Australia is such an amazing continent with lots to offer. Some of the natural wonders you will be amazed by if you choose to set off on this journey are definitely places such as Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef, The Horizontal Falls, Fraser Island and many others. But Lake Eyre holds a special place among the Australian wonders of nature. It is special because this phenomenon is ephemeral – it only happens from time to time.
Majestic Lake Eyre
Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest salt lake located in the heart of South Australia. The basin of the lake is huge and dry for most of the time. It is also the lowest point in Australia, with 15.2 metres below sea level. The phenomenon of filling the lakebed with water happens every 8 years approximately, but the lakebed has been filled up to its full capacity only 3 times over the past 150 years! Amazing, right?! Rivers that make up the water of the lake flow all the way from South Australia, NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory and together they create this unique spectacle. The Lake Eyre Basin covers an amazing one-seventh of the whole continent.
Once upon a time, this lake was the heart of a lush wetlands area. Before the harsh desert climate took over, 100,000 years ago, the lake was brimming with megafaunas such as fish, turtles, forests, grasslands and even an early species of flamingo. Unfortunately, the centre dried out and the whole vegetation and fauna slowly disappeared. Only the toughest had survived. It is not known for sure when the first Aboriginal people inhabited this area, but it is estimated between 10,000 and 35,000 years ago. By then, the lake had already been dried out.
This rare sensation attracts lots of tourists from all over the world, not just from Australia. If you decide to embark upon this adventure, you’ll need a four-wheel vehicle to get to the lake. It is essential to prepare well for the journey, and check the information on the availability of roads and tracks. There are some campgrounds nearby, with limited facilities. The Arabana, indigenous people of South Australia, treat this lake in a special manner: they don’t like when people walk in the lake. And if they do anyway, they must stay 100 metres within shoreline. Vehicles of no kind are allowed in the lake. This magnificent sight is best observed from the air and tourists can experience it from a birds-eye perspective on many charter flights that are available. People who were a part of this spectacle describe the water as clear, pure and see-through with different shades of pink and red, white and blue, where the reflection of the clear sky blends with the lake in the horizon. If you make a resolution to visit this fabulous, maybe once in a lifetime display, we are sure you will instantly fall in love with this place and Australia generally. And if this happens, be sure to hire the best immigration solicitors in Sydney to help you make your dream come true!
When the lake fills with water, the whole surrounding area that’s usually arid – flourishes in life. Different bird species such as pelicans, silver gulls, red-necked avocets, swans, ducks, banded stilts and gull-billed turns can be seen dwelling on Lake Eyre. Only the most resistant ones survive. One example is the Lake Eyre dragon – a tiny reptile that has developed abilities to withstand the heat and prevent the sun glare and salt from getting into its eyes by adapting its eyelashes! It feeds on ants and insects and it can burrow into the ground to get away from the unbearable heat. Besides the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom blooms. Not far away from the lake edges, there are sand dunes, acacias and cane grass – all giving this usually barren land the colours of life.
What Mecca is to Muslims, Lake Eyre is to Aussies
What exactly about this lake fascinates people? Some people believe it is something unexplainable, innate to Australians. When the first people came to Australia, they had to survive in new and harsh conditions previously unknown to them and precisely this experience shaped their character into strong, independent, tough people, prone to adventures. People connect this historical background to their cultural identity and this is why journey to Lake Eyre represents a kind of pilgrimage for them. It is a journey where they blend with Australia and find inner peace.
If Australia’s flooded jewel isn’t on your bucket list yet, make sure to add it without any doubts and you won’t be sorry. This whole experience can help you grow and learn something new, enrich your soul, connect with your roots as well as self.