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Wednesday's solar eclipse is creating some healthy competition for two of far north Queensland's biggest cities.

With scattered cloud and possible showers forecast for Cairns tomorrow morning, Townsville looks like the best place to be when the rare phenomenon takes place.

Over the last few weeks, local outlets have sold out of solar glasses while hotels along The Strand are virtually at capacity.

Weather bureau forecaster Pradeep Singh says the eclipse would take shape at 6:42 am (local time) in Townsville, when 96 per cent of the sun is covered by the moon, The Courier Mail reports.

"There are better conditions in the Townsville area than from Cairns to Cardwell as a trough forms and brings with it cloudy conditions and showers," he said.

"At the moment it doesn't look good for Cairns.

"People have spent a lot of money to come here and experience the perfect view, so they will be looking for better viewing conditions - which includes Townsville and places just north of Cairns," he said.

The eclipse is set to last almost three minutes short of two hours from 5:47am on Wednesday.

Tourism Queensland has booked a helicopter in order to capture footage of the event in case there is cloud blocking the view from the ground.

In Brisbane, 83 per cent of the sun will be blocked by the moon.


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