Where is it? 700km north of Adelaide, SA.

Something that has long been considered a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ phenomenon has occurred for the third year in a row, so you’d be crazy not to experience it. During flood season, if the conditions are right, water from the rivers in outback Queensland eventually works its way down to the vast dry salt plains of Lake Eyre. Until 2009, it was very rare for substantial quantities of water to make it this far – in fact, the highest water level recorded at Lake Eyre was in 1974, at a depth of 6m. But this year the lake’s southern end is full, and the northern end is three-quarters full.

“Have a beer and fling your bra across the bar for me at the William Creek Hotel. I don’t drink beer but did the bra thing.” Catriona Rowntree

Even when the lake is not entirely filled, it’s an amazing sight. The water brings fish and birdlife, and the interaction between the water and an algae called Dunaliella salina endows the landscape with a pink hue. The best view is from an aircraft, but you can also take a 4WD tour around the edge. The indigenous land owners, the Arabanna people, ask that visitors respect the waterway and not take recreational craft out on it. 

Also consider taking an air safari tour that includes camping overnight. You’d never think a flood plain would astonish you, but the combination of scale and the sense of the ephemeral make it a very special experience. 

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