Night time beauty
Want to enjoy the natural wonders Hay has to offer but also avoid the heat of a Riverina summer? It can be quite easy, because this region is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day.
Hay is located in one of the flattest parts of this region — they don’t call them the Hay Plains for nothing — so it is renowned for its sunsets and stargazing opportunities.As the sun prepares to set, there are some great vantage points from which you can watch the summer skies transform with shades of yellow, red, pink, mauve and blue.Combined with the contrasting aspects of light and shadow, it provides wonderful photographic opportunities.Hay has its own unique Sunset Viewing Area which is located 16km north of Hay, on the Cobb Highway toward Booligal.If this popular spot is full on the night you go along, you can pull up anywhere along the Cobb Highway between Hay and Wanganella to take advantage of the views. Just make sure you’ve stopped in a safe place, as this is a major transport route through the region.Make sure to take a picnic dinner with you, because you will want to stick around for the spectacular light show to follow.Closer to town, the Hay Airport car park is another great spot to take in the constellations.There are various objects that can be seen in the night’s sky with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes.Monthly maps and reports on what you might see overhead can be found at www.skymaps.com.
Tips for stargazing:
- View the sky from a dark location. Both locations listed are away from direct light such as street lights and house lights.
- Allow your eyes time to adjust to the dark (about 10 to 20 minutes).
- If using a torch to view reading material or a sky map, cover it with red cellophane to preserve your dark vision.
- Even though the moon is a beautiful object to view in the night’s sky, its light is so bright that it will make other objects appear fainter, so observe the evening sky on moonless nights.