With our photographer and guide co-ordinator Virgil Reglioni & Northern Norway.
Bringing our guests closer to the Northern lights since 2014, we get you onboard our “Aurora Hunt” activity, so you can see what is behind the preparation of a night out.
An hour before picking up our guests in town, we first do a thorough check of the environmental conditions forecasts. Aside from accessing the safety of the route and location, we look for the best place to go. We are trying to avoid strong winds and find to catch clear skies. The Northern lights appear over 80km above us, so if there is any activity, we’ll see it from any gaps across the whole region.
On this particular night, a lot of wind was predicted alongside the coast. So, we decided to go toward the inland area – more specifically toward Skibotn. Often, our destination changes during the night as the predictions are not always as accurate as we hope them to be. That leads to a frequent change of directions according to how the sky looks and where we have the best view.
We picked up our guests around 6PM, and after a short briefing about the upcoming evening, everyone already knew what to expect and was ready for the hunt.
On the way, they got all the information about the Northern lights, the science behind it, how to read the aurora, weather forecast, etc..
The Part That Everyone Is Waiting For
We arrived to our destination at ca. 8.00PM with a few stars poking through the clouds. Virgil then decided to stop to one of his little secret location. After a few minutes, we found that the sky completely cleared up. Our guests got to “gear up” with some warm clothes, ready for a cold night filled with excitement.
Away from the road and leaving the car behind, we went through the deep snow, and set up a little camp fire. Afterwards, we spent time helping our guests with their own cameras. This way, they are sure to be ready to capture their own photos during the whole evening.
We always love telling stories about the north and the arctic, and we always serve some delicious homemade hot chocolate and soup that our guests love.
About 20 minutes after we finished our delicious home-made vegan and gluten free meal, around 9.45PM, the here Northern lights activity became visible in the sky and gave us an incredible show. Our guests were cheering with excitement and feeling overwhelmed by what they were witnessing. This burst of incredible activity was one of the best we have witnessed in quite some time.
It lasted about 15 minutes with strong intensity and everyone was loving the show that filled the whole sky. Virgil ceased that moment to also take special portraits of our guests and help them with their camera if needed.
After the big show everyone was so happy and mesmerised by what they just saw above their heads.
The Way Home
We finished the evening with a delicious hot chocolate and home-made cookies around the warm fire with great laughs and smiles. Around 11.30PM, we left our location and drove back toward Tromsø. We spent all the way back talking about what we saw that night.
Arriving in town around 1.30AM, everyone was dropped off at their respective hotels. The guests will receive the activity photos the next morning, via email. These photo’s will remind them of the incredible night with the Northern lights we shared together. We hope that these joyous memories help them to realise, how delicate the Arctic wilderness is.
It was a night to remember, and it is always a great experience to bring travellers into the wilderness of Northern Norway.
Wandering Owl offers Aurora Hunts from September to April each year. Interested? You can see our availability here. If you are a photographer or interested in photography, you might be interested in learning about low light photography and Aurora photography before you join the activity. Wandering Owl offers online Aurora photography courses in partnership with Virgil.
This article was written by Northern Norway and photographs by our Virgil Reglioni.