Southern Lights at Cape Schanck – Exploring the Beauty of the Mornington Peninsula

Did you know that you can see the Southern Lights at Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula? and its a thing! Why has that little gem passed us by…and did you know that Australis means Southern?

The Southern Lights, also known as the Aurora Australis, are a mesmerising natural phenomenon that is rarely seen outside the southern hemisphere. One of the best places to witness this incredible display of light is at Cape Schanck, located on the southern coast of Australia.

Cape Schanck is a rugged headland that offers panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. It is the southernmost point on the Mornington Peninsula and is home to a lighthouse that has been in operation since 1859. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a unique vantage point to observe the Aurora Australis.

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Photo taken by @rick_viola – Aurora Australis at Cape Schanck, Victoria taken on 24th April 2023

The Southern Lights occur when charged particles from the sun collide with gas molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a spectacular display of colourful lights. The colours are determined by the type of gas molecule that is being excited by the charged particles. For example, green and pink lights are produced by oxygen molecules, while blue and purple lights are created by nitrogen.

The best time to see the Southern Lights at Cape Schanck is during the winter months, from May to September. The colder temperatures and longer nights provide ideal conditions for the lights to be visible. However, the Aurora Australis is notoriously unpredictable, so there is no guarantee that you will see it during your visit. You need to pick a spot that looks directly out to the Southern Sky with uninterrupted views so the southern beaches of the Mornington Peninsula are perfect. A high vantage point is also a great spot and the perfect time is between 10pm and 2am (so pack your thermos and your torch). The night sky has to be clear an for some assistance check out the BOM Aurora Watch.

For some great info check out the video so you are super prepared.

Aside from the Southern Lights, Cape Schanck is also a popular destination for hiking, surfing, and wildlife watching. Visitors can explore the coastal trails, relax on the beaches, or spot seals and whales in the ocean.

Southern Lights at Rye, Blairgowrie or Flinders

The back beaches of Rye and Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia are popular spots for viewing the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis. These beaches are situated on the southern coast of the peninsula, facing the ocean, away from the light pollution of the city. The open and unobstructed views of the night sky provide the perfect conditions for stargazing and observing the southern lights. Other popular locations for viewing the southern lights on the Mornington Peninsula include Flinders Beach . However, it’s important to note that seeing the southern lights is dependent on a number of factors including solar activity, weather conditions, and clear visibility. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the Aurora Australis forecast and plan accordingly.

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Photo Taken by @rick_viola – a pink diffuse aurora taken from a backbeach in Rye, Victoria. Taken: 24/3/2022 9pm

Overall, witnessing the Southern Lights at Cape Schanck is an unforgettable experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. It is a unique opportunity to witness the power and beauty of nature and to appreciate the wonders of our planet.

Make a night of it..

How about making a night of it and after your solar storming adventure and capturing that perfect shot of the Aurora Australis, why not head to the Peninsula Hot Springs for some Moonlit Bathing? Yes that is right the Peninsula Hot Springs is open all night. You do have to be 18+ to attend between 11pm and 5am 7 nights a week.

Check out our Peninsula Hot Springs Packages

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Where to stay

Our Cape Schanck Accommodation

The best place to see the Southern Lights is in an area with no street lighting. You are more likely to see the Aurora at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse which is a short drive away. For the adventurous you would need to do some night walking down to Fingal beach (head torches as accessories) to get a clear view of the sky without any street lighting.

Bass Vista @ Cape Schanck

Bass Vista is a 4 bedroomed home that sleeps up to 10 guests with inbuilt trampoline in the garden for the kids and its pet friendly. What an adventure for the kids to go out at night in search of the Southern Lights.

Cape Schanck accommodation

Cape House @ Cape Schanck

Cape House is a 5 bedroomed home that sleeps 12 guests positioned with views of the golf course. It has its own gym and sauna and games room. Its moments to the Cape Schanck Lighthouse where you may see those Southern Lights.

Luxury Golf Retreat Mornington Peninsula and Cape Schanck Accommodation

Our Rye and Blairgowrie Back Beach Accommodation

Warrawee @ Blairgowrie

Warrawee is a 4 bedroom coastal retreat with swimspa and tennis court is moments to the back beach and an opportunity to capture the Southern Lights and a short distance to the Hot Springs afterwards or simply hop into your own heated spa.

Belini @ Rye

Positioned on the edge of the National Park and minutes to the open southern beaches Belini is a beautiful 3 bedroom retreat is the perfect base for some solar storming activity.

OBCR001 7HaySt Rye 127fire

Other accommodation for star gazing…

For more details on where to see the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) in Australia and around the world, check out the Space Tourism Guide.