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When is the best time to see the Southern Lights?

When to catch the aurora australis in all its magnificence.

If you want to increase your chances of catching the Southern Lights, we’ve got everything you need to know.

The best time to see the Southern Lights

May to September.

Why?

While the aurora can be active at any time of the year, one of the major difficulties in capturing it is visibility. Clear, dark skies provide the best visibility to the naked eye, so travelling during winter will increase your chances of seeing the lights.


Overview

The Southern Lights are a natural phenomenon caused by collisions of electrically-charged particles from the sun. The Lights are concentrated around the southern polar cap and can be seen from some of the southernmost locations on Earth including Antarctica, New Zealand, the tip of Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Tasmania.

The Southern Lights are a popular attraction for visitors worldwide and the best time to see them is during winter in isolated locations where there is little light pollution. As there are many locations where you can spot them, nowhere gets too crowded, though for cheaper prices, steer clear of snow resort cities such as Queenstown in New Zealand.


Weather and prices

The best time to see the Southern Lights, weatherwise: May to September.

The cheapest time to see the Southern Lights: Look for flight and hotel deals outside of the Christmas school holiday break (end of December to end of January). Being the closest and with frequent flight sales from Tigerair and Jetstar, southern Tasmania should be the cheapest destination to get to for a chance to see the Southern Lights.


Hot deals to see the Southern Lights

Up to 15% off New Zealand tours

Deal expires

Valid for travel from 21 March - 23 May 2018. Destinations include Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. T&C's apply.

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New Zealand flights from $194

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Valid for travel on select dates from March - December 2018. Sample fare is Brisbane-Auckland. Destinations include Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown.

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International flights from $349 return

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Valid for travel on select dates from January - December 2018 with Air New Zealand. Sample fare is Melbourne-Christchurch. Destinations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Auckland and more.

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California flights from $824 return

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Valid for travel on select dates from April - June 2018 with Air New Zealand. Sample fare is Melbourne-Los Angeles. Other destination includes San Francisco.

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Up to 30% off Australia and New Zealand tours Get up to 30% off tours throughout Africa with TourRadar. Valid on select dates and tours. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Christchurch, Brisbane and more. T&C's apply.

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Up to 20% off car hire

Deal expires

Valid on hire cars in Australia and New Zealand for pick up before 29 June 2018. Must book 21 days in advance.

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New Zealand flights from $322 return Valid for travel on select dates. Sample fare is Melbourne-Christchurch. Destinations include Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.

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Up to 15% off worldwide tours: Endless summer sale

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Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Europe, Bhutan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America and more. T&C's apply.

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25% off premium hire insurance Get up to 25% off on your car rental when you purchase GoZen Cover. Valid at participating locations across Australia and New Zealand. T&C's apply.

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Titan Travel Titan Travel
£75 deposit with any holiday

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Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Japan, India, California, Uganda, New Zealand and more. T&C's apply.

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