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Australia Decoded
'L-1'


Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo



L plates—a small sign marked 'L', attached to front and back of a vehicle to denote a learner-driver. To get your learner licence you need to be 16 years of age or older, attend an RTA motor registry, prove your identity and pass a Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). Your Ls are valid for three years. When you are issued with your learner licence you will receive a Learner Driver Log Book so that you and your supervising driver or drivers can record your driving experience. You will have to log at least 50 hours of driving before you can attempt the test to move to a provisional licence.

Comte de La PerouseLa Pérouse, Jean François Galaup Comte de—(August 23, 1741-1788) was a French naval officer and explorer whose expedition vanished in Oceania. La Pérouse was appointed in 1785 to lead an expedition to the Pacific in the Astrolabe and the Boussole, both 500 tons. La Pérouse was a great admirer of James Cook, tried to get on well with the Pacific islanders, and was well-liked by his men. Among his 114-man crew there were ten scientists. In letters received from Paris he was ordered to investigate the settlement the British were to erect in New South Wales. He arrived at Botany Bay on 26 January 1788, just as Captain Arthur Phillip moved the colony to Port Jackson. La Pérouse sent his journals and letters to Europe with a British ship, the Sirius, obtained wood and fresh water, and left for New Caledonia, Santa Cruz, the Solomons, the Louisiades, and the western and southern coasts of Australia. Although he wrote that he expected to be back in France by December 1788, neither he nor any of his men was seen again. It was not until 1826 that an English captain, Peter Dillon, found evidence of the tragedy. From the information Dillon received from the people on Vanikoro, a rough reconstruction could be made of the disaster that struck La Pérouse, which was confirmed by the find and search of the shipwreck of the Boussole in 1964. Both ships had been wrecked on the reefs, the Boussole first. The Astrolabe was unloaded and taken apart. A group of men, probably the survivors of the Boussole, were massacred by the local inhabitants. Named in his honour are La Pérouse, a Sydney suburb, and the northern headland of Botany Bay.

La Trobe UniversityLa Trobe University—founded in 1964, it's now one of Australia's largest, most respected and fastest-growing universities. It has earned a reputation for excellent teaching and research. Its courses are recognized by international accreditation authorities, and held in high regard by overseas companies and educators. The University is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and it 's courses are recognized by the Australian Government and by major professional bodies in Australia and abroad. The University has more than 22,000 students, including over 1,700 international students from more than 60 countries, and 4,000 staff. International students have the opportunity to experience the Australian way of life, while gaining knowledge and understanding of the many other cultures that live in harmony in Australia's multicultural society.

la-di-da—1. affected manner; pretentious; snobby; posh. 2. (especially of women) the toilet.

Labillardière, Jacques-Julien Houton de—one of the great traveller-naturalists of the eighteenth century. In 1791-1794 he was botanist on the expedition commanded by Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, which visited Tasmania and the South Seas. Labillardière was a naturalist on board the French expedition to the South Seas, undertaken in 1791-93. He published an account of the voyage in his book entitled Relation, one of the classic works of French travel literature. He also published Novae Hollandiae Plantarum Specimen, the most comprehensive account of Australian flora at that time (circa 1804). It was based largely on his own collections, but included unacknowledged material from others, including Baudin. Labillardière broke with the methods of the traditionalists, who based their theories upon writers such as Hippocrates and Galen, to employ a more empirical approach that had affinities with such revolutionary figures as Galileo, Newton and Harvey. Labillardière is now credited as being as one of the pioneers of modern botany, and a significant figure in the development of the life sciences. Born in Alençon, France, on 28 October 1755, died in Paris, France, on 8 January 1834. Studied medicine and botany; travelled widely in Europe, including England.

Labor Party—(see: Australian Labor Party).

labyrinthodontlabyrinthodont—ancient marine amphibians, big predators lurking in the chilly water down south. In the Arcadia Formation in Queensland there are the fossils of more sorts of labyrinthodonts than anywhere else in the world. They ranged from fairly small creatures to the enormous Koolasuchus cleelandi which, at about 5m from tip to tail, was the length of a car and capable of eating small dinosaurs. The labyrinthodonts had hung on for 130 million years longer than anywhere else in the world. Not only that, this was the largest labyrinthodont ever found and it lived in a part of the world much colder than anyone expected. The smaller ones ate insects, but the bigger ones ate larger animals. Their many sharp teeth were useful for catching things like fish and perhaps unwary small dinosaurs that got too close to the water’s edge. But when the teeth of one good-sized labyrinthodont called Siderops kehli were carefully examined, all that was found were the fossilised remains of millipedes and a piece of the backbone of another labyrinthodont. The really big creature that lived alongside the polar dinosaurs, Koolasuchus cleelandi, must have eaten something more substantial than this to sustain itself and probably lived on slow-moving lung fish, with the occasional young dinosaur for a change. Like frogs they had a kind of ear called a tympanum. They also had another sense inherited from their fish ancestors – a way of sensing vibrations in the water with their body. We can be pretty confident that they laid eggs, but we don’t know if they had a tadpole stage of life like most other amphibians, which have all sorts of odd ways of breeding. So it’s hard to know for sure how labyrinthodonts bred and whether they did have tadpoles or larvae, but we do know that reproducing this way happened with other amphibians of the time. In China there is a fossil clearly showing the larva of a salamander with gills and no legs, but with a fin-like tail for swimming.

lace into—scold, reprimand, attack, abuse verbally.

lace monitorlace monitorVaranus varius, a large, mostly arboreal lizard that can grow up to 2m in length, with very powerful limbs and strong claws for scaling large trees in its hunt for birds. The monitor also has very powerful jaws for hunting on the ground. Its diet consists of insects, reptiles, small mammals and nesting birds. It is also known to feed on carrion, and several lace monitors may be seen feeding on the same large carcass. The most common color of the lace monitor is a dark blue-black with scattered white to yellow scales that form spots or blotches. Regional variations to this pattern do occur, with the lighter spots forming bands across the back in some individuals. It is found in the coastal areas and ranges of eastern and south-eastern Australia. It will defend itself against humans by inflicting serious wounds. Also known as common goanna.

lacebarkBrachychiton discolor, a medium-sized tree to about 20m—30m. Leaves are about 100mm—150mm long and deeply lobed. The large, bell-shaped flowers are usually deep pink and occur in clusters at the ends of the branches. The flowers are very spectacular and are followed by seed capsules which contain many large seeds. Lacebark is reasonably common in cultivation and is hardy in a range of climates, although it may be slow growing. It is partly to completely deciduous before flowering. It tolerates a range of soils. Propagation from seed is relatively easy without any pretreatment. The seeds are surrounded in the capsule by irritant hairs and are best collected using gloves. Found in rainforest from central New South Wales to southern Queensland. Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

Lachlan catchmentLachlan catchment—covers an area of 84,700sq km extending from the western perimeter of the Great Divide in the east to the vast Riverine Plains in the west. The Lachlan catchment has an estimated population greater than 100,000, producing approximately 14% of NSW agricultural production from a land area of approximately 10% of the State. The Lachlan catchment is unique in the Murray-Darling Basin, as the river terminates in wetlands and effluent creeks in the lower part of the catchment. Occasionally, the Lachlan flows into the Murrumbidgee River during significant flood events. Lake Cowal, the Booligal wetlands and the Great Cumbung Swamp are just some of the natural features that have been identified as being of national importance. There are a number of other reserves and high-quality Crown land that also contribute significantly to the resources of the catchment. The Lachlan catchment falls predominantly within the Wiradjuri Aboriginal tribal area.

Lachlan Fold Belt—a composite orogenic belt. It was affected by four episodes of folding, strong compression and uplift. The belt crops out in central, western and southern NSW and extends into Victoria and Tasmania. Being part of the Tasman Orogen, the Lachlan Fold Belt of eastern Australia belongs to a Paleozoic orogenic system that extended some 20,000km from the northern Andes and through the Pacific margin of Antarctica to eastern Australia. The Lachlan Fold Belt formed along the Gondwanaland margin.

Lachlan River—a terminal river system, only flowing out of the Great Cumbung Swamp to the Murrumbidgee River in exceptionally high flood flows. All salt generated in the upland tributary catchments above Forbes is redistributed back into the landscape in irrigation diversions, flood entrapment, or within this significant wetland environment. The Lachlan River lies within the Murray-Darling Basin.

Lachlan River tribes—an Aboriginal people of New South Wales.

Lachlan SwampLachlan Swamp—a wetland system covering 6600ha on the Lachlan River floodplain, to the south of Sydney Harbour. The climate is semi-arid, and flooding is due to rain falling to the east of the swamp. These wetlands are a good example of river red gum with black box vegetation in western NSW. When flooded, the area supports large numbers of waterbirds, including egret colonies, the Australasian shoveler and the freckled duck. Lachlan Swamp is one of the most peaceful and historic areas of Centennial Park, and provides an insight into what the area was like before the parklands were developed. The swamps had been pressed into service as the water supply for a burgeoning city. An aqueduct was cut by hand through sandstone that ran three or more kilometres underground from these swamps to Hyde Park. Close to 2 million litres of water poured through this aqueduct every day. In 1825 the city surveyor and engineer proclaimed the water "perfectly transparent and colourless, free from every taste and smell, and so soft as to be fit for every purpose." In less than 50 years these same waters were highly polluted. Lachlan Swamp was once a myriad of creeks, swamps, springs, sand dunes and ponds fed by ground water. It only became the commercial water supply of the day because the previous original source, the Tank Stream, was reduced to the water quality of an open sewer.

lacker band—elastic band; rubber band.

lacy tree fernCyatheraceae cooperi derives this name from its delicate fronds. It has a slender trunk with distinctive "coin spots" where old fronds have broken off the trunk. C. cooperi fronds are bright green and lacy and tend to be very fast growing. There are several major horticultural varieties of this fern, and it is the one of the most popular tree ferns, along with Dicksonia antarctica, due to its rapid growth form, hardiness and aesthetic appeal. The lacy tree fern is naturally found in tropical lowlands along the coast of Queensland and New South Wales. Also known as the Australian tree fern.

lad—1. familiar term for any male: e.g., Me and the lads are going fishing tomorrow. 2. daring, playful, devil-may-care, reckless man; womaniser.

lad's love—southernwood.

laddie—a young boy or lad.

ladies—women's toilet.

ladle out—hand out or distribute in a lavish manner.

Lady Elliot IslandLady Elliot Island—the first coral cay on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It is famous worldwide for the green and loggerhead turtle rookery, along with its extensive manta ray population and bird-nesting grounds. Visitors to the island can step off the beach to snorkel, swim and dive in one of the world’s richest marine eco-systems. Due to the abundant bird life, over the centuries their droppings had covered the island to a depth of more than two metres. In 1863 a mining lease was granted over the entire island, and by 1873 it had been stripped of all its guano (the bird droppings that fertilised the island) and most of its vegetation. In 1969, a businessman and conservationist built an airstrip, killed all the feral goats and began a revegetation program. In 1985, a lease for a low-key resort was granted. The resort island is also known as the Lazy Lady.

Lady Muck—a woman who affects airs and graces, behaves pretentiously, in an affected, snobby manner.

Lady Nelson—a 60-ton brig built in England in 1799, specifically for exploration purposes. She was only 15m in length at the waterline, and was equipped with three sliding centreboards thereby enabling operation in shallow waters and in many different conditions. On completion, she was selected for exploration services in the Colony of New South Wales and sailed from Portsmouth, England, on the 19th March 1800 for Port Jackson, under the command of Lieutenant James Grant. She was the first vessel to sail parallel to the entire southern coast of Australia, and the first to sail eastward through Bass Strait. She charted the coastline of Victoria, explored its inlets, and penetrated its rivers. She travelled north to Moreton Bay, Port Essington and Melville Island, and also helped to establish Lieutenant Bowen's colony at Risdon Cove, Tasmania.

ladybug—ladybird.

ladyfy—1. make a lady of. 2. call (someone) a 'lady'. 3. having the manner of a fine lady.

lag—a habitual criminal, convict.

lagerphonelagerphone—a home-made musical instrument made of beer-bottle tops, loosely nailed to a stick, which rattle when hit or tapped.

lagger—police informer.

lagoon—a shallow coastal water body, divided from the sea by a barrier of sand.

lair—1. any person (especially a man) who is a flashy show-off, vulgar exhibitionist, public nuisance; show pony. 2. person's hiding place or retreat. 3. a favourite haunt or place to visit.

lair around/lairise—1. behave in a flamboyant, showy, vulgar, exhibitionistic manner. 2. (Australian Rules football) to show off when in front in a game.

lairiser—vulgar exhibitionist.

lairy—vulgar; flashy; gaudy; exhibitionistic.

Lake AlbacutyaLake Albacutya—fills from Lake Hindmarsh when the Wimmera River is in flood. Sustained high flows are conveyed via Outlet Creek to Lake Albacutya. The lake generally fills and empties on a 20-year cycle, the longest dry period on record being 27 years. It last filled in 1974 and held water for nine years. In extremely wet periods, the lake overflows to a series of smaller wetlands and the Wirrengren Plain in the Mallee Region. At high water mark, the lake covers 5850ha, and large numbers of water birds can be seen when there is water in the lake. When the lake bed is dry, it is colonised in places by the rare green saltbush and the almost endemic three nerve wattle). 'Albacutya' is said to mean 'where the quandongs grow'. The first land grant in the area was 'Halbacutya' station, established in 1846. It stretched from Lake Hindmarsh to the northern end of Lake Albacutya. A rabbit plague ate the station out in the late 1870s. Once occupied by the Wotjobal people, Lake Albacutya is located in Victoria, 72km north of Dimboola.

Lake Albert—a notionally fresh water lake near the mouth of the Murray River. It is filled by water flowing in from Lake Alexandrina at its mouth near Narrung. It is separated on the south by the Narrung Peninsula from the saltwater Coorong. The only major town on the lake is Meningie. Due to there being no significant tributaries and a high evaporation rate, Lake Albert is significantly saltier than Lake Alexandrina. Located in South Australia.

Lake AlexandrinaLake Alexandrina—Australia’s largest inland lake and the largest of the Murray lakes, some 570sq km and is about 37km long and 21km wide. The Murray River flows west from the Victorian border then turns south to flow into Lake Alexandrina, which empties into the sea. In 1830 the explorer Charles Sturt named the lake after Princess Alexandrina (later Queen Victoria). Five barrages built in the 1940s across the lake's exits prevent the intrusion of seawater upstream, allowing for the development of irrigated agriculture in that area. Located in the Coorong region of South Australia.

Lake Alexandrina tribes—also known as the Ngarrindjeri. Their environment was rich with animals, plants and aquatic resources and the Ngarrindjeri groups were consequently less nomadic than Aborigines of the inland. A wide range of material culture items—wooden artefacts and basketry in particular—reflected this more sedentary lifestyle. Ngarrindjeri social structure and religious life was also distinctive. In common with other south-eastern Australian groups, Ngarrindjeri religion was characterised by Dreaming Ancestors who established laws and social practices before leaving the earth to live in the sky. Ngurunderi was the most important of these Ngarrindjeri ancestors. From the early 1830s the Ngarrindjeri people have survived the massive dislocation wrought by European settlement. While also serving as a refuge, the establishment of Christian missions like Point McLeay (Rakan) helped weaken the culture of a people already suffering the loss of their land and their rights. Outside the missions, many Ngarrindjeri lived in town fringe camps until the 1860s, when the political situation of Aboriginal people throughout Australia began to improve with their recognition as full citizens. Today the Ngarrindjeri community, located in several country centres as well as in Adelaide itself, is one of the largest Aboriginal communities in southern Australia.

Lake Amadeus—a salty mud basin in south-western Northern Territory. The lake occupies a shallow trough filled with sediments washed from the MacDonnell (north) and Musgrave (south) ranges. It intermittently contains a few inches of water and at such times may measure as much as 145km long and 20km wide, covering some 880sq km.

Lake Amadeus and the Karinga Creek systemLake Amadeus and the Karinga Creek system—an ecological refuge in the Great Sandy Desert  resulting in a drainage system that provides a complex mixture of habitats characterised by dependable supplies of moisture to plants. Lake Amadeus is a major area for discharge of the Central Australian groundwater system; there is consistent groundwater seepage around most of the lake. The Karinga Creek palaeodrainage system lies 60km to the east south-east; it comprises a series of smaller saline through brackish to freshwater pans with springs and seepages emanating from the same groundwater basin as that discharging into Lake Amadeus. The vegetation varies from highly localised halophytic plants through to widely represented taxa.

Lake Argyle—the Ord River was dammed in 1971, forming a storage reservoir to supply water to one of Australia's largest and most ambitious irrigation schemes. The lake can encompass an area of more than 2000sq km, a volume of water equivalent to 54 Sydney Harbours. What was once the million-acre Argyle Downs cattle station has now been flooded, creating a unique ecosystem. Up to 90 islands throughout Lake Argyle provide predator-free nesting grounds for the Johnstone River freshwater crocodile. The lake has become a wetland of international significance, as well, as it is an ideal habitat for almost one third of Australia's bird species. Flocks of brolgas, jabiru, white-bellied sea-eagle and rare species such as the yellow chat and purple-crowned fairy-wren, are just some of the birds that visit the man-made lake. Short-eared rock-wallabies now thrive in rocky crevices close to the water's edge. Wallaroos living on the islands have adapted to feed almost entirely on aquatic plants washed onto the shore. As the lake filled, about 26 native species of fish, which inhabited small pools in the Ord River, quickly multiplied. There is now a commercial fishing industry which mainly targets the massive silver cobbler, which can reach 40kg. Other fish include the delicious sooty grunter and the amazing archer fish, which can be seen shooting down insects with a jet of water.

Lake Argyle Village—a small town beside a spectacular, artificial desert lake. The Lake Argyle Village is now nothing more than a largely disused construction camp, a hotel-motel, a camping site and a few houses on the edge of one of the most beautiful dams in Australia. The fact that the dam is also Australia's largest, with an area of 741sq km, seems irrelevant when compared to the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Located 70km from Kunnunurra and 1127km from Broome, Lake Argyle is only a few kilometres west of the Northern Territory border. The area was first settled by Patrick (Patsy) Durack in 1882. Located in the Argyle Region of Western Australia.

Lake Bael Bael—the Ramsar-listed terminal lake of the Avoca River. The water level fluctuates and it dries out in some years (dry in 2000). Summer water depths are less than 2m but can increase to 3m during winter flows. It is part of the water distribution system supplying water to orchards, vineyards and pasture between Kerang and Swan Hill. An increased flow in the Avoca River can move higher salinity and de-oxygenated water into the lake. Lake Bael Bael is situated north-west of Kerang, in the Riverina bioregion of Victoria.

Lake Bathurst schoolLake Bathurst—lies some 27kms south-east of Goulburn in undulating country bordered on the east and west by a chain of hills and the Goulburn Plains. Part of the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people, it was also traversed by other Aboriginal tribes en route to the coast or the Monaro during the bogong moth season. Stone artefacts dating back 20,000 years have been found at nearby Lake George. Lake Bathurst itself, like its larger neighbour, is something of an enigma. No rivers flow into it; rather, it is fed by drainage through the soils of the surrounding area, and is therefore dependent on the level of rainfall for its inflow. Hence, it fluctuates in size from a few to up to 10 square kilometres in area. The first Europeans to sight the lake were the investigative party of Hamilton Hume and James Meehan who travelled through the district in 1818. Hume named it after Earl Bathurst who, at the time, was the Secretary of State of War and the Colonies. In The Durack family who took up a lease of 250 acres in Lake Bathurst in the 1850s to raise cattle, and then went on an epic journey droving cattle thousands of kilometres to the Kimberleys in north-west Australia to help establish Australia's great cattle industry. Like most rural centres, Lake Bathurst went into decline in the years after the 1960s. The railway remains, on the Goulburn-Canberra line, but its once important goods shed and water tank are gone.

Lake Bindegolly—a notable area of diverse aquatic habitats and a vital breeding ground for a vast number of aquatic birds. The park is approximately 14,000ha in area and contains the hydrologically connected saltwater lakes, Bindegolly and Toomaroo, and an aggregation of small, ephemeral lakes to the east of Lake Bindegolly. The lakes are deeper than most in the interior and are rarely dry. During periods when the lakes are at a low level, the salinity of Lake Bindegolly can be six times higher than that of seawater. Such a range of water qualities supports a wide range of aquatic organisms, which in turn provide valuable resources for aquatic birds. Together with Currawinya Lakes further to the south, Lake Bindegolly forms an important part of an inland route for migratory birds. Located in Thargomindah, Queensland.

Lake BurragorangLake Burragorang—what we see today is the result of a major development dating back to 1960—the damming of the Warragamba River and construction downstream of a new dam (Warragamba) which was to provide the majority of Sydney's water supply. In the process Lake Burragorang was created, as can be seen from the two lookouts today. The valley itself is over 80km long and the lake as you see it is 600m above sea level. Trout, perch, carp and eels abound in the lake, although fishing is prohibited.

Lake Condah—one of Australia's earliest and largest aquaculture ventures. The lake is a shallow basin measuring about 4km by 1km, and its overflow reliably released fish and eels into Darlot’s Creek. The indigenous Kerrupjmara people created stone races and water canals from which they would trap the marine life with woven fibre nets. Numerous houses were built on high ground beside the lake, particularly at the south-eastern end of the basin where it joins up with Darlots Creek. Field surveys have recorded 267 cultural sites including 129 stone huts at Lake Condah and environs. The area shows evidence, dating back thousands of years, of a large and settled Aboriginal community that was systematically farming eels and other fish for food and trade. Archaeological work done by Monash University indicates that some of the sites at Lake Condah could be dated from 4000 years up to 18,000 years BP. Lake Condah is located at the north-western edge of Mount Eccles National Park, 70km south-west of the Grampians National Park and 25km north-east of Heywood, in Victoria.

Lake Condah Mission—began in 1867 as a Church of England mission and was closed in 1919 when the government took control. Many families continued to live there into the 1950s, when they were forcibly removed from the mission site when it was subdivided for soldier settlements. Despite the loss of their mission, Gunditjmara continued to live in the area, and the mission lands were returned to them in 1987. The Lake Condah mission is deemed to be of outstanding heritage value because of the legal process under which it was returned to the community. The Commonwealth used its constitutional powers to provide benefits for a specific Aboriginal community, via the Aboriginal Land (Lake Condah and Framlingham Forest) Act 1987. The only other example is the return of the Framlingham Forest, under the same Act.

Lake Condah Mission

Lake Condah Sustainable Development Project—an Indigenous community initiative launched in February 2002. Its aim is to develop the Lake Condah/ Tyrendarra area as a major national heritage park and a centre for sustainable development. The project centres on restoration of the Lake Condah Mission church and re-flooding of Lake Condah to restore the wetland ecology. Lake Condah and the surrounding area are registered on Australia's National Heritage List.

Lake Corangamite—the largest permanent inland lake in Australia. In the period 1951 to 1956 high rainfall caused the level of Lake Corangamite and other nearby lakes to rise substantially and inundate thousands of hectares of freehold land. In 1959 after two state parliamentary enquiries, the Rural Water Commission constructed the Woady Yaloak Diversion Scheme to relieve flooding around Lake Corangamite. This was achieved by diverting about 50 per cent of the water that would naturally flow into the lake. Since that time the scheme has been effective in reducing water levels in the lake, which has made large areas of freehold land available for grazing with a reduced risk of inundation. Reduced inflows into the lake have, however, led to increasingly high salinity levels. Lake Corangamite, as part of the system of Western District Lakes, was nominated for listing under the Ramsar Convention in 1982.

Lake Cowal—the largest natural inland lake in New South Wales. It is part of the Wilbertoy-Cowal wetlands within a large flood plain, the Jemalong Plain. Fed by its major tributary Bland Creek and by occasional floods from the Lachlan River, the lake is ephemeral, but is substantially full for seven out of ten years. As with other large, inland wetlands, Lake Cowal provides important support when other areas are affected by drought. When flooded, Lake Cowal supports 79 breeding species of waterbirds. As floods recede, Lake Cowal drains back into the Lachlan, communicating with the Murray River.

Lake Eacham rainbow fish—now extinct in the wild, it was once found only in Lake Eacham on the Atherton Tablelands, north Queensland, in the clear shallow water at the margins of the lake among aquatic vegetation, fallen logs or branches.

Lake EyreLake Eyre—Australia's largest salt lake, situated in the driest region of the country, within a major drainage system of the interior lowlands. The bed of Lake Eyre is also the lowest area in Australia, at seventeen metres below sea level. It actually comprises two lakes—North Lake Eyre and South Lake Eyre—connected by a narrow channel. Almost three-quarters of the run-off from the 1.3 million-km2 catchment finds its way, via an intricate network of channels known as the Channel Country, through three deserts towards Lake Eyre, although most is lost through evaporation or absorption. When the lake does fill, it becomes temporarily Australia's largest lake as it spreads out to 9500sq km. This has occurred only three times this century, the latest being in 1989. The salt has been washed from underlying marine sediments into the lake where it accumulates. When dry, which is its usual state, the lake bed is a glistening sheet of white salt. The lake was named after Edward Eyre, who was the first European to sight it in 1840.

Lake Eyre Basin—the world's largest internal drainage system. It covers approximately 1.2 million square kilometres of arid and semi-arid central Australia. This is about one-sixth of the continent, or the same size as the Murray-Darling system, or about twice the size of the US state of Texas. All rivers and creeks in the drainage system are ephemeral, with short periods of flow following rain, and extended periods of no flow. The volume of flow decreases downstream, with increasing aridity towards Lake Eyre and the huge dispersal system of braided channels, floodplains, waterholes and wetlands on the way. The many large permanent waterholes in the system provide vital habitat for wildlife and are important to towns, communities and pastoral holdings.

Lake FromeLake Frome—a playa salt lake occupying a tectonic depression. Gypsum dunes occur along the eastern margins of the lake, and support a tall open shrubland of sandhill wattle, mulga and needlebush, with an understorey of ephemeral herbs, saltbush and bluebush. Lake Frome occurs at the southern margin of the Strzelecki Desert, the terminal lake in a chain of interconnected salt lakes. The Lake Frome region of the Lake Eyre Basin is centred on Lake Frome and extends from Lake Eyre to near Broken Hill and from Haddon Corner to south of Peterborough. The Lake Frome region contributes very little water to Lake Eyre itself but is an integral part of the overall Lake Eyre drainage basin. Beach-ridges found on the shores of Lake Frome indicate that during the Pleistocene, mega-Frome was fed from Cooper Creek via Strzelecki Creek, and that it once flowed northwards into Lake Eyre. Such an extensive body of water has important implications for interpreting the late Pleistocene climates of the region.

Lake George—on the Southern Tablelands in New South Wales, Lake George makes for an interesting study in tectonic (earth moving) processes that have resulted in a basin lower than the surrounding locality. Creeks flow into the lake, but as there is no stream exit, the area forms an internal drainage basin (Lake Eyre is a similar basin on a much larger scale). Although it was once believed possible that a mysterious force was at work, it is now known that the lake level is a result of differences between precipitation and evaporation, along with porous silt soils on the lake floor that can absorb large volumes of water.

Lake Gregory—a significant wetland located within the Tanami biogeographic region of Western Australia. As one of the most important inland wetlands in Australia, it supports the largest breeding colony of little black cormorant; is a major stopover area for migrating shorebirds; and is a major drought refuge for waterfowl. The lake comprises all basins at the end of the Sturt Creek drainage system, giving it regular inflow. In this region and in the deserts to the south, Lake Gregory is the only lake that retains some surface water permanently. Seventy waterbird species have been recorded, sometimes in vast numbers, with more than 100,000 occurring regularly and perhaps as many as 600,000 occasionally. Prominent among the birds are migratory waders, which utilise the lake as a stopover. Lake Gregory is recognised as a wetland of national and international importance, covering some 270,000ha in the northern Great Sandy Desert. The land is held under two pastoral leases, the Bililuna and Lake Gregory stations, held by the Western Australian Aboriginal Land Trust on behalf of the traditional owners. This particular Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is managed by the Kimberley Land Council.

Lake HindmarshLake Hindmarsh—Victoria's largest freshwater lake, fed by the Wimmera River. Explorer Edmund John Eyre followed the course of the Wimmera River in 1838 and named Lake Hindmarsh after the first governor of South Australia. It is one of very few lakes within an arid environment having permanent water. The lake supports a community of salt paperbark and several threatened plant species, as well as large numbers of waterbird species. The wetland region surrounding the lake is contained by the Lake Hindmarsh Reserve.

Lake Hindmarsh Aboriginal Reserve—site of the Ebenezer Mission, which was built with Aboriginal labour in 1859. The Lake Hindmarsh Land Act revoked the reserve in 1904, and the land was made available for selection. In the 1920s many of the remaining residents were forcibly removed to Lake Tyers Mission in Gippsland, Victoria.

Lake Hindmarsh Land Act 1905 (Vic)—Ebenezer Mission closed due to the dwindling numbers of residents and the reserved land was returned to the Lands Department for disposal. The Lake Hindmarsh Land Act opened the land up for selection except for the Ebenezer cemetery and church ground, which were made a permanent reserve. The community moved to nearby townships or took up residence at other missions in Victoria.

Lake Hindmarsh Reserve—a wetland area valued for its flora, fauna and landscape. The lake is partly fringed by river red gum and black box woodlands, with a shrubby understorey. Lake Hindmarsh has supported 50 waterbird species, including the Australian pelican, Australian shelduck, Pacific black duck, grey teal, Eurasian coot, masked lapwing and whiskered tern. The reserve also protects some vulnerable plant species, including salt paperbark, three-nerve wattle, coast bitter-bush, button rush, red bird's-foot trefoil and six-point arrow-grass).

Lake Hope—so named because only when it fills, will water flow on to Lake Eyre. The last inflow from Cooper Creek was in March 2000. Lake Hope sits between the Birdsville Track and the Strezlecki Track.

Lake IllawarraLake Illawarra—a large saltwater lake with a surface area of 35sq km and a 37km shoreline. The lake is shallow, although over 70 per cent of the lake is navigable. Home to flocks of majestic black swans, pelicans, the royal spoonbill and a host of other water birds, Lake Illawarra is also a good prawning ground. It is approximately 9.5km long and 5.5km wide, with an area of 33sq km and a maximum depth of 3.7m.

Lake Jabiru—the artificial lake was originally formed by blocking a natural drainage channel. It was designed for both storm water management and recreational use. However, due to its shallow depth and warm temperatures a large amount of plant material has grown in the lake, including algal blooms. Together with sightings of saltwater crocodiles, these problems have severely limited the lake's recreational uses. Today, plans are afoot to restore Lake Jabiru to a state where it can be used for passive recreational pursuits. Located on the Liverpool Plains, Northern Territory.

Lake King—one of three main lakes in the Gippsland Lakes region. Three rivers flow into Lake King: The Tambo, Nicholson and Mitchell. The Mitchell River descends from the Dargo High Plains to enter the western shore of Lake King through silt jetties. From this point it becomes a series of long, narrow, winding silt jetties that extend eastwards into the lake for 8km. The silt was deposited over millions of years as the Mitchell slowed at the point of its entry into the lake. These jetties are second in size only to the silt jetties of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico.

Lake Macquarie—the largest coastal saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere, covering 109 square kilometres (four times the size of Sydney Harbour). There is no appreciable tidal range within the lake although the tidal race at Swansea Channel can be strong. Lake Macquarie is linked to the ocean by a narrow channel. It was, at one time, a bay, but it was almost enclosed by the development of sandbars caused by wind, waves and tides. In 1800 Captain William Reid became the first European to make his way into the lake. Sent from Sydney to collect coal from the mouth of the Hunter River he mistook the channel for the river estuary, ventured inside and encountered some members of the Awabakal tribe, who then occupied the area from the bank of the Lower Hunter to the southern and western shores of Lake Macquarie. After he inquired about coal the Aborigines directed him to some embedded in the headland. It was only upon his return to Sydney that he realised his error. The lake was thus known as Reid's Mistake until 1826 when it was renamed in honour of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

Lake MungoLake Mungo—one of the 17 lakes within the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area located in Mungo National Park, New South Wales. The archaeological site at Lake Mungo covered 135 sq km and was about 10 meters deep. It existed from 25,000 – 45,000 years ago. Many extinct megafauna such as the Tasmanian tiger, giant kangaroos, a hairy-nosed wombat and a strange animal called the zygomaturus have been found at the site. The use of carbon dating has proven that Aborigines lived in the area of Lake Mungo about 40,000 years ago, which makes this site the oldest site occupied by humans.

Lake Peery National Park—formerly a grazing property. The main feature of scientific interest is the presence of the mound spring that lies next to Lake Peery, it is the only spring of this kind in the state. The most distinctive features of the landscape of Lake Peery National Park are the lake and mound spring, the pale sand dune system surrounding the lake and the rocky hills of the Peery Range. The intervening areas are generally open woodlands or grasslands on hard soils. A creek system runs through the park and has permanent waterholes scattered along its course. There are also extensive areas of lignum associated with the lake and its areas of overflow. Lake Peery National Park is located approximately 40km east of White Cliffs in far north-western New South Wales.

Lake PinarooLake Pinaroo—located in Sturt National Park, 335 km north of Broken Hill. It is the largest terminal basin found within the New South Wales portion of the Simpson-Strezelecki Dune Fields biogeographical region. The lake provides valuable habitat for endangered birds, and supports a substantial number of waterbirds, especially when the lake levels are high. Many animals, including red and grey kangaroos, emus and a vast array of reptiles. The semi-arid landscape of rolling red dunes of the Strezlecki Desert provide a magnificent backdrop to the wetlands, remnant gidgee woodland and vast, stone-covered plains. An exceptionally high density and variety of Aboriginal sites, including hearths, middens, ceremonial sites, quarries and abundant stone artifacts are also found here.

Lake St Clair—glacier-carved Lake St Clair plunges more than 190m, which makes it the deepest lake in the Southern Hemisphere. At 11 miles long, visitors use a ferry to ply its length and take in the surrounding mountains. One of them, Mount Olympus, has a chiseled face that makes it look like a castle battlement. Visitors generally access the park from Devonport, a small city on Tasmania’s north-west coast, starting their visit at Cradle Mountain. There’s no direct auto link to Lake St Clair, so getting to the southern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park requires a roundabout drive west and south through some of the neighboring national parks—or east into the island’s agricultural interior—before looping around to the lake. Bushwalkers often start from Cradle Mountain and trek the rugged Overland Track, Australia’s oldest and most famous bushwalking trail. It usually takes six days, passing through rough high country that can throw elevation changes, extreme weather and dense bush at visitors. But there are many pleasant distractions along the way, including small lakes, virgin forests and almost numberless waterfalls. The Tasmanian beech is the island's only deciduous tree; when it turns colour, it's known locally as the turning of the fagus.

Lake Torrens—a large, shallow, saline lake in central South Australia. An extensive wetland system providing occasional habitat for waterbirds, Lake Torrens has filled to capacity only once in the last century. Banded stilts breed here in large numbers.

Lake TyersLake Tyers—a name commonly applied to any one, or all, of three entities: 1) the lake itself; 2) the surrounding township, also known as Lake Tyers Beach; and 3) the Lake Tyers area, which includes the Aboriginal Trust land known as Bung Yardna. The township, lake and the 5300ha forest park are all named after Charles Tyers, the first Commissioner for Crown lands in Victoria (1843). In 1970, as a result of the Aboriginal Lands Act, 1600ha of Crown land on the eastern side of Lake Tyers was returned with unconditional freehold title to the Aborigines living on the property. Located in the Gippsland region of Victoria.

Lake Tyers Forest Park—the Aboriginal Trust land known as Bung Yardna. Tall eucalypt forests surround the northern shores of Lake Tyers, and a narrow sand spit divides the lake from the Southern Ocean. Interesting bird species that have been recorded in the park include the rufous night-heron, powerful owl, sooty owl, white-throated nightjar, azure kingfisher, olive whistler and Australasian bittern. Lake Tyers Forest Park is approximately 330km from Melbourne and about 20km north-east of Lakes Entrance, in the Gippsland region of Victoria.

Lake Tyers Reserve—began as a mission station, established in 1861 by the Church of England. In 1863, the Victorian colonial government set aside 2000 acres of land as the Lake Tyers Reserve. In the early 1900s, residents from Ramahyuck moved to Lake Tyers, as did those from Lake Condah and Coranderrk, after these stations were closed. Between 1886 and 1923, Indigenous people living in Victoria who wished to receive assistance from the Aborigines Protection Board had to move to Lake Tyers. By 1962 the state government had announced plans to close the Lake Tyers mission station. In 1971, the government returned the Lake Tyers Reserve, including 4000 acres, to the local Aboriginal community under the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970. The Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust land is known to its traditional owners as Bung Yardna. Lake Tyers Reserve is located in the Gippsland region.

Lake VictoriaLake Victoria—a major water source for people in New South Wales, Victoria and major towns and cities throughout South Australia; one of the four major water storages on the Murray-Darling river system. Lake Victoria plays an important role in reducing the salinity levels of water flowing along the River Murray to South Australia. This is achieved by coordinating operations between Lake Victoria and the Menindee Lakes storage on the lower Darling River. The Lake Victoria storage was constructed in the late 1920s to provide a reliable water supply for the development of the Lower Murray region in South Australia. In 1994 when the lake level was lowered for maintenance, a wealth of Aboriginal history was discovered. Artefacts such as camp sites, stone tools, grindstones, shell middens and hearths, along with extensive burial sites, were uncovered. It was estimated that up to three or four thousand individual graves exist in the large burial grounds. The significant number of remains provides evidence that dense populations of Aboriginal people had lived around the lake for many thousands of years. Lake Victoria has exceptional spiritual value to the associated Aboriginal people, both as a place of burials and as the locality where many Aboriginal people were killed in clashes with European overlanders in the 1830s-1840s. Rufus River on the southern lake bed was the location of the final and determining conflict between Aborigines and Europeans on the Murray, the Rufus River Massacre of 27 August 1841. During World War II, Lake Victoria was used as a training ground for the RAAF’s 2nd Operational Training Unit. Six fatalities resulted from these activities, and to this day two airmen and their aircraft remain missing in the lake bed. Lake Victoria is located in the Gippsland Lakes region of South Australia.

Lake Wellington—one of three main lakes of the Gippsland Lakes region (the others being Lake Victoria and Lake King).

Lake WyaraLake Wyara—an 8km expanse of salty water in the far west of Queensland that periodically dries up. Nevertheless, a quarter of a million waterbirds flock to this lake in most years—31 species in all—while a nearby freshwater lake fails to draw the birds. The explanation lies in the wet and dry cycle typical of outback areas. Those lakes which are periodically dried out remain free of fish, which eat sea grasses that are central to the diet of so many birds. The swan population, for example, arrives soon after an influx of fresh water. Later in the cycle, as the lake's waters evaporate, the salt becomes concentrated and the sea grasses die off. By then, most bird species will have moved on in search of other wetlands at the stage that benefits them. Located within Currawinya National Park.

Lakefield National Park—Queensland's second-largest park, comprising an amalgamation of three cattle stations. The area is covered by mangrove-lined mudflats, grassy plains and woodland, and dotted with many permanent waterholes. These rivers, lagoons and swamps provide refuge for a great variety of birds and other wildlife. The park is drained by an extensive river system comprising the Normanby, Morehead and north Kennedy rivers and their tributaries. During the wet season, these watercourses join to flood vast areas before draining into Princess Charlotte Bay. Lakefield is noted as a major habitat for freshwater and estuarine crocodiles. Lakefield National Park covers 528,000ha in south-eastern Cape York Peninsula, from Laura to Princess Charlotte Bay in Far North Queensland.

Lakeland Downs—the Aboriginal community of Lakeland marks the junction of the Cape York Peninsula and Cooktown development roads and is an important service point for travelers to the peninsula. Attractions in and around Lakeland include birding, fishing and other nature-based activities, Cooktown, Laura, Quinkan Country rock art, Palmer River goldfields and the Mount McLean gemfields.

Lakes EntranceLakes Entrance—a tourist town and fishing village situated at the artificially opened entrance to the Gippsland Lakes region and is home to the largest fishing fleet in Australia. The three main lakes—Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington—are all joined and fed by the rivers which start in the High Country, approximately 315km east of Melbourne, Victoria.

Lakes National Park—(see: The Lakes National Park).

Lakes region—(see: The Lakes region).

lam into (someone)—beat; thrash; bash; hit hard.

Lamalama—1. an Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula, Far North Queensland. 2. The language, belonging to the Pama-Nyungan group, Paman, Lamalamic. Now nearly extinct.

lamb poison—any of several shrubs of the genus Isotropus, sometimes toxic to stock.

lamb's fry—lamb's liver or other offal as food.

lamb-brained—stupid; impractical.

lambswool—1. soft, fine wool from a young sheep, used in knitted garments etc. 2. a shrub of Western Australia with a white, woolly, flowering panicle and felt-like leaves.

lamer—someone socially inept or stupid.

lamingtonslamington—2" cubes of sponge cake with a chocolate and coconut coating, usually served with whipped cream and afternoon tea. It is said that lamingtons were invented in the Queensland Government House kitchen around 1898 as a creative use for stale sponge cake. They are named after Lady Lamington, the wife of the Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. The chocolate icing keeps the cake moist, protecting it from drying out in the hot climate. Lamingtons are the most popular fund-raising item for school groups, Scouts and Girl Guides. Bake the cake 24 hours before icing it. A slightly stale cake is easier to cut and frost, and the icing moistens it up again.

lamington drive—an organised effort (by a community group) to raise money from the sale of lamingtons.

Lamington National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness situated in the Border Ranges of southern Queensland, a short distance from the Gold Coast. This vast forested region contains Australia's largest preserve of pristine sub-tropical rainforest. The dramatic landscape of radiating ridges and cliff-lined valleys results from 20 million years of erosion to a huge volcanic mountain, the remnant core of which is known as Mount Warning. During climatic fluctuations and sea-level changes over the millennia, the mountain has remained a refuge for the various populations of Australia's Gondwana-derived flora and fauna. Because the central core of sub-tropical rainforest is bordered by a variety of other typical Australian vegetation types, the diversity of plants and animals is remarkable. The National Park boasts over 900 species of vascular plants and over 120 bird species. There are literally hundreds of flowering plants within Lamington National Park, including trees, shrubs, vines and creepers, small herbs and grasses, orchids, lilies, tree waratah, white heath, flame kurrajong, stinging tree, Antarctic beech tree, ironbark orchid, king orchid, red cedar, wild tobacco, sundew, and grass tree. Bird species commonly found around Binna Burra includenthe bee-eater, white browed scrub wren, king parrot, kookaburra, rainbow lorikeet, crimson rosella, and many more. Most of the park's mammals are marsupials: pademelons, quolls, koalas, possums, and wallabies. A number of invertebrates can also be found: the spiny blue crayfish, butterflies, cicadas, dragonflies, mites, spiders, and giant worms and others. Parks features range from palm filled valleys with waterfalls and crystal clear rivers to mist covered mountain tops (1100m) clothed in cool-temperate rain forests dominated by Antarctic beech trees. Lamington National Park is 20,600ha in size and stretches from the southern side of the Scenic Rim to the crest of the McPherson Range that forms the border between Queensland and New South Wales to the south. From at least 10,000 years ago the Mingunburri, Wangerriburri and Bundjalung people lived in or visited the area. The main Kweebani Cave has a sloping shelf of volcanic ash. Romeo Lahey (the first European to see these caves) explored them, he found cooked shells of the Lamington blue crayfish in the ashes of old fires high up on the sloping floor of the cave, naming the cave for the Aboriginal word meaning 'to cook'. In the early years of European settlement in the area, the dense forests were used for their timber, and many trees were harvested during this time. In 1872 Robert Collins, a local pastoralist, was determined to preserve the remaining areas of the McPherson Ranges. Romeo Lahey, a saw-miller and engineer from Canungra joined Collins in his efforts, and by 1915 the area that we now know as Lamington National Park was declared.

lamington tin—a 13" x 9" pan.

lamp—light bulb.

lamp shelllamp shellMagellania flavescens, a brachiopod that breeds prolifically within the sheltered channels of the Churchill Island Marine National Park. These are living examples of an extremely ancient group of animals that have been part of the ocean world for over 600 million years. With their hinged shells partly agape, the lamp shell draws water into its body, straining out microscopic food swept in on the tidal currents. More than 30,000 fossil species of lamp shells are known, although there are only some 350 species worldwide today. The Australian fauna is among the most diverse, with its 39 different species. Turned upside down, brachiopods resemble ancient Roman oil lamps, hence the common name.

lamp-post—very tall, thin person.

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