Author(s): Paul Lockyer
At the heart of Australia, framed by desert, Lake Eyre, the country's biggest lake, seldom sees water. Most of the time it is a vast salt pan, eerily empty, devoid of all life. But when the rains come and the great rivers flow down to its basin, an astonishing transformation takes place: the landscape fills with colour, with bird and animal life and with the crowds who have come to witness nature's grandest performance. This was the story journalist Paul Lockyer set out to document in 2009 and then unexpectedly when the rains came back in the two years following. He met the people who choose to live in this harsh environment and traced its often dramatic history from early explorers to modern day showmen. Here, accompanied by stunning photographs, Paul tells the remarkable story of the lake which resonates in the hearts and minds of so many Australians. In a career spanning over 40 years, Paul Lockyer covered foreign coups, political dramas, the Australian Olympics and rural issues for ABC television. In Lake Eyre, he discovered one of the biggest stories of his career, a tale which he believed defined Australia, with its mysterious and dramatic cycles of change, its ancient history and its ability to captivate all who see it. With cameraman John Bean (ACS) and helicopter pilot Gary Ticehurst, Paul returned several times to film for his best-selling ABC documentaries, Lake Eyre and Return to Lake Eyre. Paul, John and Gary lost their lives during a filming mission in August 2011. This book is a tribute to the stories they told and to the affection they felt for the people and places of Lake Eyre.