Harper Collins Publishers, April 2012. 240 pages, hardcover, dustwrapper, oblong format, colour and black and white photographs and illustrations.
Lake Eyre occupies a vast mythological and real landscape – its basin makes up one sixth of the Australian continent and it is the ‘inland sea’ so many early explorers died trying to discover. But for most of the time the lake is empty, a vast salty desert plain. Only once in a generation when the great rains sweep in from Queensland, does the lake fill up. When this happens an astonishing transformation occurs; overnight the lake changes, the desert blooms, great flocks of birds, brumbies, dingoes and other wildlife find their way to the water’s shores. And for the people who live there, the deluge changes everything. In this stunning book, reporter Paul Lockyer tells the story of the great lake – from its ancient beginnings to its present day – and the tales of all those it affects, from intrepid early explorers like Burke and Wills and pioneers like Birdsville mailman Tom Kruse to characters like racing car driver Donald Campbell, showmen like Fred Brophy, artists like John Olsen and cattle kings like Sir Sydney Kidman. Along with environmental scientist Professor Richard Kingsford, Paul explores one of the world’s great wonders and reveals why it holds such resonance for so many Australians.