When tourists come to Lake Tyrrell, they tilt their heads back and gaze at the stars in awe. Not only can they see the famous South Pacific constellation the Southern Cross, but also all the stars, which are impossible to spot from the bursting city of Melbourne.
Lake Tyrrell is just seven kilometers out of the town center. The lake is dry most of the year due to salt causing the water to evaporate. Many Chinese guidebooks and travel blogs have promoted the lake, which comes as a shock to the locals. There is another large saltwater lake in Bolivia, which shows a similar starry backdrop to Lake Tyrell’s. Sea Lake is closer for Chinese tourists to travel to and some argue that no other place can possibly offer a better view of the night’s sky than Lake Tyrrell.
In the moment between the sun setting and the moon rising, the lake is completely pitch black, leaving an uninterrupted view of the stars. The night sky looks like a glossy painting covered in diamonds. You can see the Milky Way across the entire sky. Many tourists have traveled to the lake just to take photos of all the different constellations. Locals say the stars are reflected into the water, so it looks like you are walking through a galaxy. It is an awe-inspiring and extraordinary sight from a humble town like Sea Lake. The tourists are not only discovering wonderful things about Australia, they are keeping Sea Lake’s economy alive.
After suffering a two-year drought, agriculture is at an all time low and tourism is this town’s last option for survival. In the last decade, the population on Sea Lake has decreased by half. Shops closed and there was no desire for business. It is only in the past two years that the town has turned around. Shops are reopening for business, catering mostly to Chinese tourists. The town itself consists of two hotels, one motel, two cafés, a gift shop, four mechanics, and cooperatives boosting businesses up. The town is so isolated that locals do not know how to react to such change. Signs in Mandarin have been placed around the town to cater to Chinese visitors.
If you are in Victoria, make it a priority to take time away from the busy city and relax by Lake Tyrrell. If you are an adventurer, the town hosts an off-road desert rally once a year on the Queen’s birthday holiday in early June by the lake. If you are the romantic type, an outdoor dinner under the stars could be the perfect ticket.