Lonely Planet Writer

The most spectacular places to see the solar eclipse

A solar eclipse will be visible across some parts of Australia and south-east Asia on Wednesday morning, as the moon passes in front of the sun creating four minutes of totality in parts of the Pacific Ocean.

An eclipse will occur in Asia Pacific on Wednesday
An eclipse will occur in Asia Pacific on Wednesday Image by Shutterstock

A solar eclipse  can only happen during a new moon – when the dark side of the moon is facing earth. The best places to witness the eclipse include:

The eclipse will make landfall in South Sumatra
The eclipse will make landfall in South Sumatra Image by Muhammad Suhada

South Sumatra

The Indonesian island of Sumatra is one of the places where the eclipse is said to be most visible from just after 7am local time, with a total eclipse coming at 7.20am.

Best place to go to see it?   Gunung Dempo is a dormant volcano and the highest (3159m) of the peaks surrounding the Pasemah Highlands that dominates the provincial capital of Palembang.

Borneo is second in line  for the skies to darken
Borneo is second in line for the skies to darken Image by Matt Munro

Borneo
The largest of Asia’s islands with its spectacular rainforests will be second in line to see the eclipse when the skies go dark, for approximately two minutes 38 seconds.
Best place to see it? Amongst the orangutans in Tanjung Putin National Park.

Sulawesi coastline is perfect for eclipse watching
Sulawesi coastline is perfect for eclipse watching Image by Glenn Goris

Sulawesi

The not much visited Southeast Sulawesi, is a paradise for those with a passion for coral reefs and off-grid travel. The expected time for the eclipse to pass here is two minutes, 52 seconds.  But cloud cover is at 60 per cent in March.
Best places to see it? Wakatobi Marine National Park, located in the remote Tukangbesi Islands  off the southern tip.

Togean is famed for golden-beaches
Togean is famed for golden-beaches Image by Shutterstock

Togean Islands
Lonely Planet says it takes determination to get to these islands, but once you do arrive, it is worth it.  Relax and watch the eclipse from one of the many hammocks around the island.  The cloud coverage here is minimal so a good place to witness the eclipse for a time of two minutes and 17 seconds.
Best place to see it? Take your pick from any number of remote beaches.

Manila has many vantage points for the eclipse
Manila has many vantage points for the eclipse Image by Marco Antonio Gallico

Manila, the Philippines

The eclipse will only be observed as partial solar eclipse in the Philippines.  It will start at 7:51am in Manila and relatively good weather is expected.

Best place to see it: Fort Santiago. An oasis of lovely manicured gardens, plazas and fountains in this modern metropolis.

The eclipse will be visible in Darwin
The eclipse will be visible in Darwin Image by Michael Heffernan

Darwin, Australia

Described by Lonely Planet as Australia’s tropical capital, Darwin is closer to Bali than Bondi.   A partial eclipse will be visible from 10.17am in the north and west of Australia.

Best place to see it: The famous national parks of  Kakadu   and Litchfield a few hours drive from Darwin.

Beachfront neighborhoods will be popular for eclipse watching
Beachfront neighborhoods will be popular for eclipse watching Image by Shutterstock

Honolulu, Hawaii

The final destination of the eclipse will be Honolulu where thousands are expected to see the eclipse on March 8th at the local time of 4.33 pm.  The eclipse ends at 6:33 p.m., just a few minutes before the sun sets.

Best place to see it: It has to be at one at a beach side bar doesn’t it?