While Lake Eyre might be the largest lake in Australia wet or dry, there’s another about a hundred kilometres to the west that boasts, I think, the longest name for an Australian lake.
It’s called Lake Caddi for short but it’s real name is Lake Cadibarrawirracanna.
It means ‘stars dancing on water’ and with most aboriginal names the first syllable is emphasised, the rest run together.
It’s about half way along the road between Cooper Pedy and William Creek.
Although it is quite a size, recent rains have made the tracks to it almost impassable. This was as far as I was game to go without getting bogged.
There is quite an old poem about Lake Cadibarrawirracanna and I believe the words go something like those below.
There’s a lake in South Australia,
Little lake with lovely name.
And the stories woven ‘round it
From the pickaninnies came.
Every night the native mothers
Croon this lovely lullaby.
Croon across the moonlit waters,
To the stars up in the sky
Little star upon the lake,
Guide me through the hours of darkness.
Keep me safely ‘till I wake.
Pickaninny heads are nodding,
Drowsy crooning fills the air.
Little eyes at last are closing,
And the boat of dreams is there.
Guide my boat across the water,
‘Cross the water, still and deep.
Light me with your little candle,
Safely to the land of sleep.