Oh, and I live on the outskirts of Melbourne, where the skies are pretty dark. This one was taken from my house.
Check how your light pollution is with this map:https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/dlorenz/web/astronomy/lp2006/overlay/dark.html
Yellow and up are bad. Green is ok. You really want to be in blue or gray areas, where the skies are really dark. Trust me, I've experimented very recently with how much light pollution affects results. I live in a brighter yellow area bordering on an orange area in Denver, Colorado. LP is pretty bad over my house, even though it doesn't seem as much to my bare eyes. Green areas improve quite a bit. Blue areas are amazing, the number of stars increases considerably, and astrophotography gets much better.
Gray areas are just phenomenal. The two lighter regions of gray conform to Bortle Scale level between 2 and 1...very dark skies or "truly dark skies". You can see an unbelievable amount of stars, everything is crisp and clear, you might even get a glimpse of airglow. The milky way is brilliant, and at the right times of the year, you can see the zodiacal light (provided it isn't obscured by LP bubbles on the horizon. Blue and gray areas of the map above are really where you want to be for AP. Think of it like stops on a camera...Blue is about a stop worse than gray, green is about a stop worse than blue, yellow a stop worse than green, etc. Each time you get closer to the main source of light pollution, you lose about half your ability to deeply image the night sky.
You can expose for almost twice as long and all that as well (i.e. you can expose for maybe 10 minutes in a green region, but 20 minutes or longer in blue and gray regions) as you move out to darker regions. BTW, there are three levels of gray. The darkest gray are what they call "Exceptionally Dark Skies", and has a Bortle Scale level of 1. There are actually relatively few regions of civilized Earth that are still this dark. Australia appears to have more than normal. Canada also has large regions of exceptionally dark skies. There are small pockets of exceptionally dark skies in the US and Europe. Excptionally dark skies are where they put the big scientific observatories, especially when they are on mountaintops. If you have the opportunity to visit an exceptionally dark sky, it'll just blow your mind how clear and bright the night sky really is. It's a thing of wonder, and most people in the "civilized" world rarely ever see it. The milky way is so relatively so bright it will actually cast shadows, the zodiacal light (which I've never seen under these conditions) is apparently "annoyingly bright" (which came from an astrophotographer, so take that in context!), and the number of deep sky objects that you can see with your naked eye maxes out...magnitude 8 stellar objects are visible to the naked eye (which is really amazing, given that most people on earth are only able to see magnitude 6 and larger stars, a whole two orders of magnitude difference, and in cities magnitude four and larger is the limiting magnitude. If you live in a metropolitan heart, where LP is at its highest, you can only see things magnitude 0 and brighter, so mostly planets, the brightest stars, the moon....no milky way at all, no deep sky objects, you can't make out most constellations because there simply aren't enough stars visible. Light pollution is kind of a terrible thing really, a travesty against the natural state of night...massive waste of energy to light so much of the earths surface up like that when most of it is suburban regions full of sleeping families...they could all turn off their lights, turn of the street lights, etc.)
I have not had a chance to photograph in the night sky under exceptionally dark skies. I'm hoping to get up to the top of the continental divide in one of the couple spots where you have exceptionally dark skies and image the milky way and zodiacal light when the latter rolls around again this spring.
Anyway...if your on the outskirts of Melbourne, but are still under green, yellow, orange or red, try heading out to darker skies. The difference is worth it.