What’s green, yellow, and red, dances all night long, and ranks at the top of the travel bucket-list for many Australians? The mysterious aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, is a major draw-card for Aussie travellers to Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and for good reason. The magical phenomenon will move you to tears and render you speechless.
Visit between October and March for the best chance of catching this breathtaking lightshow. You can witness the spectacle from the comfort of a remote wilderness lodge, where you can sip on hot chocolate or soak in an outdoor hot tub while you experience this mind-blowing phenomenon. Or, for something a little different, consider these three unique ways to weave aurora viewing into an unforgettable winter wonderland experience.
Fat biking under the lights
Sitting directly under the aurora oval, the Northwest Territories is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis. Jump on a big-wheeled winter fat bike and make the most of the bike trails surrounding the capital city of Yellowknife. Pedal across snowy tracks through a landscape that seems drenched with vanilla ice cream. Feel the exhilaration as you cut through icy snow banks and skid across frozen lakes, propelled by the sheer force of the bulbous wheels. Only one thing can make this scene even more incredible. Pause, turn your eyes skyward, and be transfixed by the Northern Lights parading proudly overhead. It’s the ultimate back-drop for an incredible outdoor experience.
See the aurora as the prospectors did
Thousands of people travel to Yukon each year to soak up crystal-clear views of the magical Northern Lights that have been inspiring legends for generations. Get off the grid in one of Yukon’s remote wilderness lodges, where you can combine aurora viewing with a spot of ice-fishing or snowmobiling. Want more? Step back in time in a prospector-style wall tent, formerly used by gold seekers and trappers, just 20 minutes outside the capital city of Whitehorse. Marvel at the ribbons of colour blazing overhead in the night sky, then warm up inside over a wood-fired barrel stove, a mug of hot chocolate, and home-made maple syrup taffy.
Await the spectacle in a traditional tee-pee
Many cultural groups hold their own spiritual beliefs about the aurora borealis, involving everything from dragons to dancing souls. Some Inuit believe that the lights are the souls of the departed on their way to the afterlife, while others believe they are the souls of unborn children. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture as you witness the rippling, whirling spectacle at the Aurora Village in the Northwest Territories. Entirely Aboriginal-owned, you’ll gain a deep understanding of Aboriginal heritage as you feast on home-made soup, bannock, and delicious desserts, before relaxing in a traditional tee-pee to await the magical light show.