10 Best Spots on Earth to Watch the Auroras

Stewart Island, New Zealand
Rugged Stewart Island is occasionally lit up by the aurora Australis. Mark Carwardine/Iconica/Getty Images

New Zealand's Southland is one of the locations supplying radar data to a global network that tracks auroral activity. (Tasmania is another one.) Stewart Island is part of Southland.

Stewart Island is also known as Rakiura, a Maori word meaning "glowing skies" -- a good omen, perhaps, or maybe just wishful thinking [source: Teara]. While the island is one of the best places outside Antarctica to see the aurora australis, chances are still rather slim, especially considering the area's reputation for rain [source: Stewart Island].

Still, a dark, clear night and excellent timing can do the trick.

Next, to South Georgia Island ...