It’s not often that a total solar eclipse is accessible to Australians, and the girls jumped at the opportunity to see one for themselves. Geography aside (it was only 2000 km away), it’s been a great journey and phenomenal experience. I’m so glad we made the effort!

Sunrise at Newell Beach ahead of the eclipse, November 2012
At sunrise, I carry the girls to the beach to wake up with the sun.

I was joking yesterday that there was so much room for parking, and the expected eclipse crowds hadn’t shown up. However from about 2 am, buses and cars streamed into Newell Beach to join us in our prime eclipse-watching location.

Delaney using eclipse glasses, November 2012
It doesn't take long for the girls to work out how to view the sun with the protection of our eclipse glasses.

Rainbow colours in the cloud, Solar Eclipse, Eastern Australia, November 2012
For a short while at the beginning of the eclipse, a rainbow aura was visible in the clouds around the sun. Whenever I see a rainbow, I feel blessed by the memory of Elijah's short yet powerful life.

Aisha and Brioni on the beach, Newell Beach, Solar Eclipse, November 2012
While waiting for the heavenly action, the girls play in the sand.

Rainbow Family members watching the solar eclipse, November 2012
The solar eclipse is quite a good show, as it takes almost two hours for the moon to transit over the face of the sun. I'm so glad we got to experience this as part of a group of good friends.

Rainbow Family members watching the solar eclipse, November 2012
The ladies chant "Om" as the darkness descends.

Total solar eclipse, November 2012
Absolutely amazing.

Running into the ocean during the solar eclipse, November 2012
When the eerie darkness covers the earth, I put the camera down and run into the ocean. Plunging underneath the water during the eclipse washes away the pain of the past and empowers me to embrace a bright future.

Total solar eclipse, November 2012
When the sun emerges again, it's to cheers and claps from the spectators along the beach.

There is so much more to explore in Far North Queensland, but we have a ferry to catch, at it leaves from over 4000 km away in less than four weeks! After a play and a swim and a tidy-up of the bus, we said goodbye to our friends and started our long drive south.

Rainbow over Innisfail, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Storm clouds also bring a rainbow into view.

First an eclipse, then a rainbow — I will remember this day for the rest of my life.