Traditionally named Kati Chanda – Lake Eyre is located in South Australia just south of the Simpson Desert. The lake is 1 140 000 square kilometres and it’s drainage basin extends all the way up to central Queensland, covering over 15% of the continent. The lake is divided by the Goyer Channel into a Northern and Southern lake, the lowest point being 15.2 metres below sea level. That is the lowest natural point in Australia. The maximum depth of Lake Eyre South however is just 3.7 metres deep, making it one of the more unique geological features of Australia.
The Lake has been an important site for Aboriginal people for thousands of years. The lake is considered an important cultural site to the aboriginal / first nations people and because of the significance of this lake to them they are involved in its management and preservation.
In 1985 the Lake Eyre National Park was established. In 1967 Elliot Price of Muloorina Station donated the Elliot Price Conservation Area. This area is currently inaccessible to the public, but can be seen from the air. The whole conservation are and surrounding areas are absolutely magnificent to view from the air and it is an experience that is said to be remembered.
An early breakfast and coffee at the Archerfield Jet Base is a refreshing start to a big first day! After departure watch the Great Dividing Range give way to the western plains and out to Moree for a re-fuel and pit-stop. Then it’s off to Cobar for lunch and a quick local tour of the town. The late afternoon flight into Borken Hill is beautiful and we can start to see the changing desert landscapes. In Broken Hill, we will enjoy a fantastic meal and get to see the Palace Hotel’s artworks and hear some local stories.
- Archerfield – Breakfast coffee and departure briefing
- Moree – Refuel and pit-stop
- Cobar – Lunch and local Tour
- Broken Hill – Hearty meal and rest
The second day is when we will see our first glimpse of Lake Eyre! But not until the late afternoon when it is in the best light. This also gives us a relaxing start to the day after the longer distances flown the day before. So we start the day with breakfast and a special tour of Broken Hill from a local. We will then set off to Leigh Creek where we will get some coffee and cake. The last flight is spectacular, as we watch the setting sun over the eastern part of Lake Eyre! After this breath-taking experience, we travel to the isolated William Creek, an outpost in the very far outback os South Australia. At the William Creek Hotel, we enjoy dinner and some stories from the locals before retiring early.
- Broken Hill – Breakfast and local tours
- Leigh Creek – Coffee Cake and Pit-stop
- William Creek – Sunset flight over Lake Eyre and dinner
An early start gives us a spectacular early-moring view of Lake Eyre! So after a hearty breakfast, we leave William Creek to see the Lake once again, traveling up the west side of the Lake and up the Channels that feed it to the north. We have received reports from guides that we know on the gorund this week (July 31st) that Goyder Lagoon and the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes is where all the water is! We will be flying up these channels and exploring the waterways where we know the best conditions are. This flight over the vast majority of the lake takes us to the northern ends of Lake Eyre before turning back south and flying along the Eastern regions back towards Innamincka.
- William Creek – Breakfast and early morning flight over Lake Eyre
- Goyder Lagoon – Live reports of incredible water conditions
- Innamincka – Afternoon nature tour and possible boat cruise (if the water conditions are suitable)
Day 4 takes us back to Brisbane in one long push. We depart after a brief morning activity with the locals and a hearty breakfast, tracing across the empty expanses flying eastwards over red earth. First stop – Cunnamulla. Then to St George. And then back home to Archerfield Airport.
- Innamincka – Breakfast, and depart
- Cunnamulla – Short tour, coffee and cake
- St George – Lunch and stretching the legs with a short walk
- Archerfield – Back home!