Monday, June 14, 2010


There's big water in Lake Eyre, normally a vast below sea level salt pan, 144 x 77 Km. It's already being fed by the Georgina and Diamantina though the northern inflows. Cooper Creek is in flood and on its way and the punt's been kick-started where the creek has broken the Birdsville track.

"Lake Eyre is an extensive 'salt sink' which derives its mineralisation from the evaporation of floodwaters over countless years. During the last forty years or so the lake has seen many floods of varying sizes. Water from its three state catchment area covers the lake about once every eight years (on average), while the lake has only filled to capacity three times in the last 150 years.

Seasonal rainfalls attract waterbirds such as Australian Pelicans, Silver Gulls, Red-necked Avocets, Banded Stilts and Gull-billed Terns. There are a number of theories being put forward on what triggers the instinct for the birds to migrate to Lake Eyre, however no definitive answers are known. When the lake floods it becomes a breeding site for enormous numbers of waterbirds, especially species that appear to be tolerant of salinity"

Flying from Coober Pedy, then over William Creek (av population 12), the major base for flights to the Lake, we weren't the only ones on the pilgrimage east.

Here's the good map:

The route was over the lower end of Lake Eyre North, across Belt Bay, at 15 metres below sea level the lowest point in Australia, over Jackboot Bay and Madigan Gulf.

(Click on pics to enlarge)

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