Pink Lake In Dimboola, Victoria -The Ultimate Travel Guide

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Introduction To The Pink Lake Dimboola – Loch Iel Reserve

Australia is home to many pink lakes but one of the most beautiful is the Pink Lake in the Loch Iel Nature Reserve found less than a 10-minute drive from the country Victorian town of Dimboola. The Pink Lake is a unique and fascinating destination for nature lovers and photographers alike. The lake is known for its pinkish hue due to the presence of certain algae species, which gives it an otherworldly look. This travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip to Pink Lake Dimboola, including the best times of year to visit, photography tips, and how to get there.

Pink Lake Victoria - Dimboola - drone photo top down with yellow canola

What To Expect When Visiting The Pink Lake

When planning a trip to visit a naturally occurring phenomenon like salt lakes in Australia, there are different factors that will affect how the lakes look so it’s important to take these into account.

Where Is The Pink Lake In Victoria?

Map showing location of Dimboola Pink Lake in Victoria, Australia

Distance to the Pink Lake

The Pink Lake is found in the west of country Victoria on the Western Highway.

  • Dimboola – 9km
  • Horsham – 45km
  • Melbourne – 354km

The best way to get to the Pink Lake is by car. As Australia is so sparse, public transport runs very infrequently. You can reach Dimboola by train or bus but getting out to the lake would require a taxi – there is one listed in the yellow pages. I would advise organising the taxi in advance as country town taxi services can be expensive and not readily available.

The closest capital city to the Dimboola Pink Lake is Melbourne which would be the best place to rent a car if you don’t have your own. The drive is about 4 hours.

Pink lake with cloud reflection and blue cloudy sky
Pink Lake - Loch Iel Nature Reserve - Drone photograph
Aerial view of Hutt Lagoon's vibrant pink waters divided by a narrow earthen causeway, with salt deposits creating textured white and pink patterns along the edges.
Lake Hutt, Western Australia. Credit: Tourism Western Australia

More Pink Lakes Await

Visiting The Pink Lake

The Pink Lake is within the Loch Iel Nature Reserve which is right beside the Western Highway and has a rest stop with toilets, picnic tables & shade for travellers to stop for rest and enjoy this beautiful sight of the lake. There are some signs sharing information about the lake’s geology & biology.

Reaching the lake from the parking area takes less than a minute walk down a hill to the water’s edge. You can take a stroll around the perimeter of the lake and look at the plants that thrive in the salty habitat.

There are no refreshments available at the Loch Iel Rest Stop so if you would like to have a picnic you can pick up some snacks at the Dimboola or Horsham IGA on your way there.

Pink Lake Dimboola

Why is Dimboola Lake pink?

Pink lakes are pink due to a combination of algae and bacteria that produce beta-carotene which is a red pigment that gives the water a pink hue.

Dunaliella salina is a micro-algae that produces a red pigment called beta-carotene as a way to protect itself from the intense sunlight in saltwater environments.

Halobacterium cutirubrumis is a type of bacteria that thrives in saline lakes with salt concentrations of 15 to 30 per cent. Most halophilic bacteria show red color due to the presence of carotenoids. The bacteria produce a red carotenoid pigment which is similar to that found in flowers, leaves, tomatoes, capsicum and even pink flamingos!

Is the pink lake actually pink?

The colour of the lake may not always be pink. The expectation to find a bubblegum-coloured lake can lead to disappointment if the conditions aren’t favourable for you to see the lake at its most colourful. Photos on website & social media can be edited to enhance the pink tones so the real-life display may differ.

Top down photo of pink lake and white shore with brown shrubs
Top down shot of Pink Lake in Dimboola with green trees & glass and canola field

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Pink Lake?

The colour of the lake can change depending on various factors such as weather conditions, season, and water temperature. The lake can appear to be more of a deep red or purple at certain times, and in some cases, it can even appear to be a pale pink or white. This is because of the algae’s ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, and the lake’s colour can change depending on the algae’s growth rate. The lake’s colour varies throughout the seasons. It can fade to white during dry spells or look like a regular lake. The pink colour is generally most striking after rainfall as the rain washes fresh nutrients into the lake which triggers the growth of algae.

When planning your visit to Pink Lake, be sure to check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing and footwear. The colour of the water can vary a lot so I recommend looking at the reviews on Google Maps to see what the most recent visitors have said by changing the sort order to “Newest”.

Pink lake Dimboola with cloud reflection and blue cloudy sky

Pink Lake Photography Tips

  • A still day with no wind can make for spectacular reflections.
  • If there is wind you could experiment with a long exposure with a tripod
  • Drone flying is permitted but be considerate of other visitors
  • For drone pilots the vibrant yellow of the canola fields in bloom contrasts amazingly with the pink lake. The canola flowers from August into early September

Traditional Owners & History

Dimboola & Loch Iel is part of the Wotjobaluk Aboriginal cultural landscape & the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk Peoples are the Traditional Owners of this land. Before the land was stolen by the British, it is estimated there were 1200 First Nation people living in the area.

In 1858 two missionaries arrived in the area and set up the Ebenezer Mission Station. Like many other missions at the time, the goal was to ‘civilise’ Indigenous Australians by stripping them of their traditions and culture and encouraging them towards Christianity. 

In 2005 the Wotjobaluk people were given their Native Title rights to hunt, gather, fish and camp according to traditional laws and customs on Crown reserves along much of the Wimmera River were recognised.

Pink lakes Australia -aerial view

pink lake dimboola accommodation

When visiting Pink Lake in Dimboola, there are several options for accommodation available in the area. 

  1. Riverside Caravan Park: This caravan park is located in the heart of Dimboola and is just a short drive from Pink Lake. It offers a variety of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered camping sites, cabins, and on-site vans.
  2. Little Desert Lodge: For those looking for a more secluded and nature-based experience, Little Desert Lodge offers eco-friendly accommodation in the Little Desert National Park. It is a bit farther from the Pink Lake but offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
  3. Desert Fox Holiday Home: Centrally located in Dimboola this 2 bedroom holiday house is the perfect base for exploring the Pink Lake or Little Desert National Park.
  4. Comfort Inn May Park Horsham: Horsham is a half-hour drive from the Pink Lake but offers more options for accommodation. The Comfort Inn offers modern facilities and a range of rooms to suit different groups needs. 
  5. Horsham Riverside Caravan Park: On the banks of the Wimmera River, this caravan park offers family-friendly cabins and a great price. 

Pink Lake FAQ

Can you swim in the Pink Lake?

No, you are not able to swim in the pink lake due to the high salt levels.

Is Pink Lake worth visiting?

The Pink Lake in Dimboola, Victoria, is a unique natural attraction that is worth visiting for those interested in natural beauty, and photography.

Where To Find More Pink Lakes In Australia

This is not the only candy-coloured lake you will find in Australia. There are pink lakes strewn across Australia with Western Australia home to the famous Lake Hillier and South Australia having these 4 pink lakes you need to visit.

Lake Macdonnell - Penong
Lake Macdonnell – Penong

Conclusion: Pink Lake In Dimboola Travel Guide

Pink lakes are a natural phenomenon you need to experience and the Dimboola Pink Lake is a glorious example of nature at its best.

Enjoy your travels and please get in touch if you need any more information or help planning your trip – [email protected]