Lake Eyre Is The New Bucket List Destination Tourists Are Flocking To
The tiny South Australian town of William Creek has never been busier, as tourists flood in.
The morning after the Federal election baby boomers across the nation were leaving coffee stains on newspapers blazoned with headlines of “Scomo’s Miracle” win. But not everywhere.
The William Creek caravan park may be almost 200 kilometres from the nearest town, but this tiny outpost in the South Australian desert is bustling with caravaners when 10 News First arrives – a percentage of whom haven’t quite caught up, having just got back into phone coverage.
A group of four’s bush morning cuppa is interrupted – “Why are so many baby boomers venturing into this part of the outback?” they’re asked.
“They’re spending their money before Bill Shorten gets it”, one jokes.
Expressions within the park change when 10 News First informs some of the previous night’s result.
Their visit, of course, entails spending, but the return is “flabbergasting” as one puts it.
Sixty kilometres from their rest stop, an inland sea has formed, and a legion of baby boomers are chasing the floodwaters as they funnel towards the continent’s lowest point. The usually parched salt bed of Lake Eyre is in the midst of its once in a decade transformation.
Floodwaters from Queensland in February, have travelled hundreds of kilometres, and are filling sections of the vast expanse – as a second pulse from cyclone Trevor, in March, makes its journey close behind.
The event’s brought vegetation, birdlife and a change of fortune for drought-stricken farmers, plus a convoy of dusty 4WDs on desert tracks – with caravans in tow.
Local publican and pilot, Trevor Wright, said he’s never experienced a busier season, in his three decades in William Creek.
“It’s become a genuine bucket list item for baby boomers”, he says.
“They have a window of opportunity … it’s so unique”.
As they hoist van awnings and roll out mats to cover their ochre red campsites, the same response is chorused by visitors – it is indeed, “a bucket list thing”, they remark, as they proudly cross one off.
“It’s like Tullamarine out there”, one scenic flight passenger notes.
And the local economy’s taking off too.
Trevor Wright is employing thirty staff – traditionally around summer, his workforce could number as low as two.
And with weather gurus predict the lake could have water for months to come, the birdlife, and community, can look forward to remaining this buoyant for some time yet.
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