  • When driving, be aware of local wildlife and drive slowly and carefully. The last 20km's into Lostock is narrow and winding and you never know what's around the corner.
  • The road into Lostock is narrow and winding. When driving, please be careful and take your time, especially in the wet or dark.
  • It is a condition of entry that you sign and hand in the Acknowledgement and Disclaimer form when you arrive.
  • All times specified on this page are in AEDST (daylight savings time).

Swimming Hole Rules

  • The swimming hole is there for us to enjoy, however you choose to use it at your own risk. By signing the disclaimer form, you waive any right to bring action against the IISAC organisers or any volunteers for any injury sustained while using the swimming hole.
  • The swimming hole will be open from 9am-11:30am and 1:30pm-5:30pm each day. It is not to be used outside these hours.
  • Volunteer "lifeguards" will be present during open hours to ensure safe play.
  • Parents must supervise their children while using the swimming hole. If a child is seen in the swimming hole without their parent present, the child will be asked to leave the swimming area.

Registration Payment

  • Payment can be made in 1 of 3 ways, as outlined below:
    • Cheque/Money Order - made out to "IceInSpace". The address to send it to will be displayed upon completion of your registration.
    • Direct Deposit - bank/account details will be displayed upon completion of your registration.
    • Paypal - Payment via paypal can be made via the Donate page, upon completion of your registration. Please be aware that payment via Paypal incurs a 2.5% surchage.
  • Please arrange payment of your registration fee as early as possible so numbers can be confirmed for catering and insurance. Late payment will incur a late payment fee (see below).
  • Cancellation of your registration may incur cancellation fees (see below).

Late Payment Fees

  • Payment of your registration fee after the 4th January 2007 5pm (including payment upon arrival) will incur a $15 late payment fee to cover catering and other costs.

Cancellation Fees

  • I understand that circumstances beyond your control may mean you can't make the camp. If you have booked and it turns out you can't make it after all, please cancel as early as possible. You will receive a 100% refund, less $15 cancellation fee.
  • If you simply don't turn up at the camp, there will be no refund given, however your payment (less $15 cancellation fee) may be used as a credit for the next IISAC event.
  • Refunds exclude any Paypal surchage.

Lucky Door Prize Rules

  • Everyone who has a fully paid-up booking (whether staying on-site or off-site) will receive a raffle ticket for the lucky door prize when they arrive. That is, each person on your booking will receive a raffle ticket.
  • If you turn up on the day without making a booking, you can still be eligible for the draw if you pay when you arrive and sign the Acknowledgement and Disclaimer form.
  • You are only eligible for the draw if you have signed and handed in the Acknowledgement and Disclaimer form.
  • You (or your ticket) must be present at the draw to claim the prize. If the prize is not claimed within 2 minutes, a new ticket will be drawn.
  • David Malin will be drawing the tickets out of the hat. 
  • Each ticket that is drawn (in order) will get their choice of the (remaining) prizes on offer, until all prizes are won.
  • The competition will begin at 4:30pm on Saturday the 20th January 2007.
  • The prize may not be converted to cash.


Location Photos

Here are some pictures of the location from IISAC2006, so you can get a feel for what it will be like to be there for IISAC2007!


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Anthony Wesley's 13" scope

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Gary Kopff and Andrew Murrell with "Hector"

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Anthony Wesley giving his talk

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The BBQ cooking area

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The bottom farmhouse

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Some of the camping area

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Panorama of more camping area

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Outside the bottom house

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Enjoying the swimming hole

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Group shot from IISAC2006

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Bottom house kitchen

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Light trails at night

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View from the top of the hill

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Male toilets

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Mike enjoying the rope swing

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Mike enjoying a refreshing beverage :)

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The road down to the bottom house

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Swimming hole

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Another view from the hill

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Swimming hole

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Swimming hole
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