Pink Lakes 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
The Green Adventurers acknowledge and pay respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Lake Bumbunga – Lochiel
Lake Bumbunga is one of the most spectacular pink lakes in South Australia due to the roads crisscrossing across the surface of the lake. You can find this lake near the town of Lochiel which is a little over a 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide. This would be a great day trip from Adelaide or a pit stop on your way to the Yorke or Eyre Peninsula.
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 was not disappointed. 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.
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
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.
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!
Great work, Alice.
These pink lakes look stunning! They are magical! I’d love to see them in person. Your photos are incredible! Thanks for sharing them!
Wow, these places looks like locations from a dream or a Disney movie! Will definitely add these to my Australia bucket list.
I must admit I have never heard about pink lakes anywhere in the world. So interesting to read about what makes them pink and the different shades of pink you get. We will definitely need to plan to visit one or more the next time we get to South Australia.
Wow these pink lakes in South Australia are so magical and out of this world! Would definitely love to visit them. And it was admirable to see you paying respect to the elder custodians of the land! Thank you so much for sharing 😍
I knew there was one pink lake in Australia but had no idea there were this many! They looks so stunning.
Just a question with regard to the pink lakes…are they pink most of the time or are there several circumstances that come into play to give the pink colour which mean that often there is no colour?
The pinkness definitely fluctuates! Sometimes they appear more of a chalky white/light pastel pink and my photos have some colour enhancement when I edit them. I don’t exactly know the cycle of what they look like at different times of year sorry but worth a look regardless I think!
I live on the Fleurieu Peninsula and can agree with all you say. But I especially liked your post about the pink lakes. Have you seen the Lochiel Monster-I just had to stop and take a photo which like most “monster” photos didn’t turn out clear enough to publish. I think the pink lakes have to be seen to be believed- they look fake in photos. You have to see them to realise they are actually real. Thank you so much for this post.
Thanks so much for your comment. Happy to hear you liked this post. I do know what you mean about the Lochiel Monster. I actually didn’t know about it when I visited so I didn’t get a photo but I’ll have to try to revisit soon and see the monster for myself. It’s so funny that your monster shot didn’t turn out! Just like the Loch Ness Monster 😂
Yes, they do look fake! I have to admit my photos are edited to enhance the colours but they really are impressively pink in the real world too!