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ONE OF THE BEST regions in Australia for observing and photographing night skies is Central West New South Wales, where there are fewer clouds and less light pollution than at coastal and city destinations.

The ideal time to experience these crystal-clear night skies is between March and October when the Milky Way stages a glorious, glittering celestial spectacle.

Astrophotographer Ryan Heldoorn felt a little spooked when he found himself camping alone one night at Yerranderie, an isolated and abandoned former silver-mining township located along the old Oberon–Colong stock route. It’s accessible by fourwheel- drive vehicle from either Oberon, west of the Blue Mountains, or via Mittagong in the Southern Highlands.

Yerranderie’s array of old buildings attracts visitors who can camp or stay in heritage accommodation, then explore the village and the many surrounding bush tracks. Ryan made good use of the historic site’s character-filled old buildings as foreground subjects for this dramatic starry sky image.

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