Who says a good story can’t start with mountain spas, marsupials and the Milky Way? The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has just completed its first-ever photo competition and some of the winning photos are nothing short of breathtaking.
From serene mountain spas to cute marsupials and even the majestic Milky Way, these images capture the beauty of nature in all its glory.
Both seasoned professionals and passionate amateurs submitted photo submissions, each with a deep appreciation for the natural wonders and protected areas of our national parks.
Enjoy these beautiful photos of five winners and three highly acclaimed winners.
David Rogers beautifully captured the sunrise at Wallagoot Gap in Bournda National Park, with an array of vibrant colors and a stunning natural backdrop.
Just looking at the picture is so mesmerizing that it makes me wonder what it must have been like for Rogers to be there and not only see, but feel the scene.
Head of National Parks, Atticus Fleming said more than 8,000 entries were received, an overwhelming response to the competition in its first year.
“The fact that we had so many entries representing hundreds of different species of plants and animals, and over 250 national parks, only reinforces how much the community loves our parks,” he said.
The Landscapes and Vistas category received a large number of great entries, making it difficult to choose just one winner. In the end, the jury decided on two deserving entries: the first was the one we just saw, and the second was by Ben Heaton “Deep Space.”
Joint winner: Deep Space, Warrumbungle National Park by Ben Heaton
This breathtaking shot of the starry night marvel at the ever-expanding, infinite beauty of the universe.
Countless stars, like twinkling jewels, are sprinkled throughout the galaxy, each a reminder of the vastness of the universe and our place in it. The photo captures the essence of wonder and awe, taking us to a place where dreams and reality become one.
It’s also surreal to see how far technology has advanced to capture such natural beauty, and you and I can admire the fascinating mysteries of the night sky from the comfort of our own planet. How small we are compared, but how closely we are connected to this wonderful world.
Ava Kirkby is alluring ‘Ball Pyramid’ captured on Lord Howe Island was highly praised for the same category.
by Alan Cronin “Breakfast with friends” won the crown for the Animals and Plants category.
An unusual pair of gray fantails picking their breakfast at a curious kangaroo, interrupted by Cronin, who probably spent hours waiting for the right shot.
Highly acclaimed for the same category was Anthony Murphy’s “Hitchhiker.” Murphy captured these eastern stone creek frogs enjoying the summer chilling in the stream in Willi Willi National Park.
The captivating photo of Lisa Russo ‘Love Under the Milky Way’ was crowned winner in the Enjoying Nature category.
Behold this stunning photo of the Milky Way, as if taken from a world beyond our own. Against the inky canvas of space, the fiery orbs adorn the night sky with their ethereal glow. The pair are naturally enchanted, oblivious to their own headlights casting a celestial spell on the photo.
And again, to remind us how small we are in this big, big world, judges are highly commended ‘Rising crater BLuff’ by Gelvin Kellet in the Wurrumbungle National Park.
Zoom in on that, those are not just spots of color on a gigantic rock.
And finally, for the remote country category, James Hastings’ ‘Mountain Spa’ was crowned the winner.
Nestled deep in the heart of Mount Kaputar National Park is a natural rock pool that is nothing short of mesmerizing. Carved out of solid rock by centuries of running water, this emerald green ‘mountain spa’ is a sight to behold. It’s as if time has stood still in this serene retreat, a place where nature’s magic thrives and the cares of the world fade away.
The five winners were selected in four competition categories by guest media judges: Chris Bath, Edwina Bartholomew, Rae Johnston and James Valentine.
Bath said win photos have a wow factor that inspires people to visit national parks.
“They give you a sense of the beauty of the Australian bush and the vastness of nature,” she said.
The winners will receive prizes worth up to $2,100 each for a holiday in one of the cabins and cottages in a NSW National Park.
View all winning and highly acclaimed entries here.
To receive updates on next year’s contest, sign up for the Naturescapes mailing list at the NPWS website.