Astrotourism is the latest out-of-this-world travel trend

Were you a fan of the phenomenal Aurora Australis that graced our skies last May? Astrotourism is a new travel trend so you can explore space without leaving Earth!

Feature Image via Rhett Gill

Were you a fan of the phenomenal Aurora Australis that graced our skies last May? Well, there’s a new travel trend so you can explore space without leaving Earth!

Astrotourism is the trendiest form of space travel, without actually having to go to space (luckily you don’t have to be an astronaut to enjoy the astonishing beauty of outer space). Instead, Astrotourism is the idea of travelling somewhere to stargaze or to observe celestial events.

If you got a taste for the outstanding beauty of space when the rare and stunning Aurora Australis filled South Aussie skies, this may be the perfect way to plan your next holiday.

Aurora Australis in West Beach captured by Alex Frayne

We were captivated by the celestial spectacles earlier this year, but there’s more to look forward to. Come August, get ready for the Perseid meteor shower. This annual event is a stunning scattering of up to 60 shooting stars per hour. This is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s the perfect excuse to travel and soak in some summer weather while you’re at it.

Scandinavia is the ultimate hotspot to experience the wonders of the cosmos in the form of the Northern Lights. The clear skies of the north make it the dream destination for those seeking the Auroras. To see the Perseid meteor shower, clear skies that are dark and away from light pollution make for ideal conditions. Places like remote Colorado and California in the US are frequently travelled for such events.

In mid-September on the 17th, Saturn will converge with the moon. This will be repeated on October 14th and 15th, and then on November 11th and December 8th. This spectacle will be visible to unaided eyes shortly after sunset. To make the silvery lunar glow and giant yellow planet appear even more impressive, binoculars could always be a useful tool.

As we know with the Auroras, they are much harder to track down and spot. But, nights around the new moon are better than bright full-moon nights. So, with enough practice, you might just be in luck once again. As a rule of thumb, the further north or south makes for the best locations to see these space spectacles.

With any luck, the southern portions of New Zealand and the bottom of Tasmania make for pretty good spots to see the Auroras. But, the further away from light pollution the better, so cruises are fantastic ways to take the non-traditional approach to exploring the world and what’s beyond.

For thrill-seekers, flights direct from cities across Australia to Antarctica, to see the Southern Lights, are the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As a much more refined option, for those who want to tick the beautiful lights of the aurora off their bucket list, every now and again, flights from Adelaide to Antarctica pop up. In a ten-hour return trip, depart from Adelaide after dark, and head straight for Antarctica. Then, enjoy the scenery as the plane weaves around in search of the lights. These flights don’t happen direct from Adelaide very often, but run from the Eastern states more frequently.

Astrotourism is the perfect excuse to explore the world. By letting space guide you, you may just see things and places you may have never experienced otherwise. For those seeking a bit of adventure and wanting to get in touch with nature, Astrotourism might just be your new thing!

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