It’s something millions of people dream about: settling in for a night of stargazing, looking up, and seeing striking shades of green, blue, and purple dancing along the night sky. Plenty of people have heard of the northern l
What are the
The southern lights are a natural phenomenon found in the Southern Hemisphere, especially closer to the South Pole. They are caused when the Sun drives solar wind away from itself, causing high-energy particles to strike the Earth’s magnetic field. When these particles collide with oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere, they produce red or green light; when they collide with nitrogen, the light produced is green and purple.
While the same process occurs to create the northern lights, the lights differ depending on where you are. Some places see bold shades of purple, and other deep, barely-noticeable green. It’s difficult to determine exactly where which
How are the southern lights different from the
The short answer is: they aren’t! The southern lights and the northern lights are caused by the exact same natural phenomenon, and their only main difference is location. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to choosing to go looking for the southern l
First and foremost, the southern lights aren’t as well-known as the northern l
Best places to see the Southern Lights
Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re looking for some incredible views day and night, you’ll find them in Queenstown. Settled against the country’s Southern Alps and on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, visitors can enjoy thrills such as bungee jumping in the summer and skiing in the winter. They don’t call themselves the “adventure capital of New Zealand” for nothing! For a truly incredible experience, try sleeping outside; imagine laying in a sleeping bag, looking up, and seeing the southern l
These remote islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean are more than 8,000 miles from the United Kingdom, but they remain a British territory! Here, you’ll find native species such as penguins, whales, and seals, stunning coastlines, British comfort food, and, of course, plenty of opportunities to spot the southern lights! The Falkland Islands are often a port of call on Antarctic cruises, so you may be able to experience more than one destination when you visit.
See Also: What to Expect on a Cruise to Antarctica
Can’t quite make it to Antarctica? Ushuaia is the next best thing – and an amazing destination in its own right. This town in Argentina, nicknamed “The End of the World,” is the gateway to Antarctica. Exploring Ushuaia means learning about maritime history in one of their several museums, scuba diving amongst king crabs, and some incredible skiing. Outdoor activities are plentiful, as are the opportunities to view the
If national parks are your thing, you absolutely must check a visit to Tasmania off your list! This isolated island off the south coast of Australia is filled with open-air museums and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Nature lovers, take note: about 42% of Tasmania is protected land! Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, rafting, kayaking amongst native seal species, surfing, and countless other outdoor activities. If that wasn’t amazing enough, Tasmania is also a fantastic place to view the
Best times to see the
The good news is, auroras can occur year-round! The bad news, however, is they’re almost impossible to predict, so even the most carefully-planned trips may not result in a viewing. Of course, when you’re
The best time to see the southern l
Viewing the southern l
Have you ever seen the southern lights? Tell us about it!