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Eclipse 2012 Festival

Home > Far North Queensland > Adventure | Camping | Cultural Events | Festivals | Music |
by Katy Holliday (subscribe)
A freelance property, lifestyle and travel writer based in the picturesque Sunshine Coast Hinterland. See more of my work at
Event: -
A Total Solar Eclipse of the Heart
Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse 1999. Photo: Luc Viatour /

This November, we have a very special event coming to Far North Queensland, Eclipse 2012, a festival held near the Palmer River Roadhouse. The Palmer River region is hosting a week-long music and arts event dedicated to this special, perhaps once in a lifetime viewing of the total solar eclipse. From November 10th to the 16th come and celebrate this rare spectacle. The moon will pass between the sun and earth early in the morning of the 14th of November, fully obscuring the sun and darkening the earth.

Where is Palmer River, you may ask? Head north of Cairns for a few good hours drive on the Mulligan Highway, in the direction of Cooktown. This remote location was picked for its good weather and its reputation for clear skies, but largely chosen for its position on the centre of the shadow path. The duration of totality here will offer between 1-2 minutes of viewing time from 06:37 to 06:39 am. That's a whole lot of eclipse love, right there.

The festival grounds are usually home to an expansive cattle station. This rightfully conjures images of a dry and barren land. But no need to worry, it comes equipped with a large natural swimming hole to cool off in on those long, sweltering afternoons and there are ample camping spots available under the shade of a few (coolabah) trees. The Traditional Owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, will be welcoming us at the opening ceremony and will continue to have a strong involvement throughout the duration of the festival.

Palmer River
swimming hole at site

Let's get to the nitty-gritty. The line up lists the likes of Felix daCat, Tetrameth, Fat Freddys Drop and a massive mix of others I know nothing about which generally means they must be cool. DJ's from Japan, Denmark, Israel, Brazil and Ibiza will hit the stages to frenzy the peeps. See the full listing here. On top of this, the arts program boasts an international, national and local line up of artists showcasing and performing their works. You can expect circus, dance, exotic fire-twirlers, indigenous art, painting, installations and a list that goes on and on. Check out more here. There will even be a book launch. This is a family friendly festival too and there will be a whole program just for the kiddies. Children under 15 are free!

Festival of art
Artist's the Grey's will be there launching their new book

This festival will rival Rainbow Serpent, but included in the package is the chance to share with thousands of others a sacred moment enjoying the wonder of this natural phenomenon, from a most excellent vantage point. Just remember to get your hands on a pair of protective eclipse glasses to shield your eyes. You can get your hands on them through IceInSpace for a mere four bucks a pop. People from all over the world are travelling to this remote and special location to witness a truly spectacular and definitely once in a lifetime event, Eclipse 2012. Hit the website for more information on booking tickets, packages and to get the full line-up.
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Why? Witness a natural phenomenon while shakin' ya wild thing to some psychedelic tunes.
When: November 10 - 16
Where: Near the Palmer River Roadhouse, Far North Queensland
Cost: $350 to $500 for a weekly pass. Children under 15 free. No day passes.
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