New Zealanders are being offered unusual light shows - natural and unnatural.

Stargazers are celebrating the most spectacular natural aurora seen in years over the South Island and Wellington on Sunday night, just as Auckland's Eden Park lights up with a multi-coloured light display.

Otago Museum director Dr Ian Griffin tweeted: "I am officially saying this night was the best night ever as an aurora chaser in Dunedin. It gets no better."

Christchurch stargazer Graham Fisher said: "We don't normally see the aurora with a full moon, as the sky is so bright. Tonight's was stunning, appearing while the sun was still setting, and with overhead beams at times. What a night!"

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Meanwhile, Eden Park has unveiled coloured lighting of its main stadium, supplied by Philips Lighting, that will change to support various charities and events such as Daffodil Day and the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage.

Eden Park's lighting will change to mark events such as Daffodil Day and Suffrage Day. Photo / Supplied
Eden Park's lighting will change to mark events such as Daffodil Day and Suffrage Day. Photo / Supplied

Griffin, who migrated to Dunedin from Britain five years ago, said he had seen the Northern Lights in Britain but had never seen any aurora as dramatic as the one he saw from Hoopers Inlet on Otago Peninsula at 7.20pm on Sunday.

"We were very, very privileged to see it," he said.

He said auroras were formed when storms on the sun sent out charged particles which lit up as they collided with particles in the Earth's atmosphere.

"Normally they are thought of kilometres south of New Zealand, but this was such a powerful solar storm that it created an aurora that was visible over much of New Zealand up to Wellington," he said.

"One this bright we haven't seen since the St Patrick's Day aurora in 2015, so at least three years. This one was pretty spectacular."

The aurora as seen from near Christchurch on Sunday night. Photo / Graham and Amanda Fisher
The aurora as seen from near Christchurch on Sunday night. Photo / Graham and Amanda Fisher

He said solar storms sometimes lasted for several days but this one was decaying rapidly.

"There's a small chance we might see it tonight, but it seems to be fading away," he said. "It's also a bit cloudier tonight."