Often captivated by the glory of the northern lights, travellers forego the bewitching grace of the Southern Hemisphere’s atmospheric lightshow. Most righteously referred to southern lights or aurora australis, these lights are like the southern cousins of the aurora borealis and can be witnessed in the southern hemisphere, especially through the winter months. Ideally speaking, the best place to watch the natural light show is Antarctica, lying in the low regions. However, this is a sort of luxury that demands a legal permit to be unravelled.
But fear not fellow travellers! For we have compiled a list of the best places where you can plan your trip to witness this mystical phenomenon. So take your blanket and camera along as we take you to the 5 best places to witness the Southern Lights:
1. South Georgia Island
One of the southernmost islands in the entirety of Earth, this atoll is encased by sea ice for a majority of the year. The time to witness the island in its prime is during and after the month of March. There is an availability of cruises to take you there if you specifically plan your trip during March, as it is the best time to gawk at the enchanting dance of lights in the night sky. Though, Georgia Island doesn’t reside any permanent inhabitants, however, the summer months witness over 2000 people on the surface of the island. So if you do manage to find yourself up there, you will be greeted by some basic elements of civilization. Surprisingly, this is the farthest point in the periphery you can witness without be characterized as an explorer or researcher.
2. Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand is brimming with chances to witness the astounding sights of the Southern lights, with some of the major names including the tiny village of Lake Tekapo, the Stewart Island off the country’s southern edge and the city of Christchurch. Still the only place in the vicinity which was able to make its name in international headlines was for the prodigious display of lightshows is Queensland. Located right by the Lake Wakatipu, the city on multiple occasions during the year, gets awash with a rainbow of lights. A beautiful collection of green and rich red hues dancing across the night sky, the experience is almost close to day dreaming, one which you just can’t afford to miss.
3. The Falkland Islands
Counted as one of the destinations that people often tend to overlook, this small group of island lies around 400 miles off the coast of Argentina in the Southern America. Inhabiting a population of 2,500 people, this area itself is rich with beauty in both landscape and wildlife. It was the year 2010 that witnessed the engineers installing monitoring system, set to record the activity of the Aurora Australis. Their choice of location itself governs the clarity and the frequency of the occurring of the phenomena. The best time to catch the lights lies between April and August, as there is little daylight during this while and a higher chance to spotting paintings in the sky. This place is often chosen as the base for exploration of the South America, however early sleepers commonly miss out on the night beauty of the place.
4. Mount Wellington, Tasmania
If you ever get a chance to question any Aurora Australis hunter about the best place to witness the Southern lights in Australia, Mount Wellington will top the charts more often than not. According to the prediction of Australian Antarctic Division of Department of the Environment and Energy, the probability for you to witness the lights on any random night is between 1 and 2 percent. This probability shoots up in the proximity of the equinoxes in late March and September. And one of the best places to witness these lights is Mount Wellington, a mountain located in the back of Hobard, the capital city of Tasmania. Height of this mountain lets you enjoy a front row seat to unwind the display of its choicest colours.
5. Ushuaia, Argentina
Located on the far southernmost point of Argentina, Ushuaia makes it to the list for its excellent light viewing opportunities. Though again counted as one of the southernmost cities in the world, the viewing experience depends on luck and appropriate weather conditions. Located farther south than the cities mentioned before, the place is known for its notoriously bad weather. Besides that, Ushuaia is constituted of stunning vistas and wonderful flora and fauna combinations. If however, your sole purpose to visit the place is to witness the lights, the best time to be there would be in the winter months.
To experience the most spectacular display of Southern lights, it is only right to choose the most spectacular seats. So take your pick from our well-researched list and set your winter luggage ready! It’s time to hit the southern floor!