There’s nothing like discovering a vast stretch of water in the middle of the desert.
Lake Eyre is a rare oasis in the harsh, South Australian outback. Spanning 9,500 square kilometres (3368 square miles), it is technically the largest lake in Australia but rarely fills with water.
A giant salt pan
It’s a spectacle when it does. Like a mirage, water extends to the horizon and wildlife flocks to the area. When empty, the lake becomes a giant salt pan, with white crystals reflecting the sunlight.
By plane or boat
Experience Lake Eyre from a plane. Take off from a red earth runway at William Creek. Soar higher than the flocks of birds. See the endless, still water or the salt creeping over.
Lake Eyre is part of Lake Eyre National Park, which has campgrounds for visitors. Halligan Point Campground provides bush camping with no facilities. Outside the park, Mullorina Station has campgrounds with toilets and some facilities.
To camp in the park, you must have a Desert Parks Pass or a day entry permit. The Desert Parks Pass includes maps, information about the parks, Lake Eyre’s Aboriginal history and safety tips. Day entry permits for Lake Eyre National Park are available at the self-registration station on the road to Halligan Bay.
If you would prefer accommodation indoors, try the caravan parks at the nearby town of Marree or head to the William Creek Hotel. William Creek is the halfway point on the Oodnadatta Track. They serve delicious pub food. Enjoy a meal and a roof over your head for the night.
Four wheel drive (4WD) country
Lake Eyre really is four wheel drive (4WD) country. While you can reach some of the lake in a standard vehicle, it is not ideal. Many of the roads, including those in Lake Eyre National Park are for four wheel drive vehicles (4WD) only.
You will need a four wheel drive (4WD) with a high ground clearance to travel around the area. Be well prepared, with extra fuel, food and water.
Mobile phones do not work in most outback areas, so you will need a satellite phone or a high frequency (HF) radio. It is also a good idea to carry an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). If you don’t have a four wheel drive (4WD), you can still experience Lake Eyre on a guided tour.
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Book it in!
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