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Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights

Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights
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Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights


It starts off a mere wisp on the horizon. It could be a spot of smoke or climbing mist. However, within a couple of minutes, it has broadened as well as spread, making its way over our heads as well as, eventually, to the opposite horizon, stretching out across the whole skies.

I have actually glimpsed the North Lights as soon as in the past, during a see to Sweden, yet the weather was primarily negative as well as after a brief discovery throughout dinner, the lights vanished, hidden for the rest of the trip by reduced cloud as well as periodic snowstorms.

At this moment I remain in Yellowknife in Canada’s remote Northwestern Territories – basically the outback of North America – to see the natural phenomenon that regularly covers polls of travelers’ bucket checklists.


However, the ephemeral nature of the lights implies it’s not constantly that very easy to see. As well as the strength and also length of the display can vary hugely based upon the lots of elements that enter into play – exactly how clear the skies are, the temperature, and the solar activity.

Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights

I’ve involved Yellowknife because it is thought about among the best locations on the planet to see the aurora (and, according to residents, it’s certainly THE best). Because of this, it’s the main reason why lots of site visitors involve this village in the wild north of the nation. It additionally has among the longest periods for checking out the aurora, starting as early as September, when the lakes are yet to ice up over.

I’m right here in March when the temperature level is still extremely cold by Australian standards, yet the sunlight increases as well as evaluates a practical time (it gets dark in the mid-afternoon right here in the midsts of December, but now we’re delighting in stunning sunsets at 6.30 pm).

For Australians, it’s also among the quickest methods to reach the place of northern light. While various other sub-arctic aurora hotspots in Scandinavia will imply 3 or 4 lengthy jumps from Australia, reaching Yellowknife needs simply one quit, in Vancouver, after a non-stop flight from Australia’s eastern coastline. The town is simply two hrs additionally on.

Home to concerning 20,000 citizens, Yellowknife was established with the discovery of gold in the 1930s. The city rests on the substantial Terrific Servant Lake, the globe’s 10th largest as well as the deepest in The United States and Canada at 614 meters. In winter months, with the lake frozen over, citizens drive throughout an ice road, producing a shortcut from one part of the community to one more (Yellowknife is additionally where several of the initial actors of Ice Road Truckers were based – driving on ice is a lifestyle out here).

Although the gold mines have actually currently closed, Yellowknife’s primary sector, in addition to tourist, stays to mine. Rubies were uncovered in the 1990s and now rich visitors fly in from around the world to acquire the jewels from regional jewelers.
Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights

However, I’m below for a less expensive all-natural marvel. The town maximizes its organization with the Northern Lights – every second business appears to have the words “aurora” in its title. And while it is feasible to see the aurora from the city itself, the light air pollution from the buildings and also road lights considerably decreases the intensity.

So I head out to Aurora Village, about 30 minutes outside the city, to take pleasure in more clear skies with little man-made light. I’m likewise able to watch the aurora comfortably. The town includes a collection of 21 large teepees, each real estate an open fire as well as able to suit in between 6 and also 48 people.

Yet points are a little cozier in our teepee. I’m amongst the initial to appreciate the village’s brand-new signature experience – a private teepee for two (the “V.I. teepee” they’ve called it) where dishes are generated from the town’s restaurant (various other guests can eat in the dining establishment building before going out to their teepee for the aurora watching).

With the skies now dark, we head out and climb a little hill to offer us a breathtaking sight of the bordering countryside. It’s from right here we initially see the lights appear coming up and also slowly make their way over our heads.

It goes over, but not as stunning as one might anticipate for something that generates a lot of hype. After trying to snap a couple of pictures, I head back to the teepee to warm up and obtain a meal.

Soon after, I listen to a commotion from some of the other visitors outside. Stepping out of the teepee I see the lights have changed – they’ve come to be much brighter and are moving faster across the skies.

The “dancing” of the lights starts, as power noticeably pulses with the aurora creating an incredible display. At one factor the aurora swirls and also curls into such an unusual form that I feel like it will spell out a word in the sky.
Aurora in Yellowknife, Canada: The quickest means for Australians to get to the North Lights

” Magic” would be appropriate.

Five tips for watching the Aurora Borealis.
1. Find out how to utilize your camera appropriately. Recording the North Lights on cam can be tough as well as auto-settings typically will not function. Do some research on how to get that shot to prevent dissatisfaction (and also utilize a tripod). Personnel at the Aurora Village can assist you to set up your video camera properly.

2. Load or rent cozy garments. Winter in Canada is chilly. Really cool. Your Aussie ski equipment possibly will not suffice when you’re standing outside for hours in the middle of the evening. You can lease durable wintertime gear in Yellowknife.

3. Snooze throughout the day. The aurora appears at various times and that can indicate remaining awake for most of the night to obtain the best experience.

4. Consider the lights. Don’t spend your entire time browsing an electronic camera’s viewfinder attempting to get that excellent shot. Seek out as well as exist at the moment.

5. Do not surrender. Also if it’s gloomy or snowing, the weather in these areas can alter promptly – you might only require a couple of mins of clear sky to have your opportunity to see the lights.

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