Chasing the Aurora Australis

Oh Southern Lights where forth art thou?  Come out and show thy pretty shades of purple and green.  Glow and radiate and beam.  Show thyself to me.

I’ve become an avid Aurora Australis chaser.  Living out in the wilds of Tasmania under The Great Western Tiers at 41°South, way beyond the town and city lights;  I live in a prime spot to view this reclusive radiant gleams and glow of light.  The Aurora Australis is the Southern Hemisphere’s answer to the Aurora Borealis.

Did you know that there is an Aurora Service on the internet?  There is.  From this I’ve learnt about the Kp index which measures the solar flares and winds and complicated things like that.  What I understand, for a simple soul like me, is that if the Kp is around 4 or more I’m likely to see some sort of Aurora action. The maximum Kp is 9.  The Aurora Australis being visible also depends on how waxed or waned the moon is and what the cloud cover is doing.

Still with me?

Since becoming a devoted follower of this Glittery Lady of the Night I’ve managed to see her emerge, but dimly, on two occasions (both times the Kp has been 4).  She shows a beautiful glow just above Mother Cummings Peak.  Tonight is one such time.  There she is.  I can’t show you a photograph because I’ve taken none.  A phone camera doesn’t cut it.  What I have in my memory is a beautiful celestial glow.  A silhouette of mountains, beams of light that flicker and move, a softness and loveliness in the blackest ink of night.  With the most glorious, most milky of Milky Ways twinkling in the foreground.  So vast.  So huge.  So how small am I.  It’s below freezing but I could easily lie out in the paddock and drink it all in for hours.

This place we call home has its challenges but this magnificent sight makes those challenges melt away.  Come on Old Girl, make that Kp index 6 or 7 and really show me your stuff!  I live in watchful hope.

Sunday, yesterday, was our longest run before Adelaide Marathon.  32kms.  We set off from the farm, down muddy lanes, through the easement that lies between Paul’s farm and the next and out onto country roads that only the locals use.  Around Caveside, Needles,  Dairy Plains, Western Creek, Red Hills, Cheshunt and Montana we ran.  We live on the doorstep of beautiful country; the perfect place to run.

We’re going on a long run, it’s going to be a slow one. We’re not scared.  Squelchy squelchy mud.  We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it. We’ll have to go through it!

A lovely mud pack for our Brooks running shoes.  Tiffany’s blue looks most becoming with pooy mud I think.


Yesterday by day rainbows and snow clouds.  By night the Aurora Australis.

Western Creek

Snow clouds gathering.  It was cold yesterday.


Finally going down the driveway to the farmhouse and there are the three new Jersey Bulls.  Huey, Dewey and Louie.  They have attitude those three!

And there we are.  Two old runners with Mother Cummings Peak in the background.  We can look at this Peak from the farm house.  We can see the Southern Lights over it by night AND we can run a wonderful course and take in views of The Great Western Tiers and see the Peak from different perspectives along the way.

Life is better in running shoes.

Happy running 🙂

PS This weekend is Run Melbourne AND Blondie Daughter #1’s Engagement Party the night before AND I’m taking my aged parents (hello Mum and Dad) over Bass Strait for the occasion.  I’m taking my Dad to the football too.  Wish me luck!

21 thoughts on “Chasing the Aurora Australis

    1. Thanks CJ ☺ we are really fortunate. I’ve got the whole thing sussed. I get annoyed when the Kp is high and the weather or moon conditions aren’t good. Last night was magic xxx

  1. OOOO – so jealous! I was up north last weekend when the Northern Lights were supposed to be spectacular. I missed it by one night. After I arrived, the skies clouded over. I was told that the night before had been amazing. I was soooo disappointed 😦
    How lucky for you thought that you don’t have to travel far out of the city lights!!

    Hope you have a great weekend – it sounds like you will have your hands full!!

    1. I would be disappointed too. I’ve become calculated in my viewing now. If the weather is good I’ll look at the Aurora Service and see what those solar thing-a-mes are doing, but if the weather is cloudly or the moon too bright I forget it. I’ll see it one day.

  2. So many great things happening! Good luck with the engagement party and taking the parents. How fabulous that you saw the magical ‘southern lights’. I have seen the northern lights quite often growing up on a farm in Canada. So amazing.
    You two are amazing at taking everything as it comes, even 32 Kim’s of mud!

    1. Thanks Sue 🙂 I wish I’d been more in tune with the Aurora when you were all here. I’ve got it all sussed now! Should be a fun weekend although as I type this comment (lunch time on Thursday) it’s looking very much like snow right now. Hopefully all will go ok and we get to Melbourne tomorrow.

      1. Good luck Annie. I hope the snow stays away. Perhaps we will have to return one day now that you have the aurora figured out. 🙂

  3. What a great descriptive post of where you live and where you run! The lights look amazing in pics and you get to see them from your house! We searched every night while in Tas but had no luck at seeing them. I love the line life is better in running shoes – so true! What a big weekend you have planned, hopefully we can meet up somewhere but I completely understand if it’s not possible! Enjoy

    1. Thanks Debbie 🙂 I’ve looked for the lights so many times for years and never seen them. I watched a video that was more like a tutorial on how to see the Aurora with the naked eye, that’s been helpful along with understanding when it’s likely to show. I’ll see it in all its glory one day. I hope we can catch up too. I’m on a day off today and have just stopped getting jobs done, but the weather is terrible, it’s looking like snow! I’ll send you a pm x

  4. Hey Annie!

    Nice running in all that mud!

    I know there will be big crowds, but I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for you at Run Melbourne!

    All the best for your daughters engagement party, I hope it’s a wonderful night!

    And keep up the good work with your training for Adelaide 🙂

    Happy running


    Megan 🙂

  5. I find your clear starlit skies magical but I didn’t realise you could see the Southern Lights too – something else for me to look out for next time I’m over!

  6. Coming from Canada I have seen the Northern lights from time to time. Last December I did spend the month in New Zealand visiting my daughter. And spent a few days in Mt. Cook National Park. No aurora, but boy the night sky there sure was spectacular.

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