Before I had any inkling about Lake Eyre, during the wet season of 2009, Yogi (in his mind) was already planning a long road trip westward. He kept telling me, “Water is entering Lake Eyre. It is flooding now! We must prepare to go.” And so I googled Lake Eyre and HELLO, it’s 3,100 km from Cairns! And I was still in the middle of preparing for our 18 month long expedition to six countries of the Coral Triangle! So in early 2009, I ignored Yogi’s nagging. In 2010, thick into our journey still in Indonesia, Yogi read news from home and said, “the wet season this year is still strong! Water’s still entering Lake Eyre! We have to go!” Deep into our WWF job, for the second year, I ignored Yogi.
It was some sort of a wondrous moment when I finally understood how phenomenal Lake Eyre’s flooding was. How the rain water pouring into Queensland slowly moved the immense distance towards South Australia, to an inland lake 15 metres below sea level – the lowest point of this dry continent, enough to fill it. How far this water traveled! There are several rivers that feed into Lake Eyre: the four main rivers in the basin are Cooper Creek, the Finke River, Georgina River and Diamantina River. With the strong rains in March 2011, for the third year in a row Lake Eyre received water, reaching 75% flood capacity. We were finally able to follow the water and make our trip to the lowest point of Australia. With our Troopy all decked for a 2.5 month trip, we headed southwest.