The birds of Lake Eyre are a big draw for visitors. You can see Silver Gulls, Red-necked Avocets, Banded Stilts, Australian Pelicans, and Gullbilled Terns during the rainy seasons. Whenever Lake Eyre floods, the birds migrate there for breeding. Scientists are not sure what triggers the instinct to migrate to Lake Eyre, but this is no doubt that the birds of Lake Eyre are one of the reasons so many people come to the park each year.
Lake Eyre has an interesting history. In fact, as short as fifty years ago, the local people believed that Lake Eyre was permanently dry. Those who thought they saw water on the lake were told it was just the result of a mirage. Because of this popular belief, scientists thought that if the lake were to somehow refill, it would affect the climate of the entire area. In 1974, however, the lake did refill, and it did not change the climate as expected.
If you want to visit Lake Eyre, you need to be well prepared. It is in the heart of the Australian Outback, and you do not want to visit during the hot time of the year, which is from November to March. Make sure you bring plenty of drinking water. If you wish to visit the park via a vehicle, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle. There are several roads to the lake, but they are only accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles. If you fly to the park, you can rent a four-wheel drive vehicle at Coober Pedy. There is camping available at the shore of the lake, but no facilities. A trip to Lake Eyre national park is a chance to truly “rough it.” The exception to this is the Halligan Bay camping area, where toilets have been installed recently. You will have to have a permit to camp there.
If you are not in the mood to rough it but would still like to see this interesting destination, consider taking a sightseeing flight tour over the park and lake. This is a great activity to participate in when the lake is flooded. This is one of the most comfortable ways to get an appreciation for Lake Eyre.
When visiting Lake Eyre, you will probably find many forms of desert life. You will see the Lake Eyre dragon, a species of lizard that actually feeds from the salt lake. When the lake is flooded, it will carry fish as well.
The unique swirling patters of the water of Lake Eyre are created because of the differing levels of salt in the water. When the floodwaters recede each year, they leave behind salt sedimentation. When the waters return, they absorb water at different rates, and you can actually see this visually when flying over the lake. The salt makes very beautiful effects on the lake. While it is a salt-water lake, the water at the top is actually fresh and sometimes drinkable, because the highly saturated salt water stays at the bottom of the lake. Lake Eyre is truly a remarkable natural formation.