Southern Lights by Flight
Witness the world's most remarkable natural light show. The Southern lights...also known as the Aurora Australis!
Join Aurora hunter and astrophysicist Dr Ian Griffin and a team of expert astronomers and fly into the night, to witness one of the world's most magical natural phenomena. Taking off from Christchurch Airport onboard an Air New Zealand Dreamliner, you will head south over the Southern Ocean towards Antarctica, aiming for latitudes of 62 degrees south where the Aurora Australis is brightest. Taking you far away from light pollution, high above the clouds and weather systems, you will see a magical and unforgettable display with uninterrupted view of the southern lights. Along the way you will see constellations, stars, and planets as you have never witnessed them before.
The timing of these Aurora flights are no coincidence! They coincide with the spring and autumn equinoxes which helps to maximise the chance the Aurora will be bright. Thanks to a phenomenon called the Russell McPherron effect, Auroras are known to be more frequent and brighter than usual in spring and autumn. Close to the equinoxes in March and September, the alignment of the interplanetary magnetic field and Earth's magnetic field is such that the two opposing fields can cancel each other out. This creates holes in Earth's magnetosphere through which particles from the solar wind can flow, giving rise to auroras when they interact with the atmosphere.
Day 1: Christchurch > Southern Lights > Christchurch Arrive in Christchurch in time to join your pre-flight programme (session options are 1pm - 3pm, or 3pm - 5pm. Your Aurora flight departs at 7.00pm.
Aboard your privately chartered state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner, you will experience unparalleled viewing of the magical Aurora Australis. Enjoy Full Air New Zealand service - including premium drinks, delicious meals, and access to full inflight entertainment when outside the Aurora zone.
The duration of the flight is approximately 10 hours, and the Aurora can typically be seen after about two and a half hours flying - it's an experience like no other. Viewing of the Aurora is an exciting experience, but it is important to note that there is a difference between viewing the Aurora with the naked eye versus what the camera captures. Striking images and videos of the Aurora that you may have seen are captured thanks to the extreme sensitivity of modern digital cameras. To help guests we will have a photographer onboard who can assist you in getting the best possible results. If you are an avid photographer or astronomer, we highly recommend you choose a premium seat or book a full row in economy to guarantee window access throughout the duration of the flight.
To ensure all guests enjoy a good view, a 'seat swap' plan is in place, allowing some movement to different sides/areas of the plain. If you opt for Business Premier Plus or have booked a block of 4 seats in economy, there is no requirement to swap seats.
Guests should be aware that once in the Aurora zone the cabin lights will be turned off to enable best viewing. Cabin crew will not be able to move through the cabins with their trolleys to serve drinks. However you can access these at any time by moving to one of the galley areas on the plane where cabin crew will be waiting and will have light so they can safely provide your beverage. Also note that onboard this special flight people will be moving around the different cabins as they interact with our astronomy team. This is a fun and exciting experience, please approach it with an open mind.
• Charter flight aiming for latitudes of 62 degrees south, aboard an Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner • Expert team of astronomers and a photographer onboard • Pre-flight mission at the International Antarctica Centre in Christchurch • Two full-service Air New Zealand meals plus in-flight snacks • Full bar service onboard
Pricing (per person) $NZD
26, 27 March
2, 3 April
24, 25 September
26, 27 March
Booking conditions • As departures are limited, bookings are subject to availability, and may be waitlisted
• A non-refundable deposit per person is due at the time of booking
• Departure dates are subject to final airline confirmation
• As this is a charter flight, a valid passport is required for check-in
• Should Government Covid-19 restrictions cause the cancellation or delay of your flight you may choose to either transfer to an alternative departure date, or receive a refund excluding a $75 administration fee.
• There is a very high chance, but no guarantee, of an aurora sighting. Passengers on previous flights have enjoyed between 4 to 6 hours of aurora viewing
• As departures are limited, bookings are subject to availability, and may be waitlisted • A non-refundable deposit per person is due at the time of booking • Departure dates are subject to final airline confirmation • As this is a charter flight, a valid passport is required for check-in • Should Government Covid-19 restrictions cause the cancellation or delay of your flight you may choose to either transfer to an alternative departure date, or receive a refund excluding a $75 administration fee. • There is a very high chance, but no guarantee, of an aurora sighting. Passengers on previous flights have enjoyed between 4 to 6 hours of aurora viewing
Not included • Flights to/from Christchurch to join the programme
• Flights to/from Christchurch to join the programme
Book a row of 4 seats in Economy Class Wing and save!
Book a row of four seats in Economy Class Wing and save $536 per person. Offer only applies to this category and is subject to availability.