Lake Eyre News

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Latest Lake Eyre updates. 

To avoid disappointment and a price increase book before March 31st, 2012 and pay 2011 prices.

  For up to date predictions go to the following website: Long Range Foercast

Forecast for 2012

     Weather forecasters are predicting the following for November 2011 to January 2012, so 2012 could make it 4 years in a row when significant water from the rivers of SW Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory enter Lake Eyre.

The national outlook shows the following:

  • a wetter season is more likely over large parts of northern, eastern and southwest Australia
  • a warm Indian Ocean is the main contributor to this outlook
  • A persistently warm Indian Ocean is the main driver behind this outlook, although it is also consistent with the developing La Niña in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The chances of receiving above median rainfall during the November to January period are between 60 and 80% over most of the NT, south and west Queensland, most of NSW, SA, northeast and southwest WA. The largest odds occur in a region on the border between NSW and Queensland and over northern parts of the NT (see map). Such odds mean that for every ten years with similar ocean patterns to those currently observed, about six to eight November to January periods would be expected to be wetter than average over these areas, while about two to four would be drier.

14/11/2011

     There is still water in Lake Eyre North although with the onset of higher temperatures it is receding. The opportunity to dip your toes in the water is still an option at Halligan Point at the Southwest corner of Lake Eyre north. Access to this area is via a public access route (PAR) which is a 60km corrugated station track leaving the Oodnadatta Track 7km southeast of William Creek. This track will be closed during the summer months.

   Although the Cooper Creek flowed for a second year in a row the volume of water entering the Lake was not as great as 2010 and it arrived much later. It didn't reach Lake Eyre North until mid August at the time when the ABC helicopter crashed resulting in the loss of a great media team. They were there to capture the waters from the Cooper Creek entering Lake Eyre North but sadly we will never see that footage.

    Currently the Birdsville Track is still flooded and the car ferry is operating. The crossing on the Birdsville Track is still flooded by up to a couple of kilometres of water although it be shallow. At the ferry the water level is still approximately 4m deep with nearby Lake Killamperpunna about 2m deep.

    Lake Eyre South which is viewable from the Oodnadatta Track 100km west of Marree is all but dry after filling with the run off from the aftermath of cyclone Yasi earlier in the year. Compared to 2010 there has been very little winter rain across the area. Although there is currently no water in Lake Eyre South it is a great stop as there is an information shelter displaying a lot of data on the Lake Eyre Basin, Great Artesian Basin, Aboriginal Heritage and European settlement of the Outback of South Australia and beyond.

     There is currently no bird life at the Lake due to the lack of food resulting from the increased salinity of the Lake water. The best location for birds is at the Cooper Creek either at the crossing on the Birdsville Track or the car ferry crossing 120kms and 135km respectively north of Marree. Birds are still in abundance such as darters, cormorants, egrets, herons, night herons, stilts, avocets, pelicans, black swans, silver gulls (seagulls), several varieties of ducks, waterfowls, grebes, raptors, waders and a lot more. An excellent way to experience this is on the "Cooper Discoverer Cruises" owned and operated by Peter Ware (Sat Ph: 0011 8 707 65062511)

 

27/07/2011

      The Cooper Creek has cut the Birdsville Track for the second time in 2 years. The vehicle ferry is operating again carrying vehicles across the Cooper Creek.

      The water from the Copper is still slowly making its way to Lake Eyre North where it will flood the Madigans Gulf area of the Lake. Water is still flowing down the Warburton Groove filling the Halligan Point - Belt Bay area of the SW corner of Lake Eyre North. The shoreline has advanced some 200m since I first visited the area in April 2011.

      There is bird life at the Halligan Point area consisting of Stilts, Avocets, Silver Gulls, Dotterels and ducks.

      Water is estimated to be approximately 2.1m deep in Belt Bay, 1.5m in Madigan Gulf and 1.25 in Lake Eyre South. The water can still be seen from the Oodnadatta Track at the Lake Eyre South viewing area 100km from Marree.

    

Sunrise at Halligan Point, Lake Eyre North

Red Necked Avocet, Haligan Point, Lake Eyre North

10/05/2011

      The water level in Eyre South is slowly falling but there is still plenty of water to see. Flood waters from Queensland are finally flowing into Lake Eyre North. As the flood waters from the Eyre, Georgina and Diamantina Rivers all come together they have filled the Goyder lagoon north of Lake Eyre. This is now flowing into the Warburton River and the Kallakoopah Creek which are staring to flood and flow into the Warburton Groove on the west side of Lake Eyre north. This is now flowing south into Halligan, Belt and Jackboot Bays in the SW portion of Lake Eyre North. The shoreline has moved approximately 50m since mid April and changing daly. The water has brought many birds, mainly Stilts, Dotterels,  Silver Gulls and Ducks to the Halligan Bay area where there is an abundance of salt water crustaceans for food. In some earlier floods an abundance of small fish were also flushed into the Lake but have since perished due to the salt water. The water is currently about 2m deep in Belt Bay and rising.

     The Cooper Creek is still flooding at Innamincka where the causeway is still closed due to approximately 4m of water flowing over it. Water level at the Cooper Creek punt on the Birdsville Track are rising and it is expected that the various flood surges coming down the Cooper will all merge and cut the Birdsville Track again in late June. This will then move rapidly toward Madigan Gulf on lake Eyre North filling the SE portion of the Lake.

     With some additional local rain some of the southern creeks have been flowing adding small amounts of water to the system and also adding to the numerous other large lakes and claypans which occur in the Lake Eyre basin.

   

Lake Killamperpunna - Cooper Creek Ferry Crossing, Birdsville Track detour

Pink Lake where the Cooper Creek enters Lake Eyre North

Madigans Gulf - Lake Eyre North

Birds, Halligan Bay - Lake Eyre North

Small crustaceans, Halligan Bay - Lake Eyre North

Late afternoon reflections, Halligan Bay - Lake Eyre North

Fish on shore at Halligan Bay -Lake Eyre North

22/03/2011

       More rain has fallen across the outback during the last couple of weeks. Most of the unsealed roads in northern South Australia have been closed or are only accessible by 4WD.

     Moderate to major flood levels are current on the Georgina, Eyre, Diamantina and Cooper Creeks and are rising in several locations. The town of Birdsville is isolated and expected to be until the end of March. The causeway at Innamincka is still closed due to flooding of the Cooper Creek which is rising at Windorah with a current flood level of 5.1m and more water heading in that direction along the Barcoo and Thompson Rivers. This adds to a previous flood pulse which is already downstream from Innamincka along the Cooper Creek.

     Lake Eyre North currently has approximately 70% coverage of water although it be only shallow for the majority but in Belt Bay it is estimated to be up to 1.9m deep and Madigans Gulf up to 300mm deep and static. Lake Eyre South is considered full with up to 2.5m of water at the deepest point. Most of this water has come from local rain being fed in by the local creek system. Small flows are currently coming from the Macumba, Neales, Clayton, Frome and Warburton into Lake Eyre North and several creeks such as the Stuart, Screechowl, Warrina, Gregory and Margaret are trickling into the south lake.

    The outback has come alive for the third year in a row and is already looking amazing with many plants beginning to bloom along with abundant animal and birdlife.

8/03/2011

          Tropical weather has crossed northern and central Australia bringing more heavy rain to the Lake Eyre basin. Falls of 135mm have been recorded at Kalamurina Station on the Warburton River NE of Lake Eyre and heavier falls have been recorded further north and east in SW Queensland. Recordings of 426mm at  Bedourie, 56mm at Boulia and 91mm at Birdsville all on the Diamantina, Georgina and Eyre Creeks system during the last week. The Eyre Creek at Glengyle (Qld) is currently 4.3m and rising fast, at Bedourie it peaked at 5.7m which is the highest since the 1974 floods. The Diamantina is at 7.7m and still rising at Birdsville with expectations it will exceed 8.0m within the next few days. The Barcoo, Thomson Rivers and Cooper Creek are experiencing local flooding with the Cooper Creek currently at 5.9m and expected to go past 6.0m over the next week at Windorah. This will develop river level rises downstream toward Innamincka in NE South Australia. The causeway at Innamincka has already been cut for several weeks from flooding from heavy rains during January and February. These rains have caused a head of water flowing down the Cooper Creek toward Lake Eyre. It is expected that the Birdsville track will be cut again during 2011 and the Cooper Creek punt will be in operation for the second year in a row. SA Transport Dept workers are currently carrying out some improvements on the punt and the approaches in preparation for river levels expected to be higher than 2010.

Belt Bay on Lake Eyre north currently has an estimated 1.9m of water, Madigan Gulf, 300mm and Lake Eyre South 2.0m at their deepest points. This water has come from the tropical system of cyclone Yasi via local creeks.

           Last year saw regular rain storms throughout the year across the north and far north of South Australia. This with good rainfalls during 2009 created the ideal conditions for a major regrowth of many plants and prolific breading of birds and other wildlife that had not been seen for years through the long period of drought in the pastoral regions of South Australia.

            Wildflowers such the Sturt Desert Pea, Darling Pea, Poached Egg Daisy, Stuart’s Pea, Parakylia, Fox Tail Mulla, Silver Mulla Mulla, Bush Tomato, Wild Hops, Waxy Hopbush, Eromophila, Butterfly Bush and lots more were common through the Flinders Ranges and outback South Australia.

            Many birds seen in large numbers for some years were budgerigar, zebra finches, inland plovers, cockatiels, red kneed dotterel, water birds like grebes, whistling ducks, stilts, coots, pelicans, cormorants, ibis and more. Emus were breeding with flocks up 12 chicks and kangaroos and euros with young but because of the good pasture were sometimes very elusive.

Already with above average summer rainfalls recorded in many locations across South Australia, it being the third year in a row and seed stocks being replenished it is looking like another great year to venture into the outback and experience what happens in the Australian deserts after Rain.

16/02/2011 

Tropical Cyclone Yasi delivers heavy rainfall to Lake Eyre Basin!

              

           From the coast TC Yasi moved inland across Queensland, the Northern Territory and into South Australia bringing with it large amounts of rain. Substantial rainfall was recorded in SW Queensland as well as record breaking rains in the western and southern part of the basin around Oodnadatta, William Creek and Marree. Water is currently flowing into Lake Eyre North from the flooded Neales and Macumba Rivers with river level rises recorded on the Diamantina, Georgina and Thompson Rivers in SW Queensland. Creeks in the William Creek and Marree area are flowing into Lake Eyre South and the SW corner of Lake Eyre North.

        Current estimates suggest there is about 1.5m of water in Lake Eyre South and Belt Bay, Lake Eyre North and rising.

       The year 2010 saw the Cooper Creek flow for the first time in 20 years cutting the famous Birdsville Track to vehicle traffic for several months forcing the car ferry to be retrieved from the sand dunes to move vehicles across the flooded Cooper.

       2009-2010 experienced drought breaking rains across the Outback. With plenty of moisture in the soil and persistent rain throughout the year, 2010 was one of the best wild flower seasons for many years. Now, with the La Nina weather pattern, predictions of many cyclones across northern Australia, already, more rain in the outback and a good supply of seed, 2011 will hopefully be a better year for the flowers, wildlife and to see Lake Eyre.