It’s hard to find the words to describe the Southern Lights by Flight – it is such a unique bucket list trip!
How long has it been since you last flew? It had been 21 months since I was last on a plane, the longest time in my adult life – and this flight was the perfect way to do something amazing with very minimal risk. Not having to worry about border closures affecting the flight, as I wasn’t leaving my home state, was also a huge relief.
Because the flight leaves in the evening, the Airport wasn’t busy and getting through security was very smooth. There’s no need to check-in in the departure hall, you just head straight to the gate where Chimu Adventures are waiting. The set-up at the gate is exclusively for Southern Lights by Flight passengers, which is nice.
First, you get your temp checked and are certified safe to fly, then you check in with Chimu and get your keepsake lanyard. Next up is check in with Qantas where you get both boarding passes for the flight – one for the first half and the other for the seat swap mid-flight. There’s a professional photographer available pre-flight and get your camera ready and also an opportunity to get a souvenir Passport stamp. Then you’re free to take selfies with the plane cut out or grab a quick meal and drink while you wait to board. The whole process was fun and seamless.
You board by rows from the back of the plane to the front and everybody is on board quickly, raring to go.
The excitement bubbled over when the Lead Astronomer onboard the aircraft announced they could already see the Southern Lights ahead of us! This was way ahead of schedule, we were only 2 hours out of Sydney! I nearly jumped out of my seat, I was so happy. We were mid-dinner service when the announcement came through, so we happily hurried to get the meals packed away in preparation for seeing the lights.
With the naked eye, a wispy pale green mist lay before us. The lights appeared mystical and eerie at first, almost like an illusion. On the camera, the lights shone so bright and gave so much joy. It was very comforting to know we had a professional photographer on board, just in case we didn’t manage to get the perfect shot. This really allowed you to enjoy the viewing. As we got deeper into the Aurora zone, the lights danced around us, changing shape before our very eyes. The plane moved with the lights, shifting directions to allow both sides to see the magic. We even had the lights completely surrounding us for some of the flight. The Milky Way and Jupiter made an appearance, as did a million sparkling stars. Seeing the night sky from above the clouds is a phenomenal experience.
We chased the dancing lights for four or five hours, in awe of the green and red hues in the sky, before sadly saying goodbye. The flight back to Sydney was quiet, the adrenaline wearing off, letting us fully appreciate what we had just been a part of.
My second favourite part, after seeing that first glimpse of the lights, was sitting in seat D (the middle section of the plane) and just taking in the buzzing atmosphere. With a happy soul and many wonderful memories, this trip will always hold a special place in my heart.
Contact me at [email protected] if you’d like to know more about how this trip operates or want to book your seat!
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