Victoria has a lot of amazing natural wonders, but its pink lakes are pretty much top of the list. Discover where to find the pink lakes of Victoria and a few other similarly-hued sites.
A wonder of nature, or a beautiful mirage…
There are only a sprinkling of pink lakes around the world and of that, a handful in Australia.
And Victoria’s pink lakes are some of the nicest.
Yup, it’s true. And even better, most are easily accessible – one even lies on the edge of the city. Aren’t we lucky!
Find out where you can chase these rosy hues across the state, along with the best time to visit.
For more road trip inspiration, check out these neat weekend getaways from Melbourne.
Where to find Victoria’s pink lakes
This guide to Victoria’s pink lakes will cover:
Why are these lakes pink?
It’s a mixture of a bunch of different things, really. Saline conditions. Algae present in the water.
However, the biggest thing to blame is Australia’s climate.
Which is of course hot and dry, and there’s not a heap of rainfall. Perfect conditions for the algae that causes this phenomena to thrive.
Not all salt lakes (#notallsaltlakes) turn pink… and even for the ones that do, it needs to be the right conditions.
Read on to find out the best time to see Victoria’s pink salt lakes – and where you can find them.
Westgate Park, Melbourne
The easiest pink lake to get to is at Westgate Park… at the gateway to Melbourne’s west.
In the summertime, you might drive over the Westgate Bridge and see a flash of pink to your left. Descend and you can in fact, visit the lake. It’s one of the more unusual things you can do in Melbourne.
Conditions have to be right for this lake to turn pink.
High temperatures + lack of rainfall + high salt levels + increased sunlight. Bam. Pink lake.
Once it rains or the weather cools, the lake will return to its normal, murky colour.
If you do plan on visiting the pink lake this summer in Melbourne (as conditions should be right for the summer of 2023/24), please remember that it is located in a nature park.
Stick to the trails, try not to disturb the local wildlife and don’t tread on native vegetation. Discover more responsible travel tips.
📍 4 Wharf Rd, Port Melbourne
Lake Tyrrell, Sea Lake
Lake Tyrrell is one of Victoria’s pink salt lakes.
It’s around a five hour drive from Melbourne; perfect as a mini-detour if you’re road tripping the Silo Art Trail.
This ancient lake is around 120,000 years old and has long been an important cultural site for First Nations people, who called it ‘Direl’, meaning ‘sky’.
The salt surface of the lake makes an ideal mirror to a lovely enough sky by day; by night it is truly terrific.
Lake Tyrrell turns pink in the warmer months (generally December to February), as the salt crust is exposed.
Visit in winter for ideal stargazing conditions.
And what time of day is best? Depends on what you wish to see. This region is home to some truly epic sunrises and sunsets and the reflective surface of the lake is sure to help put on a show.
📍Lake Tyrrell Road, Sea Lake
Pink Lake, Dimboola
Drive four hours from Melbourne to view one of the state’s pink lakes, located near the town of Dimboola and Little Desert National Park.
Handily and happily, the lake is right off the highway, so you don’t have to venture far to see it.
As with the other lakes, the colour changes seasonally and is affected by heat, light and rainfall.
Rain triggers the growth of algae, intensifying the colour. Heat will cause water to evaporate laying bare salt crusts and making the lake appear more white than pink.
📍Western Highway, Dimboola
Pink Lakes, Murray-Sunset National Park
Not one, not two but FOUR pink lakes intersect at the stunning Murray Sunset National Park.
Crosbie, Becking, Kenyon and Hardy lakes are known collectively as the Pink Lakes.
The lakes change to a light pink in the summer months. It can get pretty darn hot in this part of the state, so time your visit to early, or later in the day.
There are plenty of walking trails in the park, perfect for navigating its landscape.
📍Pink Lakes Rd, Murray-Sunset
When is the best time to see Victoria’s pink lakes?
The best time to visit Victoria’s pink lakes is generally in the warmer months, in a period where there’s not been much rainfall.
If you live in Melbourne, the Westgate Park lake is pretty accessible. However, you might want to research any of the other lakes before making the trek; if they’re indeed pink, then I’m sure someone will have posted about it on some social media platform.
Planning a drive out to the pink lakes? Here are some road trip tips for Australia.
Similar natural wonders in Victoria
Keen for the colour fun to continue?
Let’s swap water out for vibrant rock formations! Here are a few beautiful boulders littered around Victoria.
Pink Cliffs Reserve, Heathcote
Keep the Barbie party going on a trip to Heathcote to see its pink cliffs.
These were exposed due to mining activity in the late 19th century, when the area was a hydraulic sluicing site. The topsoil was washed away, revealing these very dramatic rocks.
You can walk all the way around the reserve. It takes about 30 minutes.
As always, please stick to the marked paths.
📍Pink Cliffs Road, Heathcote
Petrified forest, Cape Bridgewater
There is no shortage of epic rock formations along the Great Ocean Road. This however, does not get nearly as much attention as say, the 12 Apostles (does anything?).
Drive a little further to see rocky formations that once were Moonah Trees. They were covered by sand dunes thousands of years ago, creating a collection of hollow tubes of limestone.
These rocks also change colour depending on the light; vibrant oranges, bright yellows and if you’re lucky, a dusky pink.
📍Blowholes Road, Cape Bridgewater
K Road Cliffs, Werribee
Another rather hidden gem just outside of Melbourne, these vibrant red cliffs are named after the nearby road. Simples!
They shine a vibrant red by day and change colour at sunrise and sunset.
Take a two kilometre walk from the car park to see the splendour of these cliffs. As they overlook the Werribee River, you can choose to paddle a kayak or canoe past, for an alternate view.
📍K Road, Werribee South
Australia has quite a few pink lakes. If you’re heading to Western Australia, you can catch an amazing pink lake on a road trip from Perth to Kalbarri.
Have you seen any of Victoria’s pink lakes? Would you like to?