Lonely Planet Writer

See amazing images of the Southern Lights as the first charter flight takes off

There’s always a good reason to choose the window seat, but few flights make such a compelling case as the first charter flight to view the Southern Lights.


Passengers on board a historic flight from New Zealand have shared incredible images of Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights.

While many people travel from around the world for a glimpse of the Northern Lights, the less populated landmasses at the Southern Hemisphere make seeing Aurora Australis much more rare.

But, it gets a whole lot easier when you’re in a plane, a realisation that inspired Dr Ian Griffin, director of the Otago Museum in Dunedin, New Zealand, to organise the flight to see Aurora Australia. The tickets quickly sold out as people were eager to get a seat on the flight, which was held on 23 March.

Tickets were priced up to NZ$4000, but that provided more than four hours of time for passengers to admire the lights. The plane flew along a zig-zag pattern so people on both sides could get a great view of the lights, which were shining brightly.

The flight left Dunedin at 9 pm, landing again around 5 am, ensuring that while passengers didn’t get much sleep, they certainly got a memorable experience.

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