An expert guide to exploring Australia’s largest lake.
Located in the South Australian outback, Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre is a trifecta – it is the lowest natural mainland point of Australia, has a mammoth salt lake and, on the rare occasion that it fills, is the largest lake in the country.
Every 10 years or so, the lake is filled with rainfall from Queensland and the Northern Territory – it has filled to capacity only three times over the last 150 years!
This is understandable as the rainfall embarks on a 1000-kilometre journey to reach the lake!
Due to the Queensland floods in January, water began to appear throughout March, and brought with it waves of tourists.
Once water appears, the lake becomes a major hub for breeding among waterbirds and is an amazing sight for nature and animal lovers!
Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre is more than 600 kilometres from Adelaide, but is well worth the drive! For those without much 4WD experience, the roads can cater to typical 2WD vehicles provided it hasn’t rained.
With flights departing from William Creek, we cannot recommend enough that you view the lake from above. This allows for an aerial view of the enormity of the lake – it covers one sixth of the country’s land mass! The incredible colours and patterns are on full display, regardless of the water levels.
When to go
As temperatures soar to 50 degrees Celsius in the summertime, we would highly recommend avoiding camping. While you can visit the lake during the warmer months, the best times to visit are between May and September.
Campers and caravanners, there are a few options for accommodation near the lake. Coward Springs Campground caters to 4WDs and campervans, Marree’s Oasis Caravan Park will be popular amount our van lifers and Cabins and Drovers Run Tourist Park is great for those wishing to stay inside a cabin.
William Creek surrounds Anna Creek Station (the largest cattle station in the world), Simpson Desert and is the nearest town to Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre.
Pictured is Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre. Image courtesy of iStock: R.H. Koning.