Friday, 25 February 2011

Kati Thanda Lake Eyre

The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the largest internally draining systems in the world and the ecosystems it supports are varied and often unique. Spanning the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland the basin is said to cover about one sixth of the Australian continent.

For much of the time Lake Eyre itself is a dry salt pan but when the rains fall rivers such as the Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper Creek fill the lake and attract bird and wildlife from far and wide.

The Basin is culturally significant and has a long history of Aboriginal  and European settlement and use.  Sustainable management of its environmental, economic and cultural assets are extremely important. Known as Kati Thanda by the Arabana people the South Australian Government agreed to dual naming in late 2012.   

Our tours travel to Lake Eyre on the Oodnadatta Track and we often camp at Coward Springs which is an oasis in this often harsh desert landscape. The campground has a natural spa where you can enjoy a dip. It also has a heritage-listed railway site with a number of restored historic buildings which are interesting to visit.

Sunrise at Coward Springs is beautiful!

The best way to see the Lake is by taking a flight as you can only understand the scale and majestic nature of the Lake from above. It was truley an amazing experience although we were a little disappointed at the lack of birdlife. Our pilot explained that as there had been so much rain the birds had so many choices they weren't congreating in numbers on the lake.

We flew out of William Creek where the hotel is home to 3 permanent residents making this the smallest settlement in South Australia. They're a very friendly group and the pub is a great place to meet a range of interesting fellow travellers.

For more pictures of the area a great picture gallery from The Australian

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