Aurora Australis & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere

When I got home from work on Tuesday, Greg told me that the Aurora Watch pages he keeps an eye on were talking about a significant event that we might be able to see from Christchurch. Greg kept checking the pages through the evening and by about 8.30 we were convinced that it was worth abandoning the comfort of the sofa and heading out into the frost to see if we could catch an aurora.

We went straight to a spot on Lake Ellesmere that we’d scoped out during a daytime walk in the summer as a potential spot for starscape photos, it also happens to point Southish so we were betting it’d be good for Aurora too. There was low fog in patches on the drive there, and more coming in across the lake once we’d walked down to our South facing point. The moon was out, the Milky Way looked amazing, and there was a subtle greenish smudge on the horizon that I thought might be the aurora.

Greg set up the tripod while I got the camera ready. I used the moon to focus on, then spun the camera around to frame the view and waited breathlessly for the first 30 second exposure to complete to see if it looked as amazing as we were hoping…. The constantly shifting pinks & greens of the aurora were amazing, and the milky way was simply glorious.

It was such a special experience, out there in the frozen night with the silence being broken periodically by the resident black swans calling out. A truly special event to see and a privilege to capture.

Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere Christchurch New Zealand Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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