8:30pm – Tuesday, March 20 on ABC1
Over the past few years, ABC News reporter Paul Lockyer mounted four separate filming expeditions to Lake Eyre, often with cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst.
They captured extraordinary footage of nature at work on a grand scale, as the desert bloomed and water flowed all the way to the parched mouth of the Murray River in South Australia. Birds flocked to the outback in record numbers and the rivers and lakes were brimming with fish.
Tragically, on the last of those expeditions in August 2011 the ABC helicopter crashed at Lake Eyre, killing Paul, John and Gary. This 90-minute documentary combines the best footage of those expeditions and shows off Lake Eyre in all its many moods. It also contains special tributes to the three men.
Lake Eyre features the footage and commentary from Paul Lockyer that was filmed for the original news documentaries, Lake Eyre – Australia’s Outback Wonder produced in 2009, and the follow-up, Return to Lake Eyre – The Deluge, produced in 2010.
This special amended version pulls together the stunning images that captured history in the making, following the floodwaters from north Queensland down the great outback rivers to Lake Eyre and recording the extraordinary transformation of an environment that was desolate and stark, that turned into a flourishing oasis.
And as producer, Ben Hawke says: “This commemorative edition is a fitting tribute to three great professionals, and three great blokes.”