The Great Pink Lakes

It's all Pinterest's fault, my obsession with pink lakes.  When I was researching our trip to Busselton and South - Western Australia I saw this pin of a pink lake in Esperance.  There was a lake named pink lake in town and a caravan park nearby called pink lake caravan park so I figured we better stay there and see Pink Lake.
according to many on pinterest, this is the Pink Lake in Esperance
I've kind of always had a love for things that are pink that aren't typically pink.  When I was young my brothers would launch model rockets and my dad helped me make one named Big Bertha.  Of course we painted it pink.  Then a few years later he gave me a pink swiss army knife with my name engraved on the blade.  Unfortunately it was lost a long time ago but I think that was one of my favourite presents ever.    So when I found out there was a pink lake, I knew it was something I had to see.

When we drove around Pink Lake in Esperance it was disappointingly very blue.  In a certain light it might have had a vague hint of a really light pink, but by no means was this a pink lake.  That night I confessed to Phil why we were staying at the Pink Lake Caravan Park and showed him the picture above.  He looked at it and pointed out that it wasn't the same lake - the Pink Lake in Esperance has a road around the perimeter and is farther from the coast, where as the lake in the picture has no road and is right next to the coast.  
Pink Lake in Esperance
I realised he was right, and after a brief pout tried to figure out where this other lake was.  I finally found out that it's called Lake Hillier and is on an island off the coast of Esperance, which got my hopes up until I read that it was a two-hour helicopter ride away.  Not exactly in the plans.  So we went home from that trip having seen Pink Lake that was definitely not pink and no actual pink lake.

With work I had a few trips back and forth between Melbourne and Perth so I made sure to grab a window seat so I could look out for the island, but it was always cloudy at exactly the wrong spot.  Finally on a flight from Adelaide to Perth I spotted an island of the right shape with a lake in the right place.  Only problem was it was about 5 minutes until the sun set, so rather than seeing a pink lake it was all quiet dark.  It was a step in the right direction though.

Then a couple trips later I finally saw it in all its pink glory.  I excitedly took pictures as we passed overhead, and then texted them to Phil as soon as we landed.  I'm not sure he shared the same level of excitement, but I thought it was a huge life achievement.  Then Phil discovered that there's a lake in Melbourne that turns pink during the warmer months.  Unfortunately he found this out at the end of March last year, just after the lake had turned blue again.  I was disappointed with the timing and have been eagerly awaiting a trip to see it ever since.
Lake Hillier from the plane
These last couple weeks have been the culmination of over a year of pink lake hunting.  On another flight back from Perth a couple weeks ago I spotted the pink lake in Esperance, very much bright pink.  Then I spotted Lake Hillier again, and then at least half a dozen more pink lakes along South Australia.  I took many many pictures on my phone that day.  I sent the picture of the pink lake in Esperance to a coworker who works there, but he said that was not actually Pink Lake, it was Lake Warden, and the boring grey-blue lake next to it is Pink Lake.  Apparently Pink Lake is hardly ever actually pink.  Sort of like a Greenland/Iceland thing I suppose.  I felt robbed - why have a lake called Pink Lake that isn't actually pink and then a lake right next to it with a normal name that is pink?
Lake Warden, the pink lake, and Pink Lake, the grey lake
Lake Hillier again
String of pink and normal lakes in SA
more pink lakes
Back in Melbourne I had the little sewing machine incident last Saturday, which meant that I couldn't sew on Sunday and so was bored out of my mind.  Phil kept me entertained by taking me to check out the pink lake in Melbourne.  It's a lake in Westgate Park right under Westgate Bridge in the city.  We parked on the back side of the park and walked around a bit.  We got to a lake, but it was very much a boring blue lake.  
boring blue freshwater lake
Between the thumb and the blue lake I was about to pout, but then we got to another lake that was distinctly pink - not just pink but Pepto Bismol pink.  It was beautiful.  I instantly broke into a huge smile that didn't leave my face the whole time we were there.  It was amazing.  It's a very salty salt water lake so nothing lives in it or grows near it, and it had a bit of a funky smell.  Apparently it's pink because of an algae that only grows when it's warm and there's not much rainfall.
sad thumb, happy pink lake
pink lake with Westgate Bridge in the background
mmm pink lake 
seriously cool
We walked around the lake and saw a smaller pink lake and a green slime lake, but nothing compared to the pink of this lake.  It was very much worth the convoluted path of discovery and a place we'll go back to yearly now that we know where it is.
smaller pink lake
green slime lake
Some more pretty pink lake pictures-


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