Missed the opportunity to catch the best aurora in the northern hemisphere before May 2016? If north is not the right direction now, just do the opposite and head south! Catch the southern lights instead, it’s going to be the better experience for the next 11 years!
I’ve only heard of the Northern Lights. Do the Southern Lights really exist?
Yes southern lights, or aurora australis, like its legendary sister, is a natural electric phenomenon that creates bright and colourful light displays in the sky.
In the south, the auroras can be seen from places like southern Australia’s Tasmania, New Zealand and Chile. While the northern lights steals all the limelight, the southern lights is just as impressive.
In fact, the southern lights is said to be even more vibrant, with hues of orange, pink, purple and gold. Furthermore, say good bye to jet-lags as Tasmania is much nearer to Singapore. Read on to discover the 5 PERFECT spots for viewing the southern lights down under!
1. South Arm Peninsula
South Arm Peninsula, located 40 km southeast of Hobart – the capital city of Tasmania, is known to be a surfer’s paradise.
Not only is the U-shaped peninsula a place with abundant pristine beaches, it also boasts wide shallow bays, ideal for catching fascinating reflection shots of the southern lights!
Great to know that this sleepy town about 50 minutes away from Hobart isn’t heavily populated with humans, architecture and artificial lights. No wonder South Arm Peninsula is one of the best spots professional photographers head to for the stunning lights!
2. Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Besides being home to the world-famous Overland Track hikers love, the famous rugged mountain range is also a rich habitat for diverse vegetation and wildlife. There are a number of peaks you can conquer on the Overland Track, with heights ranging from 1,200 to over 1,500 metres above sea level.
As you may already know, the chances of viewing aurora increases as it gets dark, darker and the darkest. Being high up there in the mountains, and far away from artificial city lights, makes it one of the ideal places to view the best aurora.
As a major feature of the park, Cradle Mountain is a top spot where you can enjoy your hike and look out for the southern lights at the same time. Try your luck on a clear dark wintry night on the Cradle Mountain, and count your lucky stars when you do catch them!
3. Dodges Ferry
Dodges Ferry is a small town with less than 3,000 residents in south eastern Tasmania. There’s a beautiful beach here where you can indulge in some fun water sports or just relax by the bay.
Blessed with favourable natural conditions (read: vast open land with limited light pollution), this is another gem spot for unrivalled views of the southern lights!
Most importantly, Dodges Ferry is very accessible, just half an hour’s drive from Hobart CBD!
4. Eaglehawk Neck
About an hour’s drive south of Hobart, arrive at the small coastal town of Eaglehawk Neck. It is so named because of the narrow strip of land known as the Neck.
Once known for the defence line of chained dogs deterring convicts from escaping the Port Arthur settlement, Eaglehawk Neck is now synonymous as the gateway to the stunning Tasman Peninsula. Marvel in awe at some of the most rugged towering cliffs in Tasmania.
Furthermore, expect to witness one of the most spectacular southern lights display in this laid back countryside with secluded bays and striking rock formations as the backdrop.
5. Huon Valley
Mention Huon Valley to any Australian and you will most likely hear “apple orchard” being linked to the beautiful region. However, there is more to the alluring region, only 30 minutes’ drive from south Hobart, than just juicy Tasmanian apples.
The valley is noted for its remarkable variety of picturesque landscapes, from the tranquil Huon River to the splendid Hartz Mountains National Park. In addition, there are the vineyards where you can indulge in a fine glass or two while soaking in the picturesque beauty of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
Last but not least, include the fascinating glow of green and red light displays blanketing the sky at night. Surely all these make Huon Valley THE excellent spot for an extraordinary southern lights holiday?
A must-do on your travel bucket list!
The southern lights is definitely a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon that deserves much more attention than it does now. Compared to the northern lights, putting an aurora australis Tasmanian holiday in place is better, because:
- you don’t have to travel far from Singapore to see it. Tasmania is just a 9-hour flight away.
- the southern lights is more vibrant, boasting more colours than the usual green and red!
- although the best time to see the lights is during winter, the southern lights can be viewed all year round in convenient locations around Tasmania, if you are lucky.
- the temperature in Tasmania during winter is much more bearable than northern lights destinations. So no need to dig deep into your savings for extreme winter wear clothing!
- the best time to catch northern lights is over, as the 11-year solar cycle enter a dormant phase after May 2016. Therefore, it’s really hard to see the brilliant lights at the north for the next 11 years.
With so many advantages of chasing the southern lights over its highly-publicized sister, it’s definitely a BETTER experience you must do on your travel bucket list! Procrastinate no more. Make plans to visit Down Under for the epic trip!
Also, read Here Are Some Of The Most Gorgeous Photos Of Tasmania’s Lavender Farm And Southern Lights!