While 60,000 scientists, astronomers and eclipse chasers flock to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef in northern Queensland to view a total solar eclipse today, Kiwis can also get a glimpse of the rare event when the moon crosses directly in front of the sun.
In New Zealand, Northlanders were expected to get the best view when it reached ``maximum coverage'' and the moon obscures 89 per cent of the sun at 10.25am in Whangarei.
Farther south the sun would be more visible and would appear as a slim crescent from Earth.
Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand spokesperson Haritina Mogosanu said New Zealanders would not experience the pitch blackness that Cairns would, but warned it would get ``darker and colder'' during the few minutes the moon covered the sun.
"Even if we have clouds it will still be weird ... It's going to be very cool.''
The Solar Saros 133, a series of eclipses which occur about every 18 years, was scheduled to begin in New Zealand at the North Cape at 9.12am with the moon first creeping over the sun's disc before being viewed from around the country. It was to end just before lunchtime.