Striking sunrise seen over Antarctica's Scott Base for first time in months

For the first time since late April, the Kiwis surviving winter down in Antarctica have finally seen the sun again.

It was only a brief glimpse at what's to come, appearing over the horizon for just over an hour on Sunday.

But for those who have lived in darkness for the past four months, it was spectacular.

"[The] last sunset and first sunrise are all pretty special to be part of," Scott Base's winter leader Jonny Harrison told Newshub.

"There is a rich history particularly around mid-winter, and we are all very fortunate to be a part of that history."

It was a long wait for the Kiwis overwintering - however not everyone was able to see it at once. They headed out in shifts so someone would always be on duty at Scott Base, with around half checking it out on Sunday and the others having to wait to see the next sunrise on Monday.

Staff told Newshub they were afraid they wouldn't get to see the sun itself, because when it first began lighting up, the bulk of the sun was hidden behind Mt Erebus.

Striking sunrise seen over Antarctica's Scott Base for first time in months
Photo credit: Josh Dobson / Supplied

"Everyone celebrated with hugs and a bit of dancing with the music on," Scott Base technician Sanil Lad said.

"It turned out to be a very special moment, realising a milestone we have all achieved - officially marking four months of darkness. [There's a] feeling of joy to get through winter."

While it was incredibly dark in the depths of winter, the horizon has gradually been growing lighter over the past few weeks.

With the first sunrise comes a return to normality. Days will be gradually be lengthening over the next few weeks until they reach more regular hours, with 12 hours of sun and 12 hours of night.

For most of summer, the sun will bring 24-hour days, never setting below the horizon.

The first flight to Scott Base in more than a month will also be arriving this week, bringing fresh food and mail for the 12 Kiwis who have been working over the winter.