Westgate Park: In search of the Pink Lake

A couple of years ago I read an article on Lake Hillier on Western Australia’s Middle Island (South-East off the shores of Esperance in the states South) which included a most striking photo.

You see, this lake was the most incredible pink colour (Google it some time to see what I’m talking about).

Apparently it is caused by the presence of a certain Algae, which under certain weather conditions cause, the water (saltwater lakes only, so I assume high saline levels are one of those factors) to go this most incredible colour.

It was one of those things you file away in the memory bank and think, “I’d love to see that one day”, but I hadn’t really pondered it since.

This slightly waffling tale does have a point, as back at the start of March I was flicking through the weekend papers when an article on Melbourne’s own Westgate Park caught my eye.

Tucked beneath the shadows of the Westgate Bridge it lies, a collection of lakes that form a wetlands reserve, home to many water birds and all within sight of the CBD!

After several weeks of extreme summer heat, one of these lakes water levels had dropped, concentrating its salt levels, and, you guessed it, it had turned a most vibrant shade of pink!

Now, almost 4 weeks later, Sarah and I finally found the time to go explore, and check it out for ourselves.

Investigating the Pink Lake

Investigating the Pink Lake

The intensity of the pink colour, was still a surprise

The intensity of the pink colour, was still a surprise

Whilst the colour was immediately striking, what slowly found its into the senses was the smell.

It wasn’t entirely offensive, but it was certainly there, I assume as a result of the high salt concentration.

At least all fears I had of having waited too long and missing it, were quickly allayed!

Even when it returns to its usual colour, this place is a tranquil escape

Even when it returns to its usual colour, this place is a tranquil escape

All reports have suggested that the waters are not likely to be harmful to people (indeed, there is a pink lake in Senegal where the local people harvest salt from its waters), although they do recommend not too, as its intense salt levels are not likely to be pleasant.

We did have to remind ourselves that it was simply salt, and not some form of industrial, toxic waste we were viewing!

Salty water, not toxic sludge!

Salty water, not toxic sludge!

A bit like Molly Ringwald? Pretty in Pink...

A bit like Molly Ringwald? Pretty in Pink…

It’s not quite Lake Hillier, but it’s a pretty impressive (and geographically, far more convenient) short term option.

That recent article read in early March suggested Autumn will see the lakes colour return to normal, so if you are about, I’d recommend you check it out as soon as you can!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Australia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Westgate Park: In search of the Pink Lake

  1. Once on a hike, I walked thru a creek with pink algae for an extensive period. My socks were quite pink afterwards!

  2. Emma McEvoy says:

    OMG! I am SO desperate to get to this lake! I am shattered I have only just found out about it and now I am probably too late as it’s winter and been raining so much in melbourne! Have you been back recently by any chance?

  3. Pingback: Bolivia to Chile – Part 2: River Deep, mountain high | theworldwithchrisandsarah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s