You don’t have to be a Twi-hard to experience your own Breaking Dawn. In nine months to the day Tropical North Queensland will be the only place in the world to experience the earth’s total solar eclipse.
When dawn breaks across Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef on November 14, the early bird call will be replaced by an eerie silence. The temperature will drop as the moon passes across the sun, plunging the tropics into darkness.
It may only last for two minutes but 40,000 visitors are expected to flock to the region for this celestial experience.
Beginning at 6:37am in Darwin, the solar eclipse shadow will sweep across the Gulf of Carpenteria and Cape York, before the central line crosses directly over Port Douglas’s Oak Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea at 6:39am.
The eclipse will be visible from Innisfail to Cooktown and inland to the Atherton Tablelands, with the best vantage points stretching across Cairns, Port Douglas and Mossman.
A series of major events are set to coincide with the eclipse, including a marathon and family-oriented event at Port Douglas, an indigenous festival at a yet-to-be announced venue and a six-day electronic music and lifestyle festival about three hours northwest of Cairns.
The Solar Eclipse Marathon in Port Douglas will see 2000 runners meeting before sunrise at 5.35am on Four Mile Beach to start their 42km run as soon as the corona is broken by the sun re-emerging from behind the moon.
For more information about Solar Eclipse 2012 go to www.eclipse2012.org.au
Looking for more heavenly holidays?
Go on an astronomical journey at the Cosmos Centre in Charleville. Ooh and aah over the incredible beauty of the Milky Way Galaxy through powerful telescopes as you look up at the spectacularly clear outback sky.
There are a lot of bush yarns in Outback Queensland, but the people of Boulia reckon the pick of the bunch are the ones about the mysterious Min Min Light. To preserve the history and myths, the Min Min Encounter Complex is a theatrical experience, introducing you to characters like Gunna and Bluey who have ‘seen the light’.
Experience the dazzling natural phenomenon of the summer solstice in the Capricorn Caves each December and early January. Due to the alignment of the sun over the Tropic of Capricorn, brilliant direct sunlight penetrates the darkness of the Belfry Cave at midday creating a mirror ball effect.
Go stargazing at the Maidenwell Astronomical Observatory, east of the Bunya Mountains. With no light pollution from streetlights to interfere, the night sky lights up with stars, moon, planets and constellations, viewed clear and crisp in the observatory’s telescopes.