Pink Lakes in Australia and the True Reason behind the Pink Color

why pink lakes in Australia are pink

Pink Lakes in Australia

Australia is the home for one of the most beautiful and unusual natural wonders in the world. It is Pink Lakes in Australia. We all know that water is naturally colorless or maybe blue. But sometimes Mother Nature gives us surprises by changing the color of the water into pink, like bubblegum. There are a lot of scientific explanations about this natural wonder. So let’s take a look at the facts on the most recent researches.  

Lake Hiller, Bumbunga and Murray Sunset: Famous Pink Lakes in Australia

Lake Hiller, Bumbunga and Murray Sunset

Although there are many, pink lakes in Australia, Lake Hiller and Lake Bumbunga are more popular. The Lake Hiller is about 2000 feet long and can be found on Australia’s Middle Island. Also, it surrounds with white sand beaches and Eucalyptus trees. On the other hand, Lake Bumbunga is located in Adelaide and near the town of Lochiel and Bumbunga. And also, it is very famous for its feature of showing a mirror effect. (The reflection of the sky on the surface of the water). And, compared with Lake Hiller, Bumbunga has more easily accessible shores to give you amazing photo experiences.    

Murray-Sunset-National Park in Victoria also has its own four pink lakes. The national park offers the camping options as well. But, keep in mind to take water bottles with you as there water is not drinkable. As we all know, Lake Hiller is pink in color for the whole time in the year. But, the pink lakes on Murray Sun Set, shows its best view only in late summers. The color changes from deep pink to pale salmon-like shade. Of course, you can swim theoretically, in Murray-Sunset pink lakes as well. But the high salt concentration always gives you a red light when think about swimming. And on the other hand, we should not pollute and disturb these natural beauties and let the creatures make the lakes prettier than ever.

Why are the lakes pink in color?

In 2015, a research team from the Extreme Microbiome Project (XMP) started an investigation on the pink color of this lake. Most of the previous and past research outcomes proved that the color is due to its high salt content and microalgae. But the team XMP wanted to clarify the real truth behind it. Actually, they wanted to clarify whether the certain cause is extremophiles that thrived in the harsh, salty environment of Lake Hiller or not. Then, they collected water samples and performed a DNA analysis.

As a result, they found 10 species of salt-loving bacteria and several species of Dunaliella Algae. They were with some shade of pink or red in color. Apart from that, they found some surprising causes too. When they were conducting the DNA test, they recognized a single species of a bacterium called Salinibacter ruber. 33% of the collected DNA was included in in this bacterium. Therefore, the team suspected about these bacteria as the responsible creature for creating that amazing pink color. So, they rejected the previous story about the microalgae.


Although the reason for pink color is discovered as Salinibacteria, it also contains Dunaliella Salina algae in the salty environment. The bacteria secret the carotenoid pigment which create the pink color. And also this D. Salina is in the Dead Sea too.   

Lake Hiller should be safe to swim in

The experiment had done this research with the DNA samples of Lake Hiller. Since the reason is discovered as the bacteria are the factor, so the Lake Hiller should be safe to swim in. In fact, the lake’s high salt content likely makes the water so dense that you’d float incredibly easily. Like you do in Dead Sea. But, we are not familiar with photos of swimming or diving in Lake Hiller. Because unfortunately travelling to Lake Hiller is a kind of difficult task as it’s a tiny island. You can only reach there, by boat or a helicopter. But however, if you made it there, you can swim into the lake and take a picture.