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Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham is an extinct volcanic crater lake surrounded by over 12,000 acres of World Heritage, lush, tropical, highland rainforest.

The 200ft deep, crystal clear waters of this stunningly beautiful lake make for an excellent swimming experience.

Lake Eacham is also ideal for those interested in bird and wildlife viewing opportunities.

No motorised boats are allowed on the lake, so it remains quiet and tranquil all year round.

Things to do at Lake Eacham

This beautiful fresh water lake is excellent for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkling and scuba diving all year around. A boat ramp, pontoon and staircases provide easy access to the water.

The Lake Eacham picnic area includes BBQ's, undercover shelters with tables and chairs, a toilet block, close by parking and large lawn area with direct access to the water.

There is an easily accessible 3km, wheel chair paved, walking path around the perimeter of the lake. This path is perfect for bushwalkers, birdwatchers, families or anyone looking to get an insight into the local ecosystem.

The Kid's Activity Path branches off the beginning of the 3km Perimeter Walking path and leads 700m through the rainforest to the Lake Eacham National Parks Information Centre. Keep your children entertained with this educational path winding through the rainforest and across small bridges with regular activity stations dotted along the way.

This picturesque 1km walking path takes you to small waterfalls along a creek with stands of king ferns.

Volcanic History

Scientists believe Lake Eacham, and nearby sister Lake Barrine, were formed approximately 12,000 years ago by volcanic activity. Hot magma rose from inside the Earth's crust, boiling the below surface water table that existed in the region. The steam was trapped underground until pressure caused massive explosions, destroying much of the trees, animals and other plant life that existed overhead. Eventually, the water cooled and we were left with the crater lake that we see today.

The local Ngadjon -jii (Aboriginal peoples), name this lake Wiinggina and tell a parallel, matching story of the Lakes origins, as follows:

"Two young fellas were trying to spear that wallaby. But they missed and hit a flame tree. That’s a sacred tree. The young fellas not supposed to be out hunting. They weren’t initiated. Their elders told them to stay put, not go out hunting. But they didn’t listen. When they pulled their spear out, part of a grub came out with the spear, which was a witchetty grub. They started cutting down that tree to get more grubs. When they cut down that tree, the ground began to shake. Those two fellas had made Yamini (rainbow serpent) angry. Then the sky turned orange, then all these people back at the camp, the earth went from underneath them, sucked them in, whoosh, they all got drowned. Where they were camped became Bana Wiingina (Lake Eacham)." (Warren Cannendo, Ngadjon-Jii)

This story, in all its local versions, is part of an indigenous oral history and mythology believed to be an oral record recalling those volcanic events that occurred 12 000 years ago, making it an oral record more than 10 000 years old.