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Aerial shot of Lake Eyre taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot from cabin of Boeing 737 flying at altitude of approximately 11,000 metres in November 2010.
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It has been a bumper tourist season in Australia’s outback, with widespread rains transforming the country into a sea of flowers, grasses and inland waterways. For the second year in a row, thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to the nation’s largest lake, Lake Eyre, filled by flooding rains from Queensland after being dry for the previous 9 years. Although water is still flowing, it is fast turning back into a salt pan and could be dry within a month.
On a global scale, the Lake Eyre Basin: is one of the largest internally draining systems; has the fifth largest terminal lake; is an arid and semi-arid part of the driest inhabited continent; and is drained by the most variable, major river systems, the Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper.
Other rivers draining the more than a million square kilometres of the Basin either contribute to Lake Eyre only rarely, or in the case of some Central Australian streams, become lost in the sands of the Simpson Desert and never reach the lake.
Lake Eyre National Park was proclaimed in 1985 and covers an area of 13 523 sq kilometres, including Lake Eyre and several other salt lakes, some of which are heritage listed for their rare tertiary vertebrate fossils.