Aurora Village, Yellowknife

January 31, 2012 by staff 

Aurora Village, Yellowknife, There are moments in the world of travel writing that require the word “magic,” and witnessing the aurora borealis is one of them. Iridescent yellow and green sweeps of light swirling in the cold midnight sky is, simply, unforgettable. The cost of travelling north, however, can put a damper on the moment.

To make it more affordable, sign up for seat-sale alerts with airlines that fly to the Northwest Territories capital. This includes First Air (, Canadian North (, Air Canada ( and WestJet ( Then find a hotel that suits your budget – search

“Anyone can see the lights; all it takes is patience,” says Julie Warnock of Northwest Territories Tourism. For a night of DIY viewing, she suggests packing a Thermos of hot chocolate and renting a car to get outside the city lights. (Pop into the Northern Frontier Visitor Association – – for directions to local viewing spots.)

Or you can sign up for a night-tour: Dene-run North Star Adventures ( offers an “Aurora Hunting” expedition for $55 in which a guide will drive you to favourite spots and share the aboriginal beliefs behind the phenomenon.

Warnock suggests planning to stay at least three or four days to increase your chances for clear skies. NWT Tourism calculates that there’s a 90- to 100-per-cent chance of seeing the display on clear nights between January and early April, thanks to Yellowknife’s flatter, less-cloud-covered terrain and its position under the “Aurora Oval” that encircles the North Magnetic Pole.

Local operators can show you unique ways to enjoy the Northern Lights – from the enclave of a wilderness lodge with Enodah Wilderness Travel (, or from heated tepees outside

Yellowknife with Aurora Village ( Companies such as Yellowknife Outdoor Adventures ( can offer airfare and hotel packages. Plus, local guides can keep you busy in the daylight with trips to the ice road, aboriginal beading workshops or dogsledding, as well as provide or rent the deep-cold gear needed to enjoy the winter waiting in comfort. A good investment!

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