Astrophotography - Robert Downie
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Sydney Glow

The milky way rises out of the dim glow of over 5 million people as a lonely waterfall cascades into the abyss that is the Grose valley. Few people outside of Australia realise that one of the world’s largest temperate forested wilderness areas borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, with its foothills starting less than 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Sydney Harbour. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area covers 10,300 square kilometres (4,000 sq mi) of wilderness and sits as a stark contrast to the city just beyond its boarder. After 25 years of settlement in Sydney, and numerous failed attempts, the mountains were first successfully crossed in 1813 by an expedition led by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth. The ruggedness, isolation and impassability of the terrain held off most development in the region despite the area being suitable for dam construction and rich in coal and shale oil. First proposed as a National Park in 1932 a long fought conservation battle ended in 1959 with the formation of the Blue Mountains National Park. The falls, known as Bridal Veil falls , cascade 180m to the base of the cliff. Mt Banks at the end of the valley sits at an elevation of 1,049 m (3,442 ft) . The shot was taken from Grovetts Leap, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia