These spectacular pink lakes are a sight to behold.
Australia is home to so many natural wonders and surreal landscapes we’re almost spoilt for choice. But did you know that you can also find some of the most vivid pink lakes in the world right here in Australia? Surprisingly, there aren’t too many, but the major chunk of them can be found right here at home. Aren’t we lucky!
How are the lakes pink?
These lakes get their natural rose-coloured hue because of the presence of algae, such as Dunaliella salina that produces caroteinoid and bacteria like Halobacteria. During high temperatures the algae mixes with the salts in the water to give it that rich pink shade. Fresh rainfall can also prompt a bit of bloom. The formation of this pink colour is highly dependent on the right temperature to help the bacteria and algae flourish and trigger the natural secretion of pink pigments.
Can you swim in these lakes?
The short answer to this is no. Most of these lakes are deemed off-limit and protected zones to keep them safe from unwarranted pollution. The high levels of salt in the lakes also make them risky and there can be deep mud underneath which could also be dangerous. You could potentially walk around the edges but if you have any open wounds or abrasions, it’s best to avoid stepping in at all. Use the opportunity to get a few extra clicks for your Instagram and take in the sights instead.
1. Lake Hillier, Western Australia
Lake Hillier is possibly the most popular lake on this list and for good reason. Its got one of the richest strawberry-pink hue and is also located side-by-side to the turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Its not easily accessible, in fact the best way to get to the lake is by booking a guided helicopter tour or via a boat charter. The lake is a strictly no-entry zone so chances of seeing the pristine waters up close is nil but you can be sure that classic drone shot will give you some serious bragging rights.
How to get there: Lake Hillier is an 8-minute drive west of Esperance but more easily accessible by air or sea.
2. Lake MacDonnell, South Australia
Few lakes around the world can compare to Lake MacDonnell. Located in the state of South Australia and along the western tip of the Eyre Peninsula, you’ll find this lake essentially in the middle of nowhere. The closest town to the lake is Penong and you will need to drive along a 15km dirt track to reach the lake. Affectionately called the blue-pink lake for obvious reasons, you will be met with a stunning pink lagoon upon arrival. Although its advised to do adequate research before travelling because the water is not always that candyfloss colour.
How to get there: Lake MacDonnell is a 9-hour drive from Adelaide.
3. Lake Hart, South Australia
Located in outback South Australia, just off the Stuart Highway between Coober Pedy and Port Augusta, Lake Hart is another wonderful pink lake courtesy of SA. The lake is mostly dried out and has a very high salt concentration which results in the formation of salt crystals under the surface. Lake Hart is also exceptionally beautiful both during the day and night. The bright orange hues reflect beautifully off the white-pink surface of the lake and nighttime makes for an incredible stargazing experience.
How to get there: Lake Hart is a short walk from the Stuart Highway near Woomera.
4. Pink Lakes, Victoria
The famous Pink Lakes in Victoria — Lake Crosbie, Lake Becking, Lake Kenyon and Lake Hardy are located in Murray-Sunset National Park, easily being the biggest draw for the area. The lakes are usually crystal clear but you can spot the rosy hues in them around summertime. Irrespective of the shade, the lakes make for an incredibly picturesque stop thanks to their giant expansiveness and general aura. To catch that lovely candy floss colour, plan a trip during late summers.
How to get there: The Pink Lakes are situated 4-hours’ north-west of Melbourne on the Western Highway.
5. Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia
Another Western Australia offering, Hutt Lagoon is absolutely spell binding especially when the pink colour is at its richest. Located near the Indian Ocean coast 2 kilometres north of the mouth of the Hutt River, about a 5-hour drive to Perth. You will find a ‘Pink Lake Lookout’ sign on Port Gregory Road which provides one of the best vantage points to view the lake. Hutt Lagoon’s popularity on Instagram has been skyrocketing in recent times and rightfully so, it provides for one of the stunning ariel shot of any lake in the country.
How to get there: Hutt Lagoon is a 5-hour, 30-minute drive from Perth.
6. Lake Tyrell, Victoria
Lake Tyrrell is Victoria’s largest Salt Lake covering a sprawling 20,860 hectares. Situated in the Mallee region, a four-hour drive from Melbourne along the Calder Highway, the rosy-hued lake provides for great opportunities to witness incredible sunsets, sunrises, and sky gazing. Lake Tyrell is also incredibly old and remains dry most of the year although visitors are strictly advised against wading in water or driving on the lakebed. Although the waters don’t pose any serious danger, it is advised to steer clear; the views are best enjoyed from a distance.
How to get there: Lake Tyrrell is about a 5-hour drive from Melbourne.
7. Lake Bumbunga, South Australia
Located between the town of Lochiel and the farming locality of Bumbunga, less than a 2-hour drive from Adelaide, this bubblegum pink lake is also an Instagram hotspot and draws huge crowds around the year. Lake Bumbunga is also one of the most easily accessible pink lakes in Australia and is best visited during the summers when the water salinity is at its peak. There are also a few surrounding towns in the region in close proximity to the lake if you wish to stay and witness the glittering night sky over the lake. If you wish to wade around the edges, carry an old pair of shoes you don’t care about.
How to get there: Lake Bumbunga is a 1 hour and 40-minute drive north-west from Adelaide.