Located right in the middle of The Outback Loop is Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre — Australia’s biggest lake and the world’s thirteenth largest when full to the brim.
The usually dry lake system is a stunning spectacle at the best of times, but recent flood waters have meant the lake and the surrounding desert areas have undergone a dramatic transformation.
Water from tropical cyclone Trevor combined with the wet season rains in outback Queensland is flowing through a network of rivers, creeks and streams that currently has the lake more than a third full with levels expected to reach a peak next month — the highest since 1974. It is one of those once-in-a-lifetime events that everyone should see.
The whole outback area just comes alive. The floodplain that has already received water is bursting with life and has sparked a rare, vibrant greening of the desert attracting thousands of birds including Australian pelicans, gulls, sandpipers, terns, and more to an area that’s usually among the driest, most inhospitable places on earth.
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre has been identified by BirdLife International as an ‘Important Bird Area’ because it acts as a significant breeding ground for many bird populations. Incredibly, small fish and crustaceans are usually found in Lake Eyre too and provide an important food source for the migratory birds.