Pink Lakes South Australia

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Your Essential Guide To The Pink Lakes In South Australia

South Australia has an array of candy-coloured lakes. They aren’t as sweet as they look though with the salty environment being the perfect habitat for bacteria & algae that create this incredible display. Australia’s pink lakes have to be seen to be believed! ⁠

Where To Find The Pink Lakes
In South Australia

Lake Bumbunga – Lochiel

Positioned near the town of Lochiel, just a breezy 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide, Lake Bumbunga stands out as one of South Australia’s most stunning pink lakes. What makes it uniquely spectacular is the network of roads traversing the lake’s surface, offering picturesque views unlike any other. Lake Bumbunga is the perfect destination for a day trip from Adelaide or a quick detour en route to the Yorke or Eyre Peninsula. For an in-depth exploration of these mesmerising pink hues, check out this comprehensive guide on Lake Bumbunga.

Pink Lake – Yorketown

There are many pink lakes in South Australia but this particular one is found just outside of Yorketown. If you are heading to the Yorke Peninsula add this pink lake to your itinerary. This small but vibrant lake is stunning and the salt crystals make beautiful patterns along the lake’s shore.

Lake Macdonnell – Penong

One of the most spectacular lakes I have laid eyes on! I visited Lake MacDonnell as a day trip from Ceduna. This candy-coloured treat can be found just out of Penong on the far west of the Eyre Peninsula. You have probably seen this pink lake many times on your Instagram feed, with it being a very popular place for photographers. At a massive 863km from Adelaide, this is not an easy one to get to but if you are adventuring on the Eyre Peninsula this is absolutely worth adding to your road trip itinerary.

I visited the lake after heavy rain so I was a bit worried the pink would not be very vibrant but I have learnt since that fresh rain actually makes pink lakes look even better! It’s not the easiest place to access being over 850km from Adelaide but well worth the effort if you are on the Eyre Peninsula. ⁠

Learn more about Lake MacDonnell in our comprehensive guide.

Salt Lagoon – Kangaroo Island

I came across this beautiful pink lake by chance. It’s not one of the most famous pink lakes of South Australia or even a popular spot for tourists on Kangaroo Island so consider it a hidden gem. You can find this Salt Lagoon just off the North Coast road, about a 10-minute drive from Kingscote.

Plan your trip to Kangaroo Island

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

Why are pink lakes pink?

A combination of bacteria & algae is responsible for producing beta-carotene which is a red pigment and gives the water its pink hue. ⁠

Dunaliella salina is a type of algae that is extremely salt-tolerant and can grow in salinity as high as 35%. At high salinity, temperature and light, this algae produced a red pigment called beta-carotene as part of their photosynthesis process.

Simultaneously, a type of bacteria, Halobacterium cutirubrumis is also busy at work in salty conditions producing beta-carotene.

Pink Lake - Yorketown

Enjoy the pink lakes of South Australia!

Please get in touch if you have any questions or I would love to hear about your experience if you visit any of the lakes!

Want more pink lakes?

Did you know South Australia is not the only state to be blessed with magical pink lakes? The Dimboola Pink Lake in Victoria is another place to add to your list!