Your Guide to Seeing the Southern Lights in Tasmania

Your must-read guide to seeing the Aurora Australis

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View of the Southern Lights in Hobart
📷 © igcreative via Canva.com

While the wildly popular Northern Lights get the glory, there’s also the incredible Southern Lights in Tasmania. This natural phenomena, also known as the Aurora Australis, lights up the southern sky in majestic greens and pinks. 

So forget going to Iceland, we’ve got you covered for how to see the night sky shine right here in Tassie. Read below to find out how you can see the Southern Lights in Tasmania.

What are the Southern Lights?

Auroras are the incredible light shows that occur in the sky. They occur when charged particles burst from the sun and interact with the atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

The Southern Lights over water, near Howden in Tasmania
📷 © gavwak2012 via Canva.com

What’s the difference between the Northern Lights vs Southern Lights?

Auroras are called Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis near the North Pole. And the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis near the South Pole. Apart from that they’re pretty much the same.

When can you see the Southern Lights in Tasmania? 

You can see Southern Lights in Tasmania anytime, but your best chance is during a dark, clear night. You’ve got a better chance in winter too, simply because the nights are longer.

Auroras are measured on the Kp index which ranges from 0 to 9. The higher the Kp the greater chance of you seeing the Aurora Australis. Check out the Aurora Service site or the BOM to see what the Kp index is right now.

You’re chance of seeing the Aurora Australis in Tasmania greatly improves if you are away from the city lights and are facing south.

Pink sky and stars over a mountain range, thanks to the Southern Lights
📷 © Akhil Suhas via Canva.com

How will you know when the next burst of Southern Light activity?

There are loads of apps and websites that forecast aurora activity, including the Aurora Service site or the BOM. If you want the latest tips on where to go and how to photograph the Southern Lights, then join the Aurora Australis Tasmania facebook group or the Aurora Australis Tasmania Alert now facebook group

Where to see the Southern Lights in Tasmania? 

For your best chance of seeing the Southern Lights in Tasmania, you should head south to Hobart. Once you’re there head away from the city lights and face south. Top viewing spots from Hobart include Tinderbox, Dodges Ferry or South Arm Peninsula. If you’re keen to stay in Hobart, then head to Mount Nelson or go to the top of kunanyi / Mount Wellington. If you want to find some nearby accomodation, so you can stay out until the wee hours of the morning, then just click this link to find a range of options!

What do I need to bring to see the Southern Lights?

Tasmania can get cold at night, so we recommend you rug up with a jacket and a beanie to stay warm while you’re gazing at the night sky. Click here to find a huge range of coats and jackets from the Australian online retailer the Iconic (they’ve got loads of choices just for this moment!). Our top picks are the super warm Huffer jackets, a puffer jacket from the North Face, or a waterproof jacket from RAINS. All these brands come in a range of colours and weights, so you can keep toasty warm no matter what time of the year.

The only thing left is to pack your snacks, grab your camera and get going to see the Aurora Australis. Good luck out there, aurora hunters! 

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