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It doesn’t feel right to “go back to normal” just yet. Whatever that’s supposed to mean. And writing blog posts about pretty places privileged people can visit feels a bit inappropriate at a time when a white supremacist was hired into a top position in the White House and the rights of a great deal of Americans are in danger.
But this is what I do — I have an obligation to you as readers and to my bank account as an entrepreneur. But I want you to know that I’ll be working in the background to protect the rights of the most vulnerable Americans. I hope you will be, too.
So, how shall we return to our usual programming? The usual Kate would write a 3,500+ monster overview post on Western Australia. That will come — in time. But before we do that, let’s have an escape.
In lots of ways, my German blogger counterpart Freedi and I were travel soulmates. We were on the same page when it came to virtually everything, and could almost read each other’s minds by the end of our trip.
And we were complimentary as well. She was the one who showed up with no fewer than seven cameras (!); I had two. I was the one who had done extensive WA research before arriving; she had done none.
So when we convened for our first meeting in the Tourism Western Australia office in Perth, I was ready to add destinations into our road trip wherever we could.
“Is there any way we can add in a stop at Hutt Lagoon?” I asked.
Hutt Lagoon is a saltwater lake in Port Gregory, just south of Kalbarri on the coast. Due to its algae content, the lagoon glows bright pink.
Gary Pepper shot a Lancôme ad there and just look at it. WOW. Still pink waters and a bright red dress.
I’ve never been to a pink lake in my life, and as a girl whose favorite color is hot pink, I knew I had to get there somehow.
The answer? Of course! This was a road trip! We were here to have fun and explore and take cool pictures. And it was on the way!
On a long day of driving from Perth that included stops at the Pinnacles Desert and a lobster lunch in Cervantes, we arrived at Hutt Lagoon in time for sunset.
First off, however, keep your expectations in check. Hutt Lagoon changes color depending on time of day and time of year, and when we first saw it, it was a silvery blue with a hint of pink.
Is that it? I thought.
I’m glad I had read Gary Pepper’s warning: “We spent two days shooting as we only had a few hours of appropriate light; the pink lake glows it’s most iridescent when light is directly above and begins to turn silver by the late afternoon when light starts hitting it from an angle. Luke took most of the photos from the air in a sea plane, and as the airport was 45 minutes from the pink lake, this meant that I had to wait in the sun for an hour and a half before and after being dropped off, but it was well worth the wait (it’s never as glamorous as it seems!).” (Me: THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT. Nobody ever talks about the reality of shooting photos!)
Then as the sun dipped beneath the horizon, the pinks and purples came out from every direction.
Yes. This was absolutely worth it.
Salute Your Shorts fans, I don’t know who this dude is, but he totally reminded me of Zeke the Plumber.
For more than two years, I’ve had the coast of Dubrovnik as my iPhone background photo. It was time for a change! This is my new background.
How often do you get to strike a pose at a pink lake? Freedi and I spent a good 30 minutes photographing each other! And because she had brought all those cameras (including a Leica that nearly made me weep), we got so many kinds of fantastic shots.
There’s a very high salt content in the lake, which leads to salt formations like these. It’s like the Dead Sea: it’s not too dangerous to swim in it, but if you cut yourself underwater, YEOUCH!
Low-hanging vegetation gets covered in salt. You can crack those branches in half.
Best part? This isn’t the only one! Western Australia has a handful of pink lakes, some of which are more reliable color-wise than Hutt Lagoon. I flew over one on Dirk Hartog Island in Shark Bay; the more famous one is Lake Hillier, near Esperance on the south coast. Lake Hillier tends to look Pepto Bismol-pink most of the time.
Hutt Lagoon was just a short spot on a long road trip, but I’ll always remember how happy I was to be surrounded by PINK.
Essential Info: If you’re not on an organized tour, the only way to explore this part of Western Australia is by car. WA is very sparsely populated and I urge you to learn basic car maintenance, like changing a tire, before attempting a road trip in this region.
I stayed at the Kalbarri Edge Resort, which was one of my favorite places where I stayed on my WA road trip. The self-catering suites have kitchenettes and even have their own washer-dryers! You can bet I took advantage of that. Rates from $160 AUD ($121 USD). Find more hotels in Kalbarri here.
Don’t visit Western Australia without travel insurance — it could save your life. I use and recommend World Nomads.
Many thanks to Freedi for taking all the photos of me in this post.
This campaign is brought to you by STA Travel and Tourism Western Australia.
21 thoughts on “On the Shores of a Pink Lake in Australia”
what a cool (and weird!) thing!!
I’ve been to Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita in Kenya, both pink from flamingoes. The flamingoes are pink from the algae of the lake, which they eat. From afar, you can’t see the individual flamingoes because they are so closely packed, so the lakes just look pink.
This reminds me quite a bit of Lake Urmia in northwest Iran. I flew over the place on my way from Doha to Frankfurt in September, and the entire lake was blood red! Pretty eery, but also very beautiful.
This is such a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing your tips!
what fabulous photos Kate. I’ve seen photos of pink lakes before, but couldn’t actually believe they were real. I lived in Australia for 2 years and didn’t once make it over to the west! Really must make it over to WA the next time I’m in Oz
Gorgeous! I never thought about how a lake like that would look at sunset.
Impressive! The most incredible lake we’ve seen so far is Boiling Springs Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. The lake is green and the ground is red. Plus, some bubbling grey mud pots around the lake. Quite an exciting combination of colors. But no pink lake yet. It would be so beautiful to see one though especially at sunrise/sunset when colors are even more intense!
That sounds so cool! I’ve never even heard of that national park!
I had never heard of Australia’s pink lakes until this year, when I saw them start to crop up on Instagram.
As a fellow pink lover, I’m officially obsessed. One of these will be a priority when I make it to Australia!
It’s so funny — Instagram has been a game-changer for some destinations, Western Australia included! It’s all about pink lakes and quokka selfies.
I have been travelling around Australia for the past year now and recently drove from Adelaide to Melbourne. I visited the pink lake at Tailem Bend, South Australia and loved it! Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t as pink as a lot of pictures as we probably weren’t there at the right time, but amazing nonetheless!
Wow.. the pictures are really impressive! And you are really amazing to travel alone. Enjoy and be safe!
These are awesome pictures, Kate. Thanks for sharing!
Not that pink but still nice. I just saw pictures of Rio Lagartos in Mexico – now that is a pink lake! I am planning on visiting early next year.
Beautiful pictures! Hopefully I will see it for myself one day, it is on my list! 😉
I had never even heard of the existence of a pink lake. What a special experience! And the pictures worked out great!
It really is pink, wow, great set of photos
Beautiful! I think you had a great time out there.
This place looks amazing! Cant believe its real. Thanks for sharing your tips and experience, this will for sure help someone trying to plan a vacation
What an incredible novelty, I did not know this place.
This place is spectacular, isn’t it?! You really have to pick your timing though; I’ve been a few times and found its almost normal colour. Other times its almost hard to believe how pink it is! This has gained a lot of publicity over the last few years; I imagine there will be boardwalks and and parking set up in the near future.