The best places to see the Southern Lights in Australia & New Zealand

The Southern Lights a.k.a Aurora Australis, are definitely a once in a lifetime experience and one you will never forget.


Although rare to witness, you might get lucky on your Australia or New Zealand holidays. Check out our list of best places to see the Southern Lights and sign up for aurora alerts to improve your chances.


Southern Lights New Zealand
Southern Lights New Zealand Copyright: Chris Stephenson


Stewart Island, New Zealand

As one of the closest countries to the South Pole, New Zealand is in a privileged spot to see the Southern Lights. Even more so is Stewart Island, the most southern and isolated tip you can visit.
The region is known to the Maori people as “the land of glowing skies”, where daylight is sparse in the winter. If you visit then, you can expect uninterrupted views of pink and green waves gleaming as you look up.


Invercargill, New Zealand

If you can’t make it that far south don’t worry, you can still witness the mystical phenomena from the mainland. Book a getaway at Invercargill, a cute little coastal town just 2 hours from Queenstown. Since it is not the remote spot aurora hunters usually seek, you will have plenty to do before nightfall.
After you’ve explored the heritage trail in the city, head to the vast Oreti Beach and away of light pollution. Wrap up your day with a mesmerizing show of Southern Lights.


The Catlins, New Zealand

Situated in the coastal Southern Scenic Route, The Catlins delivers the New Zealand wilderness you’ve been dreaming about. Start your adventure by unwinding at the rainforest, full of pristine waterfalls and wildlife, including endangered species. As you make your way through this paradise, you might notice the crashing of waves nearby. In fact, the lavish green frames beautiful sandy beaches and rugged cliffs.
Its remoteness and low population make for the best place to sleep under the stars. Pack your camping gear and get ready to watch a dancing curtain of lights reflect right on the sea in front of you.


Southern Lights New Zealand
Southern Lights New Zealand Copyright: Chris Stephenson


Bruny Island, Tasmania – Australia

Sights of the Southern Lights have also been reported in Australia, more specifically in Tasmania. Once you’ve landed in Hobart get behind the wheel and drive south for 30 minutes. You will then have reached Bruny Island, home to the Neck Game Reserve from where the sky views are as stunning as the landscape.
Make sure you visit in the winter, and you will witness not one but two unique gifts of nature. For this is also when whales from Antarctica are making their way up to warmer waters in the north.


Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania – Australia

Although located in the northern part of Tasmania, the park offers a spectacular backdrop to the Southern Lights. During the day, the alpine peaks reflect on the still waters of the lakes that cover the region. And at night they seem to reach for the stars.
As it gets darker, pick your spot by the lake and point your camera to the south. Set it with a large exposure time and aperture to capture the moving light and don’t forget a tripod!


Excited to go on a hunt for the stunning Southern Lights? We hope you get to bring this special souvenir home from one of the best places in Australia and New Zealand.

Check out more informations about New Zealand and Australia

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