Western Australia’s Incredible Pink Lakes

Western Australia may be known for its arid landscapes and azure coastline, but across the state you’ll find bright spots of pink. This region is filled with incredible pink lakes, natural phenomena that have drawn people from far and wide. 

If you’re wondering how these lakes came to be and where you can see them, this guide is for you. Based in Kalbarri, our team at D’Guy Charters are experts in all things Western Australia. We run a number of Kalbarri day tours, including to our nearby pink lake. 

Keep reading to find out more about these wondrous creations, or feel free to contact us regarding our excursions.

Why are the lakes pink?

Western Australia’s vibrant lakes got their colour thanks to a confluence of factors. These lakes have naturally high saline levels, which only extremely adaptable organisms can survive in. The algae Dunaliella salina is one of these organisms. This algae produces carotenoids, or pigments, which contributes to the pink colour of the lakes. Carotenoids are also the same source of colour in carrots, tomatoes, and salmon.

Where can you see Western Australia’s pink lakes?

There are about five main pink lakes scattered across Western Australia, both on the mainland and on islands. Keep in mind that the colours of the lakes are often dependent on weather conditions. The lakes may often change their colour after an increase in rainfall and are typically best seen in the warm and dry summer months. 

Hutt Lagoon

Nestled along the Coral Coast, Hutt Lagoon creates a breathtaking scene with its pink waters stretching across 70 square kilometers. Its colour changes depending on the cloud cover, ranging from a subtle rose to bright bubblegum. For the best views, visit on a clear day in the late morning or early afternoon.

Hutt Lagoon is located over 5.5 hours from Perth by car, but it’s just a 45-minute drive from Kalbarri, making for an easier day trip. Better yet, you can join D’Guy Charters on our Pink Lake and Coastal Cliffs Tour to see the incredible natural beauty just outside our home base. Check out our Pink Lake guide for more, or read our blog on the Top 5 Things to Do in Kalbarri as Recommended by Locals.

Lake Hillier

Lake Hillier is one of the most famous pink lakes in Western Australia. Spanning just 600 meters long, it’s a dazzling sight to behold as it contrasts with the adjacent turquoise Indian Ocean and surrounding island greenery. In fact, its salt content is ten times higher than seawater!

This pink lake is located on Middle Island off the south coast and can only be seen on a boat charter or airplane flight. You can admire Lake Hillier up close with a boat tour such as those offered by Black Jack Charters. Alternatively, witness the spectacle from the air on a scenic flight by Fly Esperance.

Pink Lake of Quairading

Nearly 200 kilometres east of Perth, you won’t easily miss the pink lake of Quairading. Taking the Bruce Rock Road, you’ll travel right over this saline waterbody for a unique perspective. However, the Quairading lake isn’t always pink. Only at certain times of year, when conditions are right, one side of the lake will transform into a deep pink hue while the other side remains a lighter shade. 

Rottnest Island Pink Lake

Off the west coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is dotted in salt lakes, including a captivating pink lake. You can easily reach Rottnest Island by ferry, with the quickest route taking 25 minutes. One of the best ways of seeing the island’s pink lake is along the Gabbi Karniny Bidi hiking trail, which loops around the lakes across 9.5 kilometers. 

Lake Warden

Lake Warden may be one of the lesser-known pink lakes in Western Australia. It is located across the once renowned Lake Spencer, which was named ‘Pink Lake’ but unfortunately lost its colour decades ago. This is thought to be as a result of salt mining and the flow of freshwater into the lake. 

Despite this loss, Lake Warden has retained its subtle pink hues. Located in the Goldfields-Esperance region, Lake Warden falls under a protected nature reserve which you can explore on a number of walking trails.

Can you swim in Western Australia’s pink lakes?

Swimming in the pink lakes is not advised due to the high salinity levels of the water, which can be harsh on the skin. Some lakes, such as Lake Hillier, are completely off-limits for conservation purposes. When visiting the lakes, be cognizant of any rules regarding activities near the water. Also, remember you absolutely cannot drink the water!

Touring the pink lakes of Australia

Western Australia is not the only place you can find pink lakes in our country, and there are plenty more to be seen in Victoria and South Australia. Encountering these incredible natural sights is certainly a highlight of any trip, and we’d be more than happy to share these gems on one of our guided Western Australian tours. Whether that’s a Pink Lake day tour, a 3-day Kalbarri Escape tour, or a 7-day Coral Coast tour, we’ll guarantee that you can witness this marvel for yourself. 

Our team is also on hand to create custom Kalbarri tours that will suit your needs and preferences. Get in touch with us and let us take you on the journey of a lifetime!

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