Lake Eyre is the largest lake in Australia, with a maximum area of 9690 square kilometres in either 1968 or 1974.
Lake Eyre can be found in Central Australia and is one of the largest inland drainage systems in the world with an area covering over 9500 square kilometers. The basin fills during periods of heavy rainfall when water flows via channels into Lake Eyre from rivers that flow into the Coongan River then into Lake Eyre.
The average depth of Lake Eyre is approximately 15 metres deep, however it has dried out every year since 1998 due to changes in weather patterns including lower than average rainfall amounts. During dry spells since 1998, some parts have been completely dry for short periods but many parts of the basin flooded in 2006 and 2010.
Lake Eyre is known for its salt content which makes it difficult for plants and animals to survive in such harsh conditions.
Today there are few species that live in Lake Eyre because of the increasing salinity levels, however freshwater crocodiles were found living near an area called ‘Kati-Thanda’ or Lake Eyre South when scientists went out on a survey mission recently. When water does fill into Lake Eyre after rainfall, shorebirds flock to the area to feed on crustaceans and insects due to food availability from large amounts of algae growing in the water.
Lake Eyre is the only place in Australia where you can find examples of mima mound structures, kites and fossilised humans footprints.