Pink Lakes – South Australia

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! ⁠

The Green Adventurers acknowledges and pays 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 - Lochiel
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

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.

But why are the pink lakes in South Australia 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 the salty conditions producing beta-carotene.

The colour of the lake depends on the balance between the algae & bacteria. High salt levels will result in brighter colours so lots of sunlight and lack of rainfall will produce more vibrant hues.

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-colored 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.

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!



  1. These pink lakes look stunning! They are magical! I’d love to see them in person. Your photos are incredible! Thanks for sharing them!

  2. Wow, these places looks like locations from a dream or a Disney movie! Will definitely add these to my Australia bucket list.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 😍

  5. I knew there was one pink lake in Australia but had no idea there were this many! They looks so stunning.

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