Hoping to see the northern lights in Halifax, Nova Scotia? We have some tips and locations to help you on your search! The auroral oval covers most of Canada, so when the Aurora Borealis is strong enough, you can see them from Halifax. Check out some of our tips for best viewing the northern lights from the Halifax Region, and happy stargazing!
Some General Tips:
- Get out of downtown: City lights and smog block out a lot of the lights you might see in the night sky. If you can find places that aren’t lit with streetlights, you’ll have a better view of anything happening in the night sky.
- Go North: The closer you are to the Northern Hemisphere, the closer you’ll be to the northern lights.
- Look Low: The aurora borealis will be low on the northern horizon; so don’t look up! Look down!
- Get Up High: Now that you know the northern lights are low on the horizon, it should make sense that you’ll see more if you’re at a higher elevation. The tops of hills - especially if they are open fields - make great spots for viewing the northern lights.
Recommended locations in the Halifax Region:
Fisherman’s Cove: The wharf and walking trail, located on the Dartmouth side of the Halifax Harbour, are an excellent locations to view the Northern Lights. Sackville, Nova Scotia: There have been quire a few sightings of the Northern Lights in Sackville. Just see all the photos here! Peggy’s Cove: Because of its remote location and gorgeous scenery, Peggy’s Cove is a wonderful spot to capture incredible photographs of the Northern Lights. Just be careful to stay a safe distance from the ocean. MacDonald House at Lawrencetown Beach: Because of its elevation and distance from the city lights, the hill by MacDonald House at Lawrencetown Beach would be a smart spot to try for a view of the Northern Lights. Bonus: you can also take a romantic walk on the beach! York Redoubt National Historic Site of Canada: Located just outside the city, off Purcell’s Cover Road, York Redoubt is high on a hill with a large open field. It offers fantastic views of the harbour during the day and could offer a beautiful view of the Northern Lights at night. Waverley Road: Follow Waverley Road to escape the city lights and see a sprawling view of the night sky. There are places to pull off the road safely if you want to take photos. Laurie Park: If you know ahead of time that there is a possibility of a good Northern Lights show, why not book a campsite at Laurie Park? You can walk to the edge of the lake, set up camp chairs and enjoy the view for hours. Jeddore: There have been sightings of Northern Lights from Oyster Pond in Jeddore, just 50 minutes from downtown Halifax. If you’re looking for a chance to see that bight sky, why not go where others have seen it?!
Bonus: If you’re up for a longer drive, consider the following locations outside of the Halifax region.
- Tobeatic Wilderness Reserve: This wilderness area is just under two hours from downtown Halifax but can be well worth the drive for potentially seeing the northern lights! The Tobeatic Wilderness Reserve has the darkest skies in the province, an important factor to catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis.
- Kejimkujik National Park: Fairly close to the Tobeatic Wilderness Reserve, Keji is just over two hours from Halifax. One of Canada’s National Historic Sites, Keji is known for its old growth trees, warm water lakes and fantastic camping, but it’s also known for seeing the northern lights! This national park is a Dark Sky Preserve and draws many star gazing enthusiasts.
- Trout Point Lodge: Roughly three hours from downtown Halifax, this lodge has been gaining worldwide attention for its stargazing. In 2014 Trout Point Lodge received certification as the world’s first Starlight Hotel from the Starlight Foundation. They have an astronomer onsite to take guests on guided star and solar gazing tours from the Lodge’s best vantage points. The guide will alert guests of northern light displays.
Get inspired with photos of Northern Lights taken throughout Nova Scotia! We can’t guarantee you will see the Aurora Borealis, but fortune favours the bold. Get out there and explore!