I made my first trip to Lake Tyrrell in 2016 after reading about the place in a magazine article that described how incredibly popular the lake had become, especially among Chinese tourists. It seems to get more popular every year with tourists, photographers, and star gazers. On a calm day the very shallow water can be like a mirror making it an ideal spot for that perfect Insta selfie.
It is located near the town of Sea Lake, about three and a half hours drive north of Melbourne. The lake itself is really a shallow, salt-crusted depression. There is still an active salt mine (salt farm?) that produces a range of products which you can buy in Sea Lake.
The lake dries out completely in the warmer months and fills with water after winter rains. I've found that the best times to visit are late winter through to mid-October. It is a big area and worth exploring, there are plenty of places to shoot away from the boardwalks and main viewing area.
There are a couple of options for accommodation in Sea Lake although I've only ever stayed at the motel. I would definitely book ahead as a couple of bus tours could see the town booked out. As far as eating out your choices are basically a good pub meal or fish and chips.
I'd recommend taking your filter kit. An ND filter with an ND grad as a minimum, a CPL filter to take some glare off the water, and for the B&W types an orange or red filter. It can get very cold, especially pre-dawn, so rug up. Gum boots, or at least water proof hiking boots, are just about essential, it's very muddy. It's also very salty, you'll want to clean your gear after each session.
I've been planning to head back with my large format kit this year but lock-downs have kept thwarting my plans. Hopefully I'll get the chance sometime in the next couple of months. Otherwise, roll on 2022.
The two photos above were taken from roughly the same spot a day apart. Windy on day one and very calm on day two.
Yep, phooning was a thing once. Here is me, keeping the tradition alive years after it went out of fashion :)