First look as the spectacular Lake Eyre fills up and the outback comes to life!

It only happens a few times every century, but Lake Eyre is filling fast, as these early pictures show. The ABC

It only happens a few times every century, but Lake Eyre is filling fast, as these early pictures show.

The ABC reports that recent rainfall in South Australia’s far north is already turning the dry and dusty plains green with vegetation, and it is a sight to behold.

The Bureau of Meteorology has flood watch alerts in place and parts of the Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks are closed.

While there is a common perception that Australia’s largest lake floods every year, it is actually extremely rare for it to fill right up. Marree Hotel publican Phil Turner said the last time Lake Eyre filled up was in 1974. However, the lake bed did receive 100 per cent coverage in the 2009 to 2010 deluge, according to the ABC.

“Since that flooding in 2009, whenever there has been water around, there has been a lot of attention, particularly media attention, in Lake Eyre,” Mr Turner said. “If there was water in it all the time, it would just be another lake, but because the rain is few and far between it’s got this sort of mystery or unique occurrence about it.”

The lake is officially known as as Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, combining the indigenous name with its colonial name, which is in honour of Edward John Eyre, who was the first European to see it, in 1840.

For many Aussies, this rare sight is firmly on the bucket list – will you make the pilgrimage? Flights over the lake in bloom cost around $1000 dollars.

Would you like to see Lake Eyre when it fills? Is this on your bucket list?


  1. Oh how wonderful, yesterday Libbi Elliot put up a link showing Ularu in the rain waterfalls were running down it, it was just as Beautiful as Lake Eyre when it has water in it

  2. marlene Sanders  

    this is on my bucket list! The problem is that travel in Australia is generally double what it costs to go overseas. But yes, I want to see it in flood.

  3. I’m sure it happens more than twice in a century

  4. The thing I love about Lake Eyre when it fill is the birds, they come in huge flocks and a truly a wondrous sight to behold. Pelicans in large flocks go there to breed, how they know when that lake is filled so far from the sea is a mystery to me

    • Pelicans are actually fresh water birds. It is only because of the droughts that they have migrated and adapted to salt water

    • When I went I was disappointed as there were none, they had all gone to one of the other lakes nearby that had also filled and all the twitchers at the pub were working out if they could get there as access was private roads only.

  5. Didn’t some eminent climatologist tell us a few years ago that we weren’t going to get any more worthwhile rain 🙂

    • we are in an El Nino Year it is flooding all over the world at the moment, I just hope Australia does not flood again

    • Well, given that the entire centre of Australia was once many feet under water, I think we have a way to go…

    • No doubt about it. Questions are: when did it ever stop changing; and why does it change?

  6. I’m fortunate to have seen it when it was full and yes the bird life was amazing, I was very young and on holiday with my family at the time.

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