Believe it or not, there is quite the art to catching the pink lakes in all their glory. If you want the perfect photo opportunity at Hutt Lagoon (or any other pink lake), be sure to adhere to these tips…
Pink lakes just have to be seen to be believed. There are no fancy photoshop skills at work when it comes to the pink lakes of WA, just good old mother nature.
There are a few pink lakes in WA – some in our great southern, some on Rottnest island and a very well known one just outside of Kalbarri, Hutt Lagoon. Of all the lakes, Hutt Lagoon is one of the easiest to access.
Hutt Lagoon’s iconic pink colour (and any other pink lake you come across) is thanks to carotenoid-producing algae that thrives in salt flats. ‘Algae’ sounds like a nasty word, but this algae is in fact a source of beneficial beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is harvested for food colouring, cosmetics, and dietary supplements (Vitamin A), and said to be great for your skin. It is this beta-carotene that also gives the lake its hot pink colour.
But, Hutt Lagoon isn’t always as vibrant pink as the hero shots show. There is an art to catching the lake at its most vibrant. If you are keen to get an insta-shot of the lake in all its glory, take note of the following before you plan your trip.
Head to the lake on a sunny day
Clouds make all the difference between a lacklustre peach coloured lake, and a vivid, hot pink lake. Much like the blue of the ocean, the vibrancy of the pink lake is best in maximum sunshine.
We visited Hutt Lagoon on both a cloudy and a sunny day, and the difference between the two days was phenomenal. I am so glad we called in on our way back from Kalbarri too, as the lake was a whole other kind of brilliant the second time around. I don’t think I would have believed that it had the potential to be that pink if I hadn’t have seen it on a sunny day.
Aim to be there between 10.00am and 2.00pm
The higher the sun is in the sky, the better the colour of the lake will appear. It is the exact opposite principles to photography!
The optimal time for optimal pink is on a sunny day, when the sun is overhead.
Avoid the lakes in summer
The lakes obviously dry out in summer, leaving just a salt flat and a few puddles of water. A pink salt flat is pretty, but it isn’t as pretty as vibrant pink water. Give yourself the best chance at seeing the lake with water in it by visiting in Spring or Autumn. If you are willing to chance the clouds, then winter is the best time to see a full lake.
Explore to find different vantage points
At Hutt Lagoon, there is a dedicated car park and lookout area for visitors to base themselves from. But depending on the time of year, this can sometimes be the least impressive spot to view the lake.
In the middle of summer, the lake is more like a salt flat in spots, and the pink colour isn’t as vibrant.
When we visited, the dedicated vantage point was more or less a salt flat. We drove around the lake further towards the town of Gregory, and found a great spot just near the bridge heading in to town. The lake was fuller around this side, and there was absolutely nobody else around. While there is no dedicated parking here, you can easily pull off on the side of the road and explore on foot.
George Grey Drive should also be on your radar. The drone photos of a road with pink lakes either side? That is a spot that can be accessed just off George Grey Drive.