Aurora Solaris – The sunset version of northern lights

Aurora Solaris – The sunset version of northern lights

At the end of 2012 I ventured off on a walkabout through the Australian bush, chasing the solar eclipse, black opals and the mysterious Wollemi pine. The landscapes of Australia are truly out of this world – and so are the sunsets.

Aurora sunset lights

This is an incredible sunset at Wollemi National Park, and it’s probably one of the most epic sunsets I’ve seen. It looked like an Aurora Solaris – the sunset version of northern lights, with fiery beams of light circling all over the sky.

No artificial colours were added to this picture. It’s 100% real.

Aurora sunset lights, Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia.
Sunset @ Newnes campground, Wollemi National Park.

Wollemi National Park

Wollemi National Park is a vast wilderness area north of the Blue Mountains. It’s less than 200 kilometres from Sydney, but apart from a few areas near Bilpin, Mount Tomah and Newnes, it’s largely inaccessible.

The park is also home to one of the most prehistoric trees in the world. The legendary Wollemi Pine, dating back to the era when the first trees sprouted on the face of the Earth. It has survived in the park’s hidden corners and secluded spots since the time of dinosaurs.

A fascinating tree that is worth a story of its own. 😉

Wollemi pine, New South Wales, Australia.
A Wollemi pine at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah.

The bulky Protea flower

Another striking plant you can find in Wollemi National Park is the Protea flower. Originally native to South Africa, these beautiful flowers are now widely spread across the Southern Hemisphere. The Wollemi variety is part of the Proteaceae family, an ancient flower group. They are closely related to the indigenous Australian waratah and banksia, and even the macademia nut.

All of these come with huge bulky intricate flowers, producing pretty seedpods & bushnuts that are truly works of art.

Protea flower, Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia.

@ Where have you seen the most incredible sunsets? (or northern lights?) Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for sharing.

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Northern lights above Helgafell, Snæfellsnes, Iceland.
Aurora Borealis – similar shaped northern lights @ Snæfellsnes peninsula, Iceland.

More to explore & discover

The opal fields of Lightning Ridge – The mesmerizing draw of luminous stone

Solar eclipse – A mind-blowing experience

Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Ode to the mountains – The magic of Mount Taranaki

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

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First published: 13 March 2017

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