Planning to travel to New Zealand? Witnessing the Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights) in New Zealand should be on your list. With New Zealand travel visa, you can fulfill your dreams in seeing this wonderful sight and in exploring the country as a whole.
To see the Southern Lights, you should go there at the best time, weather conditions, and in the right place.
The Perfect Time to See the Southern Lights
Auroras happen all year round. However, they are unpredictable. The winter months, March to September, is said to be the best months to see this electric phenomenon. Between these months, at around midnight, is a great time to witness the widespread beauty of the aurora.
Aurora Australis Forecast
To make sure that you can see the Southern Lights, check for its forecast first. The aurora strength is measured in Kp, ranging between 0 and 9—0 being the weakest. The stronger the solar activity, the more likely you’ll see the southern lights.
The Best Place in New Zealand to See the Southern Lights
As its name suggests, the Southern Lights can be viewed better from farther south. It can also be seen from the north if the aurora is stronger. Here are locations south of New Zealand where the Aurora Australis can be fully seen:
- Stewart Island. Rakiura National park is what mostly makes of this island (about 85%), with very few artificial lights, and can be reached via ferry or plane. During winter nights, the skies are clear, making the southern lights highly visible.
- Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. This place is recognized internationally as one with the darkest skies in the world. Getting a higher view from its hill or mountain, with less moonlight and synthetic lights, would make your experience worthwhile.
- The Catlins. Famous for its extreme waterfalls, thick forests, and rough coastlines, the Catlins provides for an astounding view of auroral nights during winter. A lot of travelers visiting the place are blown away by its stunning beauty.
Going to New Zealand for Aurora Australis should be in the right time, in the right place, with the best weather conditions. Viewing it from a higher altitude from a place where there is less artificial lights and moonlight would give you a night you’ll surely remember.