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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.

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.


Latest deals to destinations where you can see the Southern Lights:

Europcar AU Europcar AU

Up to 20% off base rate

Valid for rentals until 16 December 2018 at participating locations across Australia and New Zealand. Must book 21 days in advanced and a minimum of 2-days rental to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

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Enterprise Rent a Car USA Enterprise Rent a Car USA

Up to 10% off New Zealand car hire

Valid until 31 December 2018. Minimum of 3 days rental. T&Cs apply.

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Accor Hotels Accor Hotels

$25 off each night + $1 breakfast

Valid for stays from 1 June - 11 November 2018. Redeemable at 190+ hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia.

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DriveNow DriveNow

Campervan hire from $5/day

Offers and validity dates updated daily. Available on select routes in Australia and New Zealand.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

30% off all guests + free balcony upgrade with Royal Caribbean

Valid for cruise on select dates from October 2018 - January 2020. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Pacific, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

$85 deposit + $85 OBC with P&O cruises

Valid from November 2018 - December 2019. Destinations include Noumea, Mystery Island, Sydney, Brisbane, Tasmania, Auckland, Christchurch and more. T&Cs apply.

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TFE Hotels TFE Hotels

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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TFE Hotels Collection TFE Hotels Collection

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Rendezvous Rendezvous

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Vibe Vibe

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Travelodge Australia Travelodge Australia

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Adina Adina

25% off stays across Australia and New Zealand

Valid for stays between 19 August 2018 - 22 August 2019 on all participating hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Offer excludes bookings for The Calile Hotel Brisbane. T&Cs apply.

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Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Book to win $500 voucher

Valid for stays until 30 December 2018. Book now and get a chance to win 1 of 3 $500 vouchers to spend at any Oaks Hotels & Resorts across Australia and New Zealand. T&Cs apply.

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TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 50% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Valid for travel from 23 July - 1 December 2018 depending on the destination. Destinations include Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

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Travel Insurance Saver Travel Insurance Saver

Get up to 30% discount on travel insurance

Save on policies to Bali, New Zealand, USA, Europe, Thailand, Fiji and more when you purchase cover online. Terms and conditions apply.

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G Adventures G Adventures

20% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Valid for travel from 21 August - 27 November 2018. Destinations include Wellington, Cairns, Melbourne, Auckland, Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Sydney, Queenstown and more.

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Avis Avis

Seventh-day Tasmania free car hire

Valid until 19 September 2018 at select Hobart and Launceston locations. T&Cs apply.

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STA Travel STA Travel

New Zealand flights from $299 return

Valid for travel until 31 December 2018, including Christmas. Sample fare is Melbourne-Christchurch with Air New Zealand.

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Europcar AU Europcar AU

15% off the 5+ day hires

Valid on select dates until 16 December 2018 in Australia or New Zealand. T&Cs apply.

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Avis Avis

Free SUV upgrade on Tasmania car hire

Valid until 19 September 2018. Minimum of rental of 4 consecutive days T&Cs apply.

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Avis Avis

Third day free on weekend hire in Tasmania

Valid until 19 September 2018. Minimum of 3 consecutive days or more including a Saturday night rent. T&Cs apply.

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STA Travel STA Travel

International flights from $363 return with Air New Zealand

Valid for travel until December 2018. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland. Destinations include Los Angeles, San Francisco and more.

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Europcar AU Europcar AU

10% off New Zealand car hire

Valid until 16 December 2018. Minimum of 3 days rental. T&Cs apply.

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Europcar AU Europcar AU

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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Choice Hotels Choice Hotels

Up to 10% off stays

Valid on select dates when booked between 2-30 days in advance and prepaid at time of booking. Available at locations across Australia and New Zealand.

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Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

10% off stays in Australia and New Zealand

Valid for My Oaks members. Membership is free and also entitles guests to late checkout and complimentary internet use. T&Cs apply.

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Airport Parking Airport Parking

Compare airport parking rates at 13 airports across Australia and New Zealand

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Tasmania getaway from $422

Valid for travel until 27 September 2018. Includes accommodation, breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

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