Eclipse revellers in Far North Queensland sun dance
ECLIPSE Festival revellers have struck it lucky with weather experts saying Palmer River, west of Cooktown, will be one of the best places to view the total solar eclipse in its entirety tomorrow morning.
But for the rest of us, performing a sun dance to make the clouds disperse, may be the best hope we have of seeing the eclipse, which happens about 6.38am tomorrow.
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Weather bureau forecaster Bill O'Connor said towns northwest of Mareeba would be the ideal spot to see the astronomical event because of scattered cloud and morning showers forecast for Cairns.
Mr O'Connor said south of Cairns, the Daintree and Cape Tribulation would also be more prone to cloud and showers tomorrow. "To see the eclipse in its entirety, I would say the best places would be northwest of Mareeba. There won't be as much cloud there," he said.
"All the people up at Palmer River there, they are at an ideal spot."
However, Mr O'Connor said there may be hope for skygazers gathering at the northern beaches, with some breaks in the cloud. Cairns police Sgt Cary Coolican said several lookouts along the coast including Kuranda Range and Rex lookouts would be closed and police would monitor crowd numbers at several vantage points.
At Palmer River, the week-long Eclipse Festival has attracted more than 10,000 people. There are an estimated 60,000 eclipse-chasers, scientists and tourists converging on the Far North this week.
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Ready: Alex Fies, Lisa Ludwig and Raphi Vogt doing a sun dance at the Esplanade. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS