Whether it’s the display of beautiful hues or the serenity of the night, everyone wants to experience the Aurora Australis once in their lifetime. We can certainly envision ourselves sitting quietly and witnessing the magic of the Southern Lights. However, the question arises that while Tasmania is famous for the Aurora Australis throughout the year, can the same be said of its city Launceston?
During the summer, you can see the Aurora Australis in Launceston from any open field as there is no light pollution in the city. However, it is quite difficult to see it in the winter due to the thick fog surrounding the city.
The Southern Lights can be seen near Launceston at Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Cradle Mountain, Narawntapu National Park, Mount Nelson, and a few other locations.
Although the Aurora Australis can be seen all around Tasmania, there isn’t much information available online on where we can see it in Launceston. Hence, we aim to assist and lead you in experiencing the beauty of these magnificent lights. You certainly don’t want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime!
5 Places Near Launceston To See Aurora Australis
You certainly don’t want to land in Launceston and not know where to go to look at the Aurora Australis. Therefore, we have compiled a list of places where you can easily view the Aurora from. Search up these spots and add them to your ‘favourites’ on your google maps to save time and trips to see the Aurora Australis.
1. Bridestowe Lavender Estate
A 45-minute long drive from Launceston will take you to Australia’s biggest lavender farm, where you can easily view the Southern Lights all year round. Not only that but when the purple flowers bloom, they emit an exquisite aroma that creates a relaxing ambience while viewing the lights. No doubt, the aesthetic and vibes of the estate coupled with the view of the Aurora Australis are perfect for a date night.
The farm charges $20 to enter the estate. However, if you are low on budget and don’t want to pay, you can easily view the Aurora from outside the estate as well. Although it won’t be as majestic of a view spot, the Southern Lights are still quite mesmerising.
2. Cradle Mountain
Located in Central Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is a 2-hour distance from Launceston. Apart from seeing the Aurora Australis at night, the national park offers beautiful sceneries during the day, which you can enjoy during your visit. You should reserve a whole day to visit this park to admire the scenery and enjoy the food during the day as well as view the Aurora during the night.
3. Narawntapu National Park
Just one hour away from Launceston is Narawntapu National Park which is a renowned place for bird watching. If you choose the right time to visit this park, you can easily engage in some bird watching before admiring the Aurora. This park also includes authorized camping areas where you can set up a tent and enjoy the lights. It also gives you an opportunity to take in the wilderness and make it a memorable experience.
In about 2 hours and 15 minutes, you can drive from Launceston to Howrah which is a great place to see the Southern Lights. This neighbourhood has a lot of parks where you can loosen up, eat delicious meals, and soak in the beautiful environment. However, it might be buzzing with people, so if you are not a fan of watching the Aurora with a crowd, we recommend you avoid this park.
5. Mount Nelson
Mount Nelson is a quick 2.5-hour drive from Launceston and provides a fantastic view of Hobart city – as well as the Southern Lights when they are unusually vivid and intense. If you are a fan of road trips and want to make the experience more magical, you can choose to watch the Aurora from Mount Nelson.
How To Capture The Magical Southern Lights
If you are fortunate enough to witness the magical occurrence, you will want to preserve the sight and show it to everyone else! The ideal way to take a high-quality and clear picture of the Aurora Australis is with a tripod and an SLR camera adjusted to manual mode.
Also, you will need to select the greatest ISO (800 to 3200) and a wide lens to capture all the lights. Furthermore, the shutter speed should be between 5 and 15 seconds, with the focus adjusted at infinity.
Safety Precautions When At Aurora Australis Viewing Locations
While experiencing a celestial blob of lights can be life-changing, you must follow certain safety precautions while at prime viewing locations.
If you are inexperienced, it is preferable to view the Aurora Australis during the day since you will have more time to look out for unexpected risks like land sliding, hazardous waves, rough terrain, and other dangers.
Warm clothes and a hot drink are also a must as temperatures atop mountains can dip to -10°C at night! And also, research thoroughly before going to an unfamiliar area so that there are no safety hazards.
How Is Aurora Borealis Different From Aurora Australis?
Aurora Borealis, also known as Northern Lights, are seen in the Northern Hemisphere while Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) can be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere.
What Colour Does Aurora Australis Emit?
Southern Lights are usually seen in purple, yellow, and red colours, and the Northern Lights in green and yellow.
Does An Aurora Australis Make Noise?
Yes! As unbelievable as it sounds, Aurora Australis can sometimes make buzzing noises that are audible to the human ear.
Launceston is a great place to view the Aurora Australis during summers. In winter, the sky can get foggy covering any light in the sky, and would rob you of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As a result, you’ll have to go outside of Launceston to sites like Mount Nelson, Howrah, and Cradle Mountain to see the beautiful lights.
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