Top 5 Places To See The Aurora Australis

Aurora australis

You dream of witnessing the mesmerizing dance of the Southern Lights – the Aurora Australis. Imagine standing under a sky ablaze with vibrant colors, a sight that will stay with you forever. Here are the top 5 places where you can experience this breathtaking natural phenomenon in all its glory. Get ready to be awestruck by the beauty of the Southern Lights!

Key Takeaways:

  • Aurora Australis is best viewed from southern locations close to the South Pole.
  • Queenstown, New Zealand offers stunning views of the Southern Lights from picturesque landscapes.
  • Tasmania, Australia is a great spot to witness the Aurora Australis due to its clear skies and minimal light pollution.

The Best Times to See the Aurora Australis

Peak Season: March to September

For an optimal chance to witness the mesmerizing Aurora Australis, plan your trip between March and September. This period marks the peak season for viewing the spectacular natural light show in the Southern Hemisphere.

Solar Maximum: Increased Activity

For those seeking an electrifying experience, aim to catch the Aurora Australis during a solar maximum. This period, which occurs approximately every 11 years, sees a surge in solar activity. During this time, the chances of witnessing more vivid and frequent auroral displays are significantly heightened.

To make the most of this heightened activity, keep an eye out for updates from space weather forecast services. Increased solar activity can lead to geomagnetic storms, which can disrupt power grids and satellite operations but also result in breathtaking auroral displays that dance across the night sky with unparalleled beauty.

Tasmania: The Aurora Australis Hotspot

Cradle Mountain National Park

To fully experience the magic of the Aurora Australis, head to Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania. To witness the dancing lights painting the night sky above the iconic jagged peaks of Cradle Mountain is a truly unforgettable sight. Make sure to find a clear, dark spot away from light pollution for the best views.

Mount Field National Park

Nestled in the heart of Tasmania, Mount Field National Park is another prime location to catch the Aurora Australis. The park’s diverse landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for the shimmering lights of the southern sky. Remember to check the weather conditions and aurora forecast before planning your visit.

Mount Field National Park offers a range of activities such as bushwalking, camping, and wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for the iconic Russell Falls and the tall eucalypt forests that make this park a must-visit destination in Tasmania.

South Arm Peninsula

For a coastal view of the Aurora Australis, head to the South Arm Peninsula in Tasmania. Field of panoramic views of the Southern Ocean, this secluded spot offers a unique perspective on the celestial light show. Remember to dress warmly and bring a comfortable chair to fully enjoy the display.

Park your car and take a short walk to find a cozy spot to witness the dazzling colors and patterns of the Aurora Australis as they reflect off the tranquil waters of the ocean. Don’t forget your camera to capture this unforgettable experience.

New Zealand’s South Island

Lake Tekapo: Stargazing Capital

Now, let’s journey to Lake Tekapo, known as the Stargazing Capital of New Zealand. You will be mesmerized by the breathtaking sight of the Aurora Australis dancing across the night sky.

Mount John Observatory

On top of visiting Lake Tekapo, make sure to stop by the Mount John Observatory. Perched high above the lake, you can experience unparalleled views of the Southern Lights. The observatory offers guided tours to enhance your stargazing experience.


New Zealand’s South Island offers a plethora of adventure opportunities. Queenstown, in particular, is a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and aurora enthusiasts.

Queenstown: Adventure and Auroras

Adventure beckons in Queenstown, where you can chase the Aurora Australis by day and partake in exhilarating activities such as bungee jumping and jet boating by night.


Australia’s Southern Coast

Kangaroo Island: Wilderness and Wonder

Your visit to Kangaroo Island promises wilderness and wonder. The expansive landscapes, rugged cliffs, and diverse wildlife offer a unique experience. Witness the majestic Southern Ocean meeting the untouched shores, creating a breathtaking sight. Don’t miss the chance to spot kangaroos, koalas, and sea lions in their natural habitats.

Victor Harbor: Coastal Delights

Any journey along Australia’s southern coast should include a stop at Victor Harbor for its coastal delights. This charming town boasts stunning beaches, a historic horse-drawn tram, and the picturesque Granite Island. Take a leisurely stroll along the jetty, breathe in the fresh sea air, and marvel at the stunning coastal views.

Wilderness meets coastal beauty at Victor Harbor. Explore the lush greenery of the surrounding hills or hop on a boat tour to encounter playful dolphins in the sparkling waters. Victoria Harbor offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation for every traveler.

Robe: Seaside Charm

Coast your way to Robe for a taste of seaside charm. This quaint town is a hidden gem along Australia’s southern coast, offering pristine beaches, historic lighthouses, and delicious seafood. Stroll along the rugged coastline, explore the local boutiques, or simply relax and soak in the serene atmosphere of this coastal haven.

Plus, Robe’s rich history as a former shipping port adds an intriguing element to your visit. Learn about the town’s maritime past and its role in Australia’s heritage. Don’t forget to indulge in fresh seafood dishes at the local restaurants, a true culinary delight by the sea.

The Falkland Islands: A Remote Gem

Not just a British overseas territory, the Falkland Islands are a remote gem in the South Atlantic Ocean, offering a unique blend of wildlife, rugged landscapes, and a fascinating history.

Stanley: The Capital of Falkland Islands

On your visit to the Falkland Islands, make sure to explore Stanley, the charming capital. With its colorful houses, quaint pubs, and friendly locals, Stanley offers a glimpse into daily life on these isolated islands.

Mount Usborne: Highest Peak

Falkland Islands boast Mount Usborne as the highest peak, standing tall at 2,198 feet. The hike to the summit rewards you with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding rugged terrain and coastline.

To conquer Mount Usborne, you will need to be prepared for a challenging trek through potentially rough terrain. Ensure you have proper hiking gear and a guide to navigate through the elevation changes.

Wildlife Encounters

Any trip to the Falkland Islands would be incomplete without encountering the extraordinary wildlife that calls these islands home. From colonies of penguins to albatrosses and seals, the Falklands offer unparalleled opportunities to observe these creatures in their natural habitats.

Islands like Saunders Island and Sea Lion Island are known for their diverse wildlife populations, providing a chance for up-close and personal encounters with some of the most fascinating species in the region.

Other Top Spots

Patagonia: Shared by Argentina and Chile

To experience the magical dance of the Aurora Australis, head to Patagonia, a region shared by Argentina and Chile. The vast open spaces with minimal light pollution offer you a front-row seat to this incredible natural phenomenon.

The Antarctic Peninsula: Expedition Cruises

Any adventurer looking to witness the Aurora Australis up close should consider joining an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula. These cruises not only offer you a chance to see the mesmerizing lights but also provide unique opportunities to explore one of the most remote and untouched regions on the planet.

Other highlights of these cruises include expert guides who enhance your experience with their knowledge of the region, comfortable onboard accommodations, and the thrill of exploring the icy landscapes of the Antarctic.

Final Words

As a reminder, witnessing the mesmerizing display of the Aurora Australis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether you choose to travel to Tasmania’s Mount Wellington, New Zealand’s Lake Tekapo, Norway’s Tromsø, Antarctica, or Australia’s Margaret River, each location offers its unique charm and beauty when the Southern Lights dance across the night sky. So pack your bags, prepare your camera, and get ready to be awe-struck by nature’s spectacular light show!


Q: What are the top 5 places to see the Aurora Australis?

A: The top 5 places to see the Aurora Australis are:

  1. Tasmania, Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. Antarctica
  4. South Georgia Island
  5. Falkland Islands

Q: When is the best time to see the Aurora Australis?

A: The best time to see the Aurora Australis is during the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere, typically from March to September. The peak season for viewing the Aurora Australis is in June and July.

Q: What factors affect the visibility of the Aurora Australis?

A: The visibility of the Aurora Australis is affected by several factors, including geomagnetic activity, cloud cover, light pollution, and the time of year. It is recommended to check the aurora forecast, choose a dark location away from city lights, and be patient while waiting for the aurora to appear.

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