Australia's pink lakes
Australia is home to many beguiling natural attractions, but its extraordinary pink lakes have got to be seen to be believed.
Lake Hillier, near Esperance, Western Australia
Lake Hillier, on Middle Island in Western Australia’s Recherche Archipelago, lies about 130 kilometres (70 miles) from Esperance, or an eight-hour drive from Perth. It's a surreal sight; the pink lake neighbours the dark blue waters of the Indian Ocean, with a strip of lush green forest acting as a barrier. Although you can see the lake by boat, one of the best ways to take in the spectacle is from the air on a scenic flight with Goldfields Air Services. Make a road trip of it on a colourful journey along Western Australia’s diverse coast.
Hutt Lagoon, Coral Coast, Western Australia
From its red cliffs to bright blue waters, Western Australia’s Coral Coast is known for having some of the most vividly-hued nature found anywhere in the country. Located under a six-hour drive north of Perth, Hutt Lagoon is one of the region’s most vibrant attractions. Depending on the season, time of day and cloud coverage, this lake changes from red to pink and even to lilac purple. Visit during mid-morning or sundown to catch the best of its colourful spectrum. You can easily access the lake by car on the George Grey Drive, or see the mesmerising marvel from the sky with Shine Aviation or Kalbarri Scenic Flights.
Lake Eyre, outback South Australia
The pale pinks, oranges and yellows of Lake Eyre epitomise the vast landscapes of outback South Australia. Located a six-hour drive or 1.5-hour flight from Adelaide, the lake is usually a salt pan, its blinding white salt plains glistening in the Australian sun. It’s a stunning sight, but becomes a different kind of beautiful every few years as the lake floods with water. The flooding brings flourishing greenery, flocks of birds and a lake turned dreamy shades of pink and orange. This desert oasis is best experienced from the air; book a scenic flight with Wrightsair to witness this unforgettable natural wonder.
Lake Bumbunga, near Clare Valley, South Australia
Less than a two-hour drive from Adelaide, Lake Bumbunga is not only one of Australia’s most accessible pink lakes but also one of its most photogenic. It’s magenta shores draw amateur and professional photographers alike, moving between hues of pink, white and blue depending on the salinity of the water. After you’ve snapped a few shots, drive less than an hour to reach South Australia’s famed Clare Valley. Quench your thirst with a glass of the region’s signature riesling from award-winning cellar doors like Sevenhill Cellars and Annie’s Lane.
Lake MacDonnell, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Contrasting colours of pink, blue and green create the striking scene that is Lake MacDonnell. Located in South Australia’s breathtaking Eyre Peninsula, Lake MacDonnell is one of the country’s most intensely pink lakes, owing to its high salt concentration. Take the ultra-Instagrammable road between the bubblegum-hued Lake MacDonnell and its neighbouring blue-green waters to discover Cactus Beach at the end of the path. After drinking in the beauty of Lake MacDonnell, eat up some of Australia’s freshest seafood as you continue your journey to Coffin Bay.
Lake Hart, Woomera, South Australia
Lake Hart, set in the seemingly endless outback of South Australia, is as beautiful by night as it is by day. This shallow pink lake has a high salt concentration that creates salt crystals under the pastel water. Its isolation in the outback makes way for incredible star-gazing, but the lake is equally impressive as the salt sparkles in the sun. See Lake Hart onboard the Indian Pacific, a world-class train journey between Sydney and Perth, or the Explorer’s Way road trip through the outback.
The Pink Lakes, near Mildura, Victoria
The Murray-Sunset National Park brings starry nights and rugged landscapes, but its most intriguing drawcard is the Pink Lakes. Located in the vast and wild landscape of north-west Victoria, about a five-hour drive from Melbourne, these lakes change from brilliant pink to glistening white, and tend to be at their most vibrant on cloudy days. Plan to spend more than a day here; you’ll find great walking tracks as well as campgrounds near the park’s Pink Lakes. Hikers will love the Kline Nature Walk, which takes about two hours to complete. Alternatively, embark on the Lake Becking Nature Walk, which takes only 45 minutes from start to finish.