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Travel guide Eyre Peninsula


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Canberra to Lake Eyre
  • Aerial view, Lake Eyre North
  • Pelicans flying over Halligan Bay, Lake Eyre North
In February 2010 my husband and I watched a documentary on the amazing spectacle of Lake Eyre in flood. We decided that should it ever flood again we would be there to experience it.  By May, we knew Queensland flood waters would reach Lake Eyre and the Great Aussie Road Trip swung back into action!
 
This was the first trip for us with the newest member of our family, Edward (Teddy) who turned one just before we left. So Greg and I, along with our daughters Jasmine and Jemma, and Teddy, hit the road for three incredible weeks. We drove three days (roughly 1,700kms) from Canberra to Lake Eyre.
 
With our trusty 3Dog Camper in tow, we set up camp at Halligan Bay and walked over the dune to be greeted by the awesome sight of Lake Eyre. Out there you can’t tell where the sky stops and the water starts. We walked along the sandy banks, intrigued by the well-preserved array of fish, insects, animals and more that lined the water’s edge.  
 
After a few days at Halligan Bay we decided to fly over the lake to gain a better perspective of its size and this really gave us the understanding of why Lake Eyre in flood is such an event; although while we were there the lake was at about 75% surface coverage (not capacity). We were told that most areas of the lake were no deeper than about 30 centimetres and that the Lake Eyre basin (the area of Australia where water drains into the lake itself) covers one sixth of Australia and four states!
 
Although sad to leave, we packed up camp and headed to another of Australia’s gems, Arkaroola.  Situated in the Northern Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola is a privately owned wilderness sanctuary. We spent about four days exploring the various dirt roads, gorges, mountain lookouts and we even saw the rare yellow-footed rock wallabies. Our children came into their own, hopping over rocks and trees. We realised that while they enjoyed themselves at Lake Eyre, they love rocks!  
 
From Arkaroola we made our way to Menindee Lakes, another area that had filled with water, thanks to the floods. Two years earlier we had visited Menindee and found that only one lake had water; this time they were all still filling and it was a fantastic sight. Camped right on the bank of Lake Pamameroo, you just couldn’t ask for a better place, waking up each morning to be greeted by the awesome sight of the beautiful lake and the spindly, bare trees that poke out of the water.  
 
Our last stop was Lake Mungo National Park, where the lake has been dry for around 80,000 years! We set up camp and raced to the lunettes to watch the incredible display from the dunes and pinnacles at sunset.  
 
After heavy rains overnight all roads in and out of Mungo were closed and we were left with three kids, one camper and tempers quickly became frayed. We decided to pack up camp and head to the Shearer’s Quarters at the Visitors Centre – best decision we made this trip! Jasmine sheepishly told us that the rain was all her fault, she had prayed for it to rain and fill up the lake so she could see that with water in it too!
 
We managed one morning of exploring the dunes further before our road opened and we headed out. We had been grounded for about three days but it was only one day later than planned. That was possibly the most memorable drive of our trip, slipping and sliding and driving through puddles that were 50m+ long.The kids loved the puddles and squealed with glee every time the muddy water splashed up over the windscreen.  
 
At midnight we arrived home with the joyous thoughts of our warm comfy bed. We had such an incredible time that the girls keep asking “where are going next, and when?”
 
About the author
 
Rachel Power, her husband Greg and their three children, are the faces behind The Great Aussie Road Trip, which aims to inspire families to experience Australia. On the Great Aussie Road Trip website you will find travel journals from the Power family, and their 'Guest Family Bloggers', so that you can read first-hand experiences. You will also find plenty of amazing photography to make you dream of visiting the locations yourself. Visit www.GreatAussieRoadTrip.com.au for more information.
 

About the author
Rachel Power wrote this article



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