You would have heard about the northern lights in Finland and that would be on your bucket list for sure. But a similar phenomenon occurs in the south too and is known as Aurora Australis (southern lights) is a little lesser known than Aurora Borelis or the Northern lights but is as spectacular. While the northern hemisphere has many locations to view the aurora, the southern hemisphere has only a few places where the night sky lights up for you. Despite the fact that it is tricky to view the southern lights, New Zealand could be a good destination to watch this phenomenon live.
So, if you are travelling to New Zealand to undertake adventure sports activities do not forget to explore the natural wonders, one of them being the southern lights where you can see the aurora activity as green and pink hues fill the skies.
What makes the viewing experience tricky is that you need a perfect combination of time, weather conditions and being at the right place to make your experience unforgettable. You can see the southern lights in intervals of 30 minutes and the best time to visit would be between September and March. Make sure you are out there in the open half an hour before midnight up to 1:00 am, as the light appears the brightest during this time. Make sure you have a compass or GPS on your phone to track the direction and weather condition.
While booking your tour, make sure you understand from your tour organiser the places where the strength of the aurora is highest. You can check various websites for the Aurora Australis forecast, which measures the aurora strength in Kp. Kp ranges between 0 and 9 – 0 being the weakest, 9 being the strongest. Anything classed as Kp5 or above is considered a geomagnetic storm.
Coming to the exact location, Stewart Island would be just perfect. It is located off the southern tip of New Zealand, the other attraction here is that this island has a large national park called Rakiura National Park, which means the land of the glowing skies. Stewart island is not very crowded and this makes it easy to view the Aurora Australis.
You may want to get onto a cruise or stay on land to soak in the beauty, but none the less the light show put up by nature will be unforgettable on sea or on land.
It might be a little harder to catch a glimpse of southern lights as against northern lights but, with the right weather, some patience, perfect timing and little luck, you can see some wonderful display in the skies at Stewart Island. If you are excited to make southern lights a part of your trip to New Zealand we wish you a lot of luck that you capture the wonderful displays of the beautiful Aurora Australis and assure you that we will help you sort all your forex needs for your trips.