Find All Places
Find Camps & Caravan Parks
Check the Weather
Check Road Conditions
Find a Person
Find a Business
Find a Club
Advertise with Us
THERE'S MORE TO EXPLORE
Shopping Cart (
2009 Trip - Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills
Friday, Jun 26, 2009 at 21:06
Member - John and Val
Back To Index
Back to previous chapter - Canberra to William Creek
And so on to
, a tiny settlement with an annual rainfall of about 120mm. But there is an
, currently a busy hub for flights over Lake
. We counted 10 planes on the strip as we entered town. We checked with the charter that our booking for a flight tomorrow was all-OK. It was, so we checked into the campground and set up. There are 2 camping areas; you pay at the pub for either of them. Both campgrounds are very busy with travellers wanting a glimpse of Lake
with some water in it. So there was quite a queue for the welcome hot showers – provided you got to them before the generator went off.
We had to be up early the next morning to be at the Wrightsair office by 7.30 to pay for our flight. While we waited for our pilot we were entertained in the pilots lounge room by
beside a cosy fire, a welcome touch as it was quite chilly.
Leaving William Creek
Our pilot for our 2 hour flight was Peter who quickly had us settled into the 6-seater high wing Cessna. Our first destination was the Painted Hills, south of
on Anna Creek Station. This property is the largest cattle property in the world, about the size of Belgium. Currently, because it is so dry it only has fewer than 2000 cattle on it. It is all run by only 6 people. Although there is a network of station tracks, access to the Painted Hills is not permitted, so the only way to see them is from the air.
And in the clear early morning light what a beautiful sight they are, rounded remnants of an ancient landscape glowing yellow and
, with splashes of vivid white. They are spread over a large area so Peter took the plane down to 500 feet and banked it left and right ensuring that we all got a great view.
The Painted Hills
Then it was time to head north to Lake
crossing the desert with its fascinating colours and patterns of sand dunes, claypans and drainage lines. Eventually the silvery glare resolved into a definite “coastline” with blue water fringed by a margin of white salt. This blue quickly turned to brown as we flew over it. This current flooding filled the lake to about 45% capacity, and the water is already starting to dry up, leaving big shiny expanses of mud behind.
The water at its deepest is about 2m deep – the bed of the lake is 15m below sea level.
There were not many birds to be seen though we did fly over what had been a busy pelican rookery a few weeks ago. But we did see a fairly big flock of pelicans standing in very shallow water and some other smaller birds.
One unexpected sight was some clusters of small mound springs in the lake bed, each with its distinctive circular shape and halo of white salt.
Lake Eyre mound springs
While our flight only took us over the SW corner of the lake we were able to see east to Madigan Gulf which only had a smear of water blown there by the wind, and beyond that we could just make out the Goyder channel that connects to Lake
South. This was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to see this iconic lake with water in it, certainly something we will all remember for a long time.
Forward to next chapter - William Creek to Alice Springs
Attractions/Things to Do
Members Blog Index
2009 Trip - Canberra to William Creek
2009 Trip - William Creek to Alice Springs
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein
Back to Index
Submitting Blog comments on this entry has been limited to members of ExplorOz.com - see Members in the menu
Submit Your Comment
Go to top
RELATED SHOP ITEMS
The Outback Travellers Guide Ultimate Pack
Nomads Notes Travel Diary Software
Camping in Style
WA Caravan & Camper Trailer 50 Best Road Trips
Touring Trip Log
Camping Guide to Western Australia
A Woman's Look at Camping and Cooking
Marysville - Lake Eildon Adventure Map
4WD Days on the South Coast of Western Australia
Innamincka & Coongie Lakes
Camping Guide to Queensland
The Outback Travellers Guide Pack-Series 1
Camping Around Queensland
Best of Brisbane
Camping Around Australia - Paperback
Camping Around Tasmania
Suppress Ad - Members Only
Find us on Facebook
Combo Shovel $94.95
EVOLight LED Rechargeable $112.95
Mens Haze Walk Short
Mens Apollo Classic Plain Shirt
TAS Fish ID Card $9.50
VIC Fish ID Card $9.50
NT Fish ID Card $9.50
WA Fish ID Card $9.50
SA Fish ID Card $9.50
NSW Fish ID Card $9.50
Shop Home Page
Registration & Newsletters
Who's Online Now (1138)
Find a Person
Find a Business
Trips & Gatherings
ExplorOz Trek Notes
Stats & Legal:
Get Social with ExplorOz
Copyright © 1999 - 2013,
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd
All rights reserved.