Finding The Northern Lights

by Zach & Kaitlan Bostock

Finding The Northern Lights

Adventure-loving couple Zach and Kaitlan - who recently jetted off to Europe on their once-in-a-lifetime trip, have found the next incredible location to tick off their travel bucket list: seeing the Northern Lights. Watch their video and read their journal entry below as they chase this epic experience before the season was over and the summer sun set in.


It's a dream for most people, but those who do not live above the arctic circle don't often get the chance to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). As it was one of our big bucket list items we decided to kick off our Europe trip in Norway and make our way above the arctic circle so that we would have the best chance to see the Northern Lights before the season was over. From April the summer sun starts to set in with it setting later in the evening. As this happens your chances of seeing the Aurora is less likely as there is more light in the sky. So we packed all our winter gear, rugged up and headed north in hope that we would see the sky dance away.

Location: Tromsø, Steinsvika Archeological Site

Best Time Of Night To View: From sunset until sunrise

Most Common Time Of Year: September to early April

How Best To See Them:

To be able to see the Aurora there are many variables that need to line up to see the best dance you'll ever see. First up there needs to be a clear sky. They say if you can see the stars that's a good start. The Aurora happens as a result of a collision between gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere with these changing particles released from the sun's atmosphere. The most common colour is green, however you can also see pink or hints of yellow, purple, blue or red. These depend on how active the Aurora is, the different gasses in the atmosphere and the different layers but that's best left to the experts.

The picturesque Tromsø

The picturesque Tromsø. (Image courtesy of Zach & Kaitlan Bostock)

Search For The Northern Lights With Us:

We arrived in Tromsø in the late afternoon, dropped off our bags to our accommodation, layered up, had a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant Graffis, before jumping on a tour that took us out of town about an hour away to the Steinsvika Archeological Site. The bus parked up here for the next five hours. By jumping on a tour it gives you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights especially if you don't have your own transport. The guides are very knowledgeable as they either study the Auroras or know the local spots that are ideal for your best chance of viewing the lights. It also gets you away from the city. As the city produces lots of light pollution it can be harder to see the Aurora as it doesn't contrast with the sky. The darker and clearer the sky is, the better.

The dance of the Aurora Borealis begins
The dance of the Aurora Borealis begins

The dance of the Aurora Borealis begins. (Images courtesy of Zach & Kaitlan Bostock)

As the sun was starting to set later we had to wait longer for it to go down. As it was nearly dark the Northern Lights came out to show off their glory. It danced away and got brighter as the sun went down. From about just before 10pm until 11:30pm it was in full force and not only visible to the eye but the photos look out of this world! It's a hard phenomenon to describe. While it's viewable by the human eye the colours sure pop on the camera. If you are taking a camera, don't forget a tripod as this will give you the best photos with minimum movement. The guides will also be able to assist with your settings but make sure that you can adjust your ISO, shutter speed and aperture to find the best settings for the night conditions you encounter.

The phases over the course of the night. (Images courtesy of Zach & Kaitlan Bostock)

So now that we've checked off the Northern Lights the first thing on the bucket list when we get back home to Australia is seeing the Southern Lights. We'll be sure to be packing all our winter gear again and maybe next time bring some friends along for the ride.

Awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis
Awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis

Awe-inspiring. (Images courtesy of Zach & Kaitlan Bostock)

The Northern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights has truly been one of our greatest experiences. (Image courtesy of Zach & Kaitlan Bostock)

What We Had In Our Backpacks

  • Water
  • Hot Drinks
  • Snacks
  • Extra Layers
  • Warm Blanket
  • Camera
  • Patience!

What We Were Wearing


  • Thermal Base Layer
  • Softshell Pants
  • Woollen Socks
  • Hiking Boots


  • Thermal Base Layer
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Down Jacket
  • Windproof Jacket


  • Beanie
  • Buff
  • Woollen Gloves

Video & Photo Credits

All video and imagery supplied by Zach & Kaitlan Bostock




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