Lake Eacham is near the top of the Gillies Range Road, and is the quieter of the two volcanic lakes in the region. Like all the other stops on our waterfalls tour this is as picturesque as they come, with numerous activities to pursue on arrival. I like to explain Lake Eacham to the passengers, as being a ‘Choose your own Adventure’ type of spot. The lake is 3km in circumference, has a small jetty, a walking track and some amazing bird and animal life. This bestows many options to visitors here. It is proclaimed by locals from the nearby town as “The Beach of Yungaburra”, as many come here for a swim, kayak, hike, run or even a family BBQ and picnic. They do not allow any powered vehicles on the lake and there is no fishing allowed so it has a very relaxing feel to it.
Lake Eacham Blog
Lake Eacham is an old volcanic crater dating back at least 10,000 years and maybe as far back as 200 million years. One of the big differences with Lake Eacham to the other spots is that there is no river flowing either in or out of the lake. It was formed by a massive explosion sometime in history. This has since been plugged up and filled in with rainwater. As the water stays in place it is a slightly warmer temperature than the other swimming holes we visit in the waterfalls tour. It is a great place to bring out the pool noodles to have a float in the alluring lake. There is also something about the water at Lake Eacham, it seems to be silky smooth, this maybe a feature due to nutrients in the water from the past volcanic activity. Who knows exactly, but it is definitely worth jumping in, but don’t try to reach the bottom as it is at least 65m deep.
We stay here for at least an hour on the day tour to allow passengers to take it all in their stride. There are the some Sawshell turtles to see from the the viewing platform. This is a type of turtle endemic to the region and easily spotted at the lake. There is also the opportunity to go for a walk around the lake. For those who wish to stretch their legs out, it is possible to take in the whole hike of 3km, or a small section of it, and still have time for a swim. Everybody who does walk around the lake is astounded by the impressive rainforest track and the root systems of some of the larger fig trees littering the walk. The walk is relatively flat and easy for most to complete. Many times you will spot a Boyds Forrest Dragon or a monitor lizard whilst walking.
The wildlife doesn’t stop there, many come up to the lake for a chance of bird spotting. Most days you will see many twitchers walking around with their binoculars getting ready to sight some of the 180 different species of birds in the region. The Azure Kingfisher is on of the favourites to spot here.
Even in going for a swim here there are options. The lake has a diameter of around 1000 metres so if you felt like going for an extended swim it is definitely possible. There is also the jetty which many people love jumping off to refresh themselves. If you feel like a more relaxed entry to there are steps to ease yourself into the water allowing you can relax in waist deep water. If you prefer to go deep here, many people venture to Eacham for a weekend dive (not available on the day tour) to see how deep they can go. But for most of the crowds on this tour it a perfect place to catch a couple of rays in the tropical sun before taking a refreshing dip.
During the waterfalls tour, or any time you spend in the tablelands, this stop is a must. Life is easy at Lake Eacham.