LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > AURORA AUSTRALIS, MILKY WAY AND BIOLUMINESCENCE – TASMANIA > The Heavens Over The Labyrinth (Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park)
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Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park is home to the internationally renowned Overland Track, a 65 km (40 mi) six day walk through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. The Overland Track starts at Cradle Mountain and finishes at Lake St. Clair, Australia’s deepest lake (200m (650’)) and features a variety of different environments including temperate rainforest, buttongrass moorlands and alpine mosaics.
This panorama photograph of the Milky Way was taken from Pine Valley near Lake St. Clair. Pine Valley is a side track off of the Overland Track with continuing tracks into the Labyrinth, The Acropolis and the DuCane Range. It is accessed about an hour north of Narcissus Hut, the final hut on the Overland Track.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 1:3-4)
It was my last night at Pine Valley, a short distance off of the Overland Track, just north of Lake St. Clair. Each day I had risen before dawn and stayed out after twilight in the hopes of catching a magnificent sunrise or sunset over the striking silhouettes of Mt Gould, The Minotaur and The Parthenon, the mountains that keep watch over “The Labyrinth”. Each morning and evening I returned with a completely cloudless sky.
On the final night I decided I may as well stay out late and make the most of the cloudless sky and new moon and see if I could get a nice Milky Way shot. As the evening faded into twilight, I watched the Milky Way rise as a perfect arc over The Labyrinth’s jagged horizon. When the RAW photos appeared on my camera’s LCD screen, I gasped, for they were so bright and beautiful!
This photo speaks for itself. All glory be to the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them!!
I am always humbled and awestruck whenever I sit under the vast heavens out in the wilderness, pondering the magnificence of the God who “…determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 145:4-5).