Why You Should See Lake Eyre, Australia’s Largest Salt Lake

Why You Should See Lake Eyre, Australia’s Largest Salt Lake

Located in the northern part of Southern Australia, Lake Eyre is an area of significant geological interest to scientists and travellers alike.

It is the focus of the famous Australian drainage system, a stretch of over of 440,000 square miles. Also noteworthy is that at 15m below sea level, the bed of Lake Eyre is the lowest natural point in Australia.

The lake region also has a rich cultural history linked to the Arabana people who have lived in the area for thousands of years. In 2012 Lake Eyre officially became “Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre” in order to combine the indigenous name of the region, “Kati Thanda,” with the early European pioneer who first charted the area, “Edward John Eyre.”

Lake Eyre is the Largest Lake in Australia

During the dry season, Lake Eyre is one of the most desolate landscapes in Australia, but during a rainy season, the lake fills and often becomes home to roughly six million birds. The lake’s salt content is approximately ten times more salty than sea water and double the density of the Dead Sea. However, the Lake Eyre's extraordinary pink hue is most notable characteristic, which attracts photographers, tourists, and adventure travellers.

Large amounts of rain across lower Australia in 2016 has led to flooding in the area, which has subsequently contributed to an overall rising of water levels in the surrounding rivers and creeks. This increase in precipitation has revived the ecology of the area, which has also increased the number of wetland mammals and birds. It is noted that whether the increase in rain continues or not will, there has already been a significant enough amount of water to replace and support the region, allowing the local wildlife to flourish. This change in vegetation will continue to reinvigorate the ecosystem, allowing for continued growth of plant and animal life.

Best time to see Lake Eyre

Because the increase in rain has significantly accelerated growth in the area, there is often unseasonably verdant vegetation and more wildlife activity. As a result, visitors are encouraged to visit Lake Eyre earlier in the season than when the lake basin is dry.

Tours can be an ideal way for travelers to appreciate the majesty of this beautiful landscape. Most people familiar with the area say the best place to view the lake from land is from the perspective of Halligan Bay, so this is a popular spot for land tours. Also, after the lake fills from rain, boat and kayak tours also become popular. However, the best way to appreciate the expansive terrain is by air. Helicopter and airplane tours are a popular and affordable option for anyone wanting to enjoy a unique view of this beautiful location. In fact, there are many tour options for travelers wanting to explore the area by air, particularly when the lake is flooded and full of vegetation. Kirkhope Aviation’s 1 and 2 day air tours to Lake Eyre give you maximum time on the ground and in the air, to capture the beauty and magnificent scenery in the region. Three and 4 day air tours to Lake Eyre incorporate a true ‘Taste of the Outback’, visiting Innamincka, Cooper Creek, Birdsville, Lake Eyre and Arkaroola on the three day air tour, with the addition of Mungo National Park, Dig Tree, Parachilna & Brachina Gorge on the 4 day Taste of the Outback air tour.

Regardless of whether Lake Eyre is experiencing a rainy season or not, a scenic tour over its unique terrain can be a transformative experience.


“First of all, many thanks for taking such good care of us during our recent tour of Birdsville, Lake Eyre and Arkaroola. On our first light plane flight we were able to just relax and enjoy, knowing you were experienced and capable in your job as pilot. The whole experience was amazing. The colours and design shapes from the air had me glued to the window. No photo can capture it.

  • the peaceful quiet of the outback is rejuvenating
  • The sunset at Birdsville was stunning.
  • Lake Eyre is beyond description.
  • The cattle station visit an education into outback life.
  • The William Creek pub, full of unique character.
  • Arkaroola exceeded all expectation and is an inspiring credit to the Sprigg family. The rugged environment, bird life and the first experience of four wheel driving gave us a taste of a place we vowed to return to for a longer stay.

The outback adventure tour offered by Kirkhope exceeded all our expectations and our only regret was that it was over too soon. We recommend this holiday to anyone wanting see all our amazing country has to offer. Thanks again, Meg and Chris”

If you have been waiting to see Lake Eyre, make this year the year you tick it off your bucket list. Visit the tour schedule, or tell us your preferred date if it’s not listed.

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