Central Australia - accessing Lake Eyre on flood

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 02, 2012 at 23:52
ThreadID: 91625 Views:2687 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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I am guessing that Lake Eyre will be full after the recent weather events - especially with flood warnings for the Barcoo - Coopers Creek. I have never seen these parts, and would love to see the rare event of water out there. I have 2 weeks off in April and wondering where the best access point would be - Innaminka, Oodnadatta or William Creek?

I have to do the run out from Port Macquarie with a Prado and most likely a Caravan that would handle the better gravel roads if I need to - I recall my father in law making it to the Dig Tree with a similar setup - but it's not an off roader. I'm prepared to drop it somewhere and do the last leg under canvas.

Has anyone got any advice? Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 03, 2012 at 08:07

Friday, Feb 03, 2012 at 08:07
Hi Bryce

Sorry to disappoint you but the simple answer will be "NO"

The rain in Queensland even at its present state will have little or no effect in the water levels on Lake Eyre. To Fill this great inland sump, we need mega falls of rain like we had back in the early 1970's.

Even with 2 very wet years of 2010 and 2011, it was still very far from ever filling, but yes there were large volumes of water reaching Lake Eyre.

Sorry I know this is not what you want to hear.


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Reply By: Member - Lachy T - Friday, Feb 03, 2012 at 10:01

Friday, Feb 03, 2012 at 10:01
We were out there in July 2011, flood waters from the QLD floods were only just reaching the area after 6 months. We took the rodeo from Birdsville down the track to Maree and then out to Level Post Bay.

Birdsville track was more like the Pacific Highway, even better in places. Road out to the camp site 50km from the the Marree intersection was fine, didn't need 4x4 or ground clearance for any of it. The road out to the lake is 50km from the camp site, on private property, it's corrugated and rough, but doable, just take it easy. Once we were out at the lake we had to walk about 3km across the surface to reach anything that looked like water, and this was after the water had 6 months to flow down.

Long story short: yes you'd make it in your prado with the van, just take it easy, but I wouldn't get your hopes up about the water in the lake, especially since the Cooper Creek ferry has been taken out of service for the year (I think, no-one abuse me if I'm wrong)


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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 11:49

Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 11:49
Hi Bryce, the floods are coming, just look at the map below. The headwaters of the Cooper and Diamantina are at high levels but will take 6 months to reach the lake so if you take a flight over in August you're bound to join throngs of others all enjoyong the scene. This is the third year in a row and with the Cooper still primed with water they'll be puting the punt into operation again by June.
Some of us are waiting for a dry "wet" season so we can see the lake as a salt pan!!
In 2009 we did an easy day trip from Marree to Level Post Bay at 200km return. No water visible but a fun day out. Took the flight with Wrightsair too....WImage Could Not Be Found

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Reply By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 12:55

Saturday, Feb 04, 2012 at 12:55
In April you will probably see water in the Cooper at the Dig Tree and also maybe at Innamincka but by then it would probably have not gone any where near the Birdsville track and lake Eyre. At Innamincka you would be still around 700 kms to see Lake Eyre at your nearest point probably Muloorinna.

AnswerID: 476840

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 00:05

Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 at 00:05
I'm expecting there will be little or no water in Lake Eyre this year. We're simply not getting any flow into it at present. It is almost dry - less than 15% coverage. Compare it to this time last year: Wrightsair photos

If you want to stay informed, then check out these sites:
Lake Eyre Yacht Club
SA desert parks bulletin
Wrights Air

But it will be a great year for desert travel, after the past few wet years.
AnswerID: 476911

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