Welcome to our simple English blog about the Huon Valley. We write this blog for backpackers on a working holiday and for other travellers like you.
Do you want to see an aurora?
Do you want to see the Aurora Australis when you visit Tasmania? This blog post will answer your questions about the Southern Lights.
Join an aurora group
Here on Pilgrim Hill, our neighbour is Margaret Sonnemann, the “Aurora Lady.” A few years ago, Margaret started the Aurora Australis Tasmania Facebook group, which now has over 115,000 members. She also wrote a best-selling book called The Aurora Chaser’s Handbook.
If you come to Tasmania and you don’t want to miss an aurora, you need to join Margaret’s Facebook group. The group is very helpful. You should also join her alert group Aurora Australis Tasmania Alert NOW, which will alert you every time you can see a new aurora.
Follow these steps
You do not need special tools to see an aurora. But there are some things to do:
- Check the group — You should first check if there is an aurora to see. Again, use the group Aurora Australis Tasmania Alert NOW.
- Clouds block an aurora — Do not look for an aurora when the night sky is covered in clouds. You will not see anything.
- Look south — You need a clear view south. The compass app on you phone can tell you which way is south.
- Go away from lights — City lights and street lights make it hard to see an aurora. Get away from human lights, so that you know what you see in the sky is an aurora and not the lights of a town.
- Turn off your lights — Human night vision is not very good. Find somewhere safe, turn off your lights and let your eyes adapt to the dark. It takes time for our eyes to adapt to the dark. And some people can see the colours in an aurora better than others.
- Take your time — You may be sad at first to see only a little light. But auroras can change. Enjoy the quiet and the beautiful Tasmanian night sky and be patient.
- Take a picture — Your camera can see an aurora better than your eye. If you know how, take a slow exposure picture with your camera or your phone. You may get an amazing photo!
Where to stay
If you need a place to stay in southern Tasmania, we have a hostel called Pilgrim Hill. At our hostel, we have a great spot where you can see auroras. You might even get a tour with our neighbour, the Aurora Lady!
And if you stay at Pilgrim Hill, you will also get to know Margaret as the “Dessert Lady.” She makes amazing cakes and desserts for guest dinners three times a week. You can book here.