Lake Eacham is a popular lake of volcanic origin on the Atherton Tableland of Queensland, Australia, within the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics of Queensland.
Lake Eacham (Yidyam) and the nearby Lake Barrine, were formed approximately 12,000 years ago by molten magma. Magma from the center of the earth rose to the surface and heated the water table. The steam that resulted from the boiling water was trapped underground, until massive explosions signalled its release. Huge cracks appeared in the ground and the trees that once lathed the mountainside were levelled and burnt. Eventually, over hundreds of years, water filled the craters and the trees grew back, creating the tranquil lake used today by families and tourists for recreation. There are no streams that flow into or out the lake, water is only lost through soakage and evaporation and only replenished through rainfall, the level can fluctuate up to 4 metres between wet and dry seasons.
Protected Area Status:
Lake Eacham (Yidyam) is the centrepiece of the 4.89 km² (1,210 acres) Crater Lakes National Park, with a dense rainforest and thousands of small animals. It is therefore a protected area under Queensland State legislation (Nature Conservation Act 1994), and, as such, the natural and cultural resources most closely associated with the Lake are protected and managed by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The lake has an average depth of 65.5 metres (215 ft) and is considered by locals as being ideal for swimming, canoeing, bushwalking, and bird watching. No motor boats are allowed on the lake. It features a pontoon great for diving into the deep water. A large grassy area is terrific for picnics, sunbathing, or just watching children as they play in the shallow water near the edge of the lake. There is a circuit walk around the lake that takes around 45 minutes. There are also a few families of turtles that can usually be seen just to the left of the pontoon.