Amazing time-lapse video show total solar eclipse in AustraliaAFP

More than 60,000 people headed to beaches across north Queensland to witness the first total solar eclipse in the region for more than 1,300 years. SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Clouds in the area had threatened to ruin the view of the amazing natural phenomenon, but huge cheers erupted when the clouds parted to reveal the total eclipse that plunged the area into darkness.

Starting just after dawn, the eclipse cast its 150-kilometre (95-mile) shadow in Australia's Northern Territory, crossed the northeast tip of the country and was swooping east across the South Pacific, where no islands are in its direct path.

Totality lasted just over two minutes from 6.38am local time.

Amazing time-lapse video show total solar eclipse in AustraliaAFP/Getty

The stunning spectacle attracted thousands of eclipse tourists to Queensland with the state government estimating that 50,000 to 60,000 people made the trip.

According to the Daily Telegraph, they included three charter flights with 1,200 scientists from Japan, while six cruise ships were moored off the coast, hot air balloons dotted the skies, and people crammed on scuba diving boats and tour boats to get their pics.

One man, Hank Harper, 61, and his two children, flew all the way from Los Angeles just to see the eclipse, and thought the clouds would ruin their adventure.

The three of joined other tourists and staff from Hot Air Balloon Cairns, and held their breath for a great view.

He told the Daily Mail: "We gambled everything - drove through the rain and didn't even know if the balloon was going to go up. It was everything I could have hoped for."

Amazing time-lapse video show total solar eclipse in AustraliaAFP/Getty

Accommodation in the area was also solidly booked, from five-star hotels to campsites.

One tourist said: "It was absolutely nerve-wrecking right up until the last minute, and then Queensland delivered."

Another witness said: "Absolutely amazing, and then more. I think I just feel tiny. I feel like a little ant, insignificant. You know, you see the movement of the Earth, and it's just... wow."

And another onlooker said: "The oohs and the aahs, the tears and the cheers, it was absolutely everything we hoped it would be, so we're very happy."

An eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, which darkens the sky and causes temperatures to drop.

See the time-lapse footage of the eclipse over Queensland here:

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