2024 is the best year in 20 years for viewing the Northern Lights. Here’s where to see them

Northern Lights, Norway
Northern Lights, Norway

You have a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights in 2024 than during the two decades that preceded it. Visit these destinations to improve your odds even further

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is undoubtedly one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles. The breathtaking display of green, red and purple swirls dancing in the sky is caused by the interaction between the solar wind (a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun) and gases in the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere. Oxygen typically produces green or red light, while nitrogen can produce blue or purple light​​​​​​​​, and during periods of high solar activity, such as during the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, the frequency and intensity of these auroras can increase, making them visible even at lower latitudes​. 

That peak of solar activity – the solar maximum – is happening right now, with 2024 slated as the best year in two decades odds-wise for viewing this natural phenomenon. 

It’s no surprise, then, that travel booking site Expedia’s Northern Lights Insider Guide reveals that over half of Australians (57 per cent) are dreaming of aurora chasing this year, and that this travel goal eclipses other bucket-list experiences as the most sought-after adventure. 

But where exactly to see the dazzling light show? Whether from the majestic fjords of Norway or the ethereal landscapes of Iceland, the following beautiful destinations each offer prime viewing locations from which to witness the wonder of the Northern Lights. 




Known as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” Tromsø remains the ultimate Northern Lights hotspot, with Expedia reporting there was a 40 per cent increase in searches for the destination in 2023. Ideal spots in Tromsø include Parkgata street and Prestvannet Lake for their dark and serene environments, while the surrounding areas of Grøtfjord and Kattfjordvatnet also provide beautiful backdrops for aurora viewing. 


Known for its Arctic skiing, Narvik offers great Northern Lights viewing from Narvikfjellet and Langstranda beach. You can also join guided tours to Efjord and Stetind for a different perspective​​.


Often called the ‘City of Northern Lights’, Alta provides almost 200 days of aurora visibility per year. Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge and Flatmoen Natur Lodges are popular accommodations offering excellent viewing opportunities​​.



Located in Manitoba, Churchill is one of the top spots in Canada for Northern Lights viewing, with the destination boasting a 280 per cent increase in hotel searches last year. Churchill’s remote location and clear skies make it an ideal destination for aurora chasers, while Jasper and Yukon are also trending, with a 65 per cent increase in searches year-on-year.


This Alberta national park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve, offering spectacular views of the Northern Lights away from light pollution.


The vast, sparsely populated territory provides numerous spots for unobstructed views of the auroras, with Whitehorse, Dawson City, and Kluane National Park being popular choices.


United States


Alaska, particularly Fairbanks, continues to be popular among Australians, with over a 100 per cent increase in searches year-on-year. Fairbanks is a prime location due to its position under the “Auroral Oval,” where Northern Lights activity is concentrated. Other good spots include Denali National Park and the town of Nome. 



Rovaniemi in Lapland, known as the “official” home of Santa Claus, offers a magical backdrop for Northern Lights viewing, with numerous tours and activities centered around the auroras.



The small village of Kálfafell in southeast Iceland offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an excellent spot for viewing the Northern Lights. Other popular locations in Iceland include Thingvellir National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

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