Lake Mackay - NT



DEG: -21.998039 129.041595
DMS: 21º 59' 52.94" S 129º 02' 29.74" E
UTM: 52 K 7567390mN 504294mE
Altitude: 363.01m


Place Type

Geography - Lake,River,Creek


145.9kms North of Kintore
155.71kms NorthWest of Nirrippi
159.73kms NorthEast of Kiwirrkurra
438.34kms South of Lajamanu

Address & Contact

Lake Mackay
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


In May 1897, David Carnegie's southward line resulted in him missing Lake Mackay entirely. His observations of the area led him to speculate that a lake would be found in the vicinity but he never glimpsed its pristine, vast expanse.

"May 9th we left the well on a Southerly course, and were soon amongst the ridges, which continued for the next two days. The night of the 11th, having skirted a line of rough cliffs, we camped about three miles North of a very prominent single hill, which I named Mount Webb, after W. F. Webb, Esq., of Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire. As the sun rose that morning the mirage of a lake of apparently great size was visible for 90° of the horizon — that is, from East round to South. Neither from the cliffs that we skirted, nor from Mount Webb, was any lake visible, but it is more than probable that a large salt lake exists in this locality, possibly connecting, in a broken line, Lake White and Lake Macdonald."

David Carnegie; Spinifex and Sand Ch IV

In fact it was not until 1930 that the lake was sighted by Europeans for the first time and named after its discoverer Capt. Donald George Mackay (29-Jun-1870 – 17-Sept-1958). If driving north on the Kiwirrkurra-Balgo Road, the track reaches the southern shore of the lake about 30 kilometres from its eastern boundary. The track follows the lake shore around the south western corner of the lake and reaches a small boomerang shaped elbow which it follows and then continues west into the dune country leaving the salty expanse behind.
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Closest Weather Station

Walungurru (Kintore) at 05/02:00am CST
Distance from Lake Mackay 145.54km S
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Lake Mackay 145.54km S
Mean Max. °C40.438.835.833.327.423.223.326.631.635.737.438.0
Mean Min. °C26.426.023.920.815.410.710.412.316.720.723.224.6
Mean Rain mm29.132.458.01.717.410.318.65.910.019.818.742.6

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