Lake Eyre is a rare oasis in the harsh, South Australian outback. Spanning 9,500 square kilometres, 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. Soar higher than the flocks of birds. See the endless, still water or the salt creeping over. Enjoy the lake by boat. Venture into the water on a kayak, catamaran or small yacht. Explore the lake’s inlets and wide waters. Listen to the sounds of the wildlife and the water lapping at your boat.
Lake Eyre is part of Lake Eyre National Park, which has campgrounds for visitors. Halligan Point Campground provides real a bush camping experience, with no available 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 and 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 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, and the hotel serves delicious pub food. Enjoy a hearty meal and a roof over your head for the night.
Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) Country
Lake Eyre really is four-wheel drive country. While you can reach some parts 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 only.
You will need a four-wheel drive vehicle with a high ground clearance to travel around the area. Be well prepared, with extra fuel, food and water.