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Auroras, Stars & Sea Sparkles: The Channel After Dark

The hidden coves and peaceful beaches of the Channel offer some enchanting spots to gaze up after dark. We are fortunate is Tasmania to bear witness many of natures wonders, in particular, the incredible light shows of the Aurora Australis, Bioluminescence (also known as sea sparkle) and the Milky Way.

Away from the bright lights of the city, the night sky puts on a spectacular show, especially on a clear night. While we can’t predict the aurora australis, bioluminescence and clear nights, we certainly have a few locations we can recommend you visit when night falls.

1. Taroona Beach

Taroona Beach is about a 20-minute drive south from Hobart and is popular amongst photographers looking to capture the magic of the Aurora Australis or the magnificent milky way. This popular family hangout spot is peaceful after dark, with waves gently lapping at the shore.

Image: @aaronchingaling/Instagram

2. Blackmans Bay

The rocky coastline around Blackmans Bay Beach is interesting enough to explore during the day, but at night the sandstone rock formations and the dazzling Milky Way are a match made in heaven! Nearby, Fossil Cove is a magical spot to visit after dark – gaze at the stars through the rocky archway, there are all kinds of fun compositions you can find.

Image: @mattdavis_insta/Instagram

3. Howden

Near the boat ramp at Howden is a favourite spot for Aurora chasers. If you get really lucky, you might just witness the magic of bioluminescence – watch in awe as bursts of electric blue appear in the water! The bright glow is caused by billions of single-celled algae or plant plankton called Noctiluca scintillans (commonly known as sea sparkle) flashing when disturbed by waves or currents. Make sure you look south for an opportunity to catch the elusive Aurora Australis.

Image: @aaronchingaling/Instagram

4. Tinderbox

The Tinderbox Hills Track is awesome for wildlife enthusiasts, as the bush comes alive with the activity of all sorts of native animals after dark. You never know who you might meet! If the sky is clear and the Milky Way is on glorious display above the treetops, even better.

Image: @mattdavis_insta/Instagram

5. Snug Falls

Another forest track that comes alive after dark is the walk to Snug Falls (please do take care if you’re walking in the dark). You’ve probably seen the popular waterfall during the day, but under the stars it’s a whole different kind of captivating.

Image: @mattdavis_insta/Instagram

6. Coningham Beach

The adorable boat sheds at peaceful Coningham Beach look super cute under the starry night sky. You can even gaze across the water towards kunanyi / Mt Wellington, standing watch in the background.

Image: @ringhole/Instagram

7. Kettering

Trial Bay at Kettering is far enough away from the bright city lights that you can nab some breathtaking photos of the Aurora and Milky Way. Capture the dancing beams and the green and purple glow reflected in the water for bonus enchantment power!

Image: @aaronchingaling/Instagram

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

Header Image: Coningham Beach Boathouses featuring MONA’s Spectra | Matt Davis

Related posts:

Our Guide: Tasmania’s Southern Edge

6 Stunning Walks on Bruny Island

19 Things to do this Summer in Southern Tasmania

Beyond Hobart: Our Guide for Exploring Southern Tasmania

Our Guide: Beaches of Southern Tasmania


This post originally featured on Southern Trove Tasmania

For more great events in southern Tasmania, be sure to visit our Events page.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

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We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their enduring custodianship of lutruwita / Tasmania. We honour 40,000 years of uninterrupted care, protection and belonging to these islands, before the invasion and colonisation of European settlement.

As a destination that welcomes visitors to these lands, we acknowledge our responsibility to represent to our visitors, Tasmania’s deep and complex history, fully, respectfully and truthfully.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people who continue to care for this country today. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. We honour their stories, songs, art, and culture, and their aspirations for the future of their people and these lands. We respectfully ask that tourism be a part of that future.

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