The night skies experience in Central NSW is one to behold – and one many people will be visiting the region to experience this winter.
The Central Astronomical Society AstroFest is held in Parkes in July and a must-do whether you’re an amateur stargazer or budding astrophotographer.
Frost and Fire in Forbes is an annual event in June, which celebrates the Winter Solstice under the starry night skies. Frost and Fire features all the elements of a country bonfire night with hearty food and memorable live entertainment.
Evening Under the Stars at Yarrabandai Creek Homestead northwest of Forbes in July, which explores the night sky from the perspective of local indigenous people, with Wiradjuri dreamtime storytelling and bush-tucker catering.
…in Orange, the Winter Fire Festival is where after-dark markets allow you to sample the delicious regional produce and wines, and indigenous astronomers and star-gazing enthusiasts get together to crane their necks skywards.
Meanwhile, the SkyFest in Condobolin in September features more of the stargazing and storytelling that shows our fascination with the night sky through the eyes and stories of our First Nations people.
Of course, the biggest astronomical attraction in Central NSW is Parkes Observatory, which features memorably in the classic Aussie movie The Dish.
This fantastic article details some of the highlights on a night skies pilgramage, including great photo opportunities at our public art locations including Sculpture Down the Lachlan.
Inventive amateur photographers will also find inspiration in all kinds of manmade structures: there’s the Gugaa at Gum Swamp (a 20-metre steel sculpture of a goanna or ‘gugaa’ in Wiradjuri language); the looming Grenfell Commodities Silos, Condobolin’s Utes in the Paddock , and other art installations scattered across Central NSW. Both the dark bulk of natural landscapes and human constructions are dwarfed by the night sky, where stars wink with promises of wonderment and unimagined universes.
IMAGE: Part of the Sculpture Down the Lachlan project, and the first sculpture along the Lachlan River, the amazing sign is a must while you’re in Forbes. (Image: Paul King)