Lake Eyre – Australia’s largest lake or largest saltpan
Turning off the Oodnadatta track I head towards Lake Eyre north to the Halligan Bay campground. Lake Eyre occurs in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre national park and is the largest lake in Australia and also the lowest point at 15 meters below sea level. It has only filled up 3 times in the last 150 years. Otherwise it remains a dry saltpan or has the odd filling every several years. The track can be pretty badly corrugated in sections. I dropped my tyre pressures down a little to help soften the ride. The track passes through a cattle property so there were quite a few livestock around near a spring fed dam.
A good distance in I come to a memorial to Caroline Grossmueller, an Austrian tourist who died here in 1998 after the 4wd her partner and her were using got bogged in soft sand at the campgrounds. After 4 days waiting for rescue with no one coming, she attempted to walk back out to William Creek hotel only making it halfway before dying of heat exposure, with summer temperatures at the time over 40 degrees Celsius. The couple had plenty of food and water to survive for weeks in their car along with a large full water tank at the campgrounds, but chose to walk instead of wait.