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When is the best time to see the Southern Lights?

When to catch the aurora australis in all its magnificence.

Updated

Fact checked

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.

Search for a flight to see the Southern Lights:

We'd recommend looking for flights to places like New Zealand's South Island and Tasmania.


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