The dream of the perfect lagoon often ends in the classic image of the South Sea. White beaches and turquoise waves. Palm trees and pearls. The blue lagoon, just like in the movie. But not all lagoons are blue. They're not even turquoise. Hutt Lagoon north of Perth is actually pink.
Pink lakes are not commonplace, but they are actually found all over the world. Among other things in Bolivia, Russia, Spain, Tanzania and even then in Australia. There are actually more than ten pink lakes in Australia alone. The lakes are often far from the nearest town and far from each other, but there is one thing in common between all these lakes. They are very salta. But it is not the salt that makes the lakes pink.
Hutt Lagoon gets its color from a tiny beta-carotene-producing algae – Dunaliella Salina. The algae thrives in the salty waters of the Hutt Lagoon under the hot sun, an environment that not many other life forms can survive in. The algae contains large amounts of antioxidants, starch and protein, which has made it a popular ingredient in both the food industry (as a colorant and as a dietary supplement ) and in cosmetics. This has led to the world's largest algae factory now being located in the Hutt Lagoon. In large rectangular basins, the algae is grown and forms a grid of different shades of pink from above. Algae blooms produce stronger colors.
Hutt Lagoon changes color according to daylight, temperature, season, angle and cloud cover. Sometimes the lake is bubblegum pink. Sometimes it is reddish brown. That afternoon when we were at the lake, the lagoon turned purple pink. You can best see the color if you stand a bit above the lake and therefore there are several vantage points along Port Gregory Rd where you can get a better view.
The lake scents a bit strange and looks very artificial, even though everything is 100% natural. Maybe that's why I'm not particularly surprised when I suddenly see two flamingos in the lake. In Australia there are many colorful birds, but definitely no flamingos. But there are plenty of fun-loving Australians… 🙂
How do I get to Hutt Lagoon?
Hutt Lagoon is located 510 km north of Perth in Western Australia, at the small village of Port Gregory. You pass here on your way north to Kalbarri, but if you want to stay longer here, there is not much service nearby. You get the best views of the lake from Port Gregory Road, here there are also plenty of places to park the car.
There is no sign pointing to "Pink Lake", but if you are heading towards Port Gregory, you cannot miss it.
A tip: Bring polarized sunglasses or a polarizing filter for the camera, so you can see the color much better.
Map (opens in Google Maps)
The big question: Can you swim in the Hutt Lagoon?
I didn't see any NO swimming signs, but given the lake's salinity, smell and bacteria content, it wasn't a lake I felt like dipping my feet in. The only people dipping their feet in the lake were the artificial flamingos…
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Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.