Are you one of those who love the stars, and the Milky Way? Then you surely are at the right place. Lake Lyell is one of the places to spot Milky Way in New South Wales (NSW) state of Australia. As I am in love with the stars, sun, moon and the Milky Way, I usually plan photography trips around the winter season so I can shoot the Milky Way. And in that quest to find new places, I discovered Lake Lyell, closer to Sydney, that was perfect to see the stars without any light pollution. Lake Lyell is one of the offbeat places in NSW and not many people are aware of this beautiful lake.
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About Lake Lyell
At an elevation of 66 metres above sea level, Lake Lyell is a lake in the NSW state of Australia. Located on the outskirts of Lithgow in the Blue mountains, Lake Lyell a beautiful destination that is just 2 hours from Sydney and it makes a perfect weekend destination from Sydney. The lake has many variety of fishes such as Trout and Australian Bass. One can also spot Platypus sometimes, which is surely a rare event.
A dam has been built on Lake Lyell. Built in 1982, the Lyell Dam has a capacity of 34500 ML with a depth of 38 metres. It was built by Delta Electricity for the Mount Piper and Wallerawang Power Stations.
How to get to Lake Lyell?
The easiest and convenient way to travel to Lake Lyell is by a car. The distance between Sydney and Lake Lyell is only 145 kilometres and the journey by road takes around 2 hours. The route has toll roads.
Lake Lyell is situated just outside of Lithgow in the Blue Mountains region. There are frequent trains from the Central station in Sydney to Lithgow in the Blue Mountains. The train journey is very picturesque and takes around 2 hours. Lake Lyell is 12 kilometres from the train station. One can either take a taxi or a bus to Lake Lyell. More up to date information can be found on the Transport for NSW website.
Even though there is public transportation to Lake Lyell, it is best to go by your own car.
Stay at Lake Lyell Recreation Park
Lake Lyell Recreation Park is a lovely place to stay and camp when visiting Lake Lyell. There are various options where one can stay at cabins or powered/ non-powered camp sites. And depending on the stay option, the prices vary.
The park has facilities such as showers, picnic tables, playground and toilets. There are many activities to do at Lake Lyell Recreation Park. The popular activities include swimming, fishing, canoeing, and water skiing. The park can become very busy during the weekends so ensure to book in advance.
If you are visiting Lake Lyell during winter season, make sure to carry warm clothes and be prepared for very cold temperatures, especially at night.
Milky way at Lake Lyell
As the saying goes, “The darkest night produce the brightest stars”. With zero to absolutely less light pollution, Lake Lyell is the perfect spot to see the Milky Way by the lake. My friends and I visited Lake Lyell through a photography meetup. Beware that there are many photographers who visit Lake Lyell during the Milky Way season to capture stunning images of the Milky Way and the lake.
Milky way can be easily spotted during the winter season (between June and August) and in fact it is one of those amazing things to do during Australian winters.
Camera settings to use
Below are some of things and settings to remember while capturing the Milky Way:
- Wide angle lens gets the best output.
- Lowest f point – Ideally f.14 to f4.
- ISO between 1600 and 3200.
- Shutter speed between 15 to 20 seconds.
- Ensure to have a sturdy tripod to get a clear picture.
- And it is best to avoid during full moon.
It is best to experiment with the camera settings and something to keep in mind is that the settings may vary depending on the camera you have. I use Canon 7D Mark II to capture the pictures.
Safety for solo female travelers
Lake Lyell is absolutely safe for solo female travelers. Even though I traveled with my friends, I cans till vouch that Lake Lyell is one of the safest places for solo female travelers. However, like any other place be cautious, especially at night.
Do you have a lot of questions about solo traveling? Or are you one of those who are just starting solo travels? Read frequently asked questions (FAQ) for solo traveling.
Lake Lyell is one of the hidden gems within the Blue Mountains area. The lake is serene and peaceful and is perfect to have a getaway from Sydney. I highly suggest adding Lake Lyell to your list when you are in NSW state.
Have you visited Lake Lyell yet? Let me know in the comments below.
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