$700 taxi fare to see solar eclipse in Cairns
THREE hours in a taxi and a $700 fare might seem like great lengths to go to.
But when you need a ride to the astronomical event of a lifetime, great lengths are in order.
In an example of the economic boost brought to the region by the total solar eclipse on Wednesday, local cabbies have been called on to transport revellers from Cairns to the eclipse music festival at Palmer River, more than 200km north of Cairns.
"I think when you've flown all the way from your home country to see the solar eclipse in Cairns, another $700 to get to your destination is probably small cheese," Cairns Taxis' fleet services manager Chris Simmons said.
"The eclipse has been a nice little boost for us in what is traditionally a very quiet time," Mr Simmons said.
While the Palmer River festival rages on into the weekend, tourism operators closer to Cairns say the eclipse lived up to the boon it promised.
On Tuesday, Skyrail recorded its busiest November day since opening.
"We had numbers similar to the peak season in July and Christmas and the New Year. We had a fabulous day," general manager Stan Kielbaska said.
Tourism Queensland is hopeful the eclipse will be the gift from mother nature that keeps giving to the region.
TQ estimates coverage of the eclipse reached an audience of 35 million people in Europe alone, and was featured prominently in American news bulletins and newspapers.
Although the total solar eclipse lasted only two minutes on Wednesday morning, the effects of the crowd-drawing event can still be seen in the region.
The special edition of The Cairns Post sold out at many newsagencies throughout the Far North yesterday, and memorabilia such as eclipse calendars and T-shirts can now be found in shopfronts alongside the traditional reef and rainforest souvenirs.
Flights out of Cairns this weekend are crowded as visiting star-gazers make their way home. Online yesterday, Virgin and Jetstar had no spare seats to Brisbane until next week, and a Qantas flight to Brisbane cost at least $1200.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
On tour: Geoff Lovell (Brisbane) and Peter McKee (Sydney).