See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

Water in Lake Eyre/​Kati Than­da is an amaz­ing sight. Check out these recent pics from park insid­er Tony Magor.

You may have heard the news that there’s water in Australia’s largest salt lake, Kati Thanda/​Lake Eyre (which sits with­in Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park), fol­low­ing heavy out­back rains ear­li­er this year.

Here’s every­thing you need to know.

Where is Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park?

Locat­ed about 750 km north of Ade­laide, the north lake itself mea­sures a whop­ping 144 km long by 77 km wide, and is the low­est point in Australia.

The 1.2 mil­lion square km catch­ment area is one of the largest inte­ri­or drainage basins in the world and cov­ers a sixth of the Aus­tralian continent.

Kati Thanda/​Lake Eyre is com­prised of 2 lakes – the much larg­er north­ern lake and the small­er south­ern lake. The 2 lakes are con­nect­ed to each oth­er through a nar­row chan­nel known as the Goy­der Channel.

What’s spe­cial about Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park?

The harsh Aus­tralian desert envi­ron­ment means the lake sits dry most of the time. On aver­age every 8 years or so flood waters from inland Queens­land flow down riv­er sys­tems such as the Dia­man­ti­na Riv­er, Coop­er Creek and War­bur­ton Creek and enter into Lake Eyre North. How­ev­er some lev­el of flood­ing has occurred every year since 2009.

Is there cur­rent­ly any water in Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre?

In ear­ly May 2022 Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice staff flew along Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre and report that there is 60% cov­er­age on the south lake and 50% cov­er­age on the north lake, although this is very shal­low in places. There is no inflow from War­bur­ton down the groove and the cov­er­age is all from local rain. 

See how the lakes appeared atKati Than­da-Lake Eyre south, Belt Bay, and up the west side of Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre north from the lofty heights of a plane:

See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

See the latest photos of water in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

Is there any more water com­ing to Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre?

Both the Dia­man­ti­na Riv­er that his­tor­i­cal­ly pro­vides 75% of Lake Eyre’s water and the Coop­er Creek have no cur­rent flood warnings.

The Georgina-Eyre catch­ment has a minor to mod­er­ate flood­ing warn­ing in its north­ern sec­tion, how­ev­er the rain that has fall­en so far is nowhere near the same amount as 2010 and 2011. So it is uncer­tain if this will reach the lake.

Although it has been a mild sum­mer, evap­o­ra­tion rates are still high but with a small inflow, water cov­er­age should be sus­tained for a num­ber of months.

While mon­soon activ­i­ty still occurs in the north of Aus­tralia, there is always the chance of fur­ther large rains in the catch­ment. One ex-trop­i­cal cyclone in the right part of the catch­ment could sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase water cov­er­age on the lake in 2022.

Are there many birds in Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre?

Local tour oper­a­tors have sight­ed flocks of pel­i­cans in the area, but sig­nif­i­cant more water flows are required to get large num­bers of birds back to the lake and its tributaries.

What’s the best way to see Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre?

From the land, water can only be seen from Lake Eyre (South)/Kati Than­da look­out along the Ood­na­dat­ta Track.

The Pub­lic Access Routes (PARs) man­aged by the Pas­toral Board that lead to Hal­li­gan Bay Point are cur­rent­ly open, but Lev­el Post Bay is cur­rent­ly closed. How­ev­er, vis­i­tors will not see water from these loca­tions. Vis­i­tors are remind­ed to check the Desert Parks Bul­letin for when these PARs open.

The best way to see the lake is from the air. As the water lev­els drop and salin­i­ty increas­es, the water in some sec­tions of the lake may take on a pink tinge which is spec­tac­u­lar to see.

The colours in the water, the dif­fer­ent light depend­ing on the direc­tion you take pho­tos, the salt pat­terns and the salt for­ma­tions make a flight over the lake a must-do for any­one vis­it­ing the area.

Find out more about vis­it­ing South Australia’s desert parks. You might also like to vis­it these desert hotspots on the way.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in July 2019 and has been updat­ed with new infor­ma­tion and images from ear­ly May 2022.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living