Total solar eclipse in Australia

Cairns's first total eclipse since 710AD

Backpacking and travelling is all about seeing some weird and wonderful things in life. That's why if you're currently in Australia you should check out Cairns's first total eclipse since 710AD; it's set to be a spectacular sight. And don't worry, if you're not in Australia you can watch the event live here on!

In Australia, the eclipse will take place early tomorrow morning at 05:45. However, in the UK, thanks to the 10-hour time difference between the two countries, the moon begins to cover the sun at 19:45 tonight. The total phase of the eclipse, when the sun's disc is completely blocked out, will be around 20:38.

Tens of thousands of people have already gathered in northern Australia in the hope of glimpsing a rare total solar eclipse. Apparently there will even be one or two pagan weddings at the time of totality (where the sun is completely blocked out).

Terry Cuttle, of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, told the Herald Sun some eclipse chasers were moving inland in the hope of finding a clear view of one of the "most spectacular events in nature."

He said, "But even if there is scattered cloud it will still make for a very dramatic effect down here on the coast."

Video streaming by Ustream

The eclipse is expected to plunge parts of Queensland into darkness for just over two minutes on Wednesday morning.

However, onlookers fear cloudy weather will dash their chances of seeing the phenomenon.

A partial eclipse would be visible from other parts of the region, including New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

It's the first time that a total solar eclipse has occurred in region since 710AD. The next one will appear in 2237, so if you're in the area it's recommend you see it!

So gappers, who's waking up early in the morning to see this one?

If you're heading to Australia on your gap year then head over to our Australia country page for more advice and information.