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Behind the Camera
Lake Erye Map
Lake Eyre Facts
Location: Northern South
Australia
Coordinates: 28°22′S 137°22′E
Lake type: endorheic
Primary outflows: evaporation
Basin countries: Australia
Surface area: 9500 km² (max)
Average depth: 1.5 m (every 3 years),
4 m (every decade)
Surface elevation: -15 m (−49 ft)

Lake Eyre (pronounced "air") is the lowest point in Australia, at approximately 15 m (49 ft) (AHD) below sea level, and, on the rare occasions that it fills, becomes the largest lake in Australia. It is the focal point of the vast Lake Eyre Basin and is found some 700km north of Adelaide.

Location and Size

  • Lake Eyre sits surrounded by deserts in the remote North of outback South Australia.
  • Lake Eyre is Australia's largest Lake and covers an area of 1,349,251ha.
  • The drainage basin for Lake Eyre covers 1/6th of Australia and is the size of France, Germany and Italy combined.

Geography

  • The Lake is a giant salt sink, an evaporation basin that sits, on average, 15m below sea level.
  • The Lake receives water from either the massive river systems that feed into it, or local rainfall that falls on, or in, the Lake surrounds. The 'phenomenon' of water reaching the Lake is categorized into 'major' and 'minor' floodings.
  • Major floodings are declared once both Lake Eyre North and Lake Eyre South are filled with water flowing through the Goyder Channel that connects both lakes. In the last 200 years there have been only 3 major floodings, the last of which occurred in 1974. A major flooding requires exceptional rainfalls along all the river systems that feed the lake and also high rainfall in the local area.
  • Minor floodings occur when the Lake fills to the edges and occur around once every ten years.
  • When significant rain falls in the area (a rare occurrence) water forms pools on the Lake which can remain for some weeks. Murray was lucky enough to be at the Lake for some of the only significant rain in the last few years, and much of the exhibition work was produced while living in the giant puddles out on the Lake.

Lake Eyre Yacht club: for current lake conditions >

Link to Lake Eyre on Google Maps >