When the sun disappears on Wednesday morning, don't be alarmed - Oamaru will be experiencing a solar eclipse.
Optometrists are reminding people to protect their eyes when they watch the natural phenomenon.
Between 9.30 and 11.45am on Wednesday, the sun will disappear almost completely behind the moon.
Solar Eclipses only occur when the orbit of the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. It's such a rare incident that the next time Oamaru will get to see a solar eclipse is 2025.
Dave Roberts, optometrist at Visique Oamaru Optometrists, reminds people not to let their eagerness to witness this event damage their eyesight.
"You should never look at the sun without the correct filters," he said.
"This is really important during a solar eclipse, the sun might be disappearing but you'll still be able to see its powerful rays. Standard sunglasses simply won't cut the mustard."
One way to safely view the eclipse is to use a magnifier to focus the sun on to a surface and view the eclipse indirectly. Another way is by using specially designed glasses, a few pairs of which are still available at Visique Oamaru Optometrists.
These protective eye glasses are specially designed for direct viewing of the sun.
The special black polymer filters give a sharp distinct image of the sun while filtering 100 per cent of UV rays and infrared rays as well as 99.99 per cent of the light intensity, said Mr Roberts.
Visique Oamaru Optometrists has also donated pairs of these protective glasses to children at Oamaru Intermediate School, Waitaki Boys' High School and Fenwick Primary School.
Mr Roberts also presented a vision and learning seminar to 250 children at these schools so that they could learn all about how the eye works, how to protect it and how their eyes help them learn.
"Over exposure can lead to eye conditions such as cataracts or pterygiums and eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration," he said.