Lake Hillier, Western Australia

'Australia's Pinkest Lake'

Lake Hillier is on Middle Island, the largest island in the Recherche Archipelago.  The Lake is approximately 600 metres long and 250 metres wide, covering an area of around 16 hectares.

Unlike other pink lakes in Western Australia, which fade out during the summer months, the vibrant colour of Lake Hillier is permanent, and does not alter even when the water is taken in a container. As a result, this makes Lake Hillier a great destination at any time of the year, as you can guarantee you will see it at its pinkest regardless of when you visit!!  Lake Hillier is also unique in that it is on an Island.  While Australia has many seasonal pink lakes, the are all on the mainland, and while many are very easily accessible, none are quite as impressive, or anywhere near as pink as Lake Hillier.  There is only a thin strip of shoreline separating Lake Hillier from the nearby Southern Ocean, and although the lake does not drain into the ocean, and is effectively 'land locked,' the contrast of the beautiful turquoise waters and pristine white beaches nearby make for stunning views.

Why is it pink?

How do I get there?

What is the best way to see Lake Hillier?

I'm going to Esperance to see Lake Hillier, what else can I do there?

Middle Island with the impressive Lake Hillier

But Why Is It Pink?

The pink colour is considered to be due to the presence of the organism Dunaliella salina in the highly saline water. Dunaliella salina is a type of halophile green micro-algae especially found in sea salt fields. Known for its antioxidant activity because of its ability to create large amount of carotenoids, it is used in cosmetics and dietary supplements. Few organisms can survive like D. salina does in such highly saline conditions as salt evaporation ponds. To survive, these organisms have high concentrations of β-carotene to protect against the intense light, and high concentrations of glycerol to provide protection against osmotic pressure. This offers an opportunity for commercial biological production of these substances.*source, Wikipedia

Matthew Flinders named the lake after William Hillier, a crew member of Investigator who died of dysentery on 20 May 1803 prior to his expedition's departure from Middle Island.

How do I get to Lake Hillier?

Lake Hillier is only accessible by Air or by Sea.  Scenic Flights depart Esperance Airport 6 times a day.  You cannot land on Middle Island, but the view from the air is spectacular!!


What is the best way to see Lake Hillier?

The best way to see Lake Hillier is by air.  Goldfields Air Services offer up to 6 flights per day, departing Esperance Airport on a 100 minute scenic flight via Cape Le Grand National Park, Lucky Bay, and the Recherche Archipelago.  Lake Hillier is not accessible by land as it is 150km from Esperance, on Middle Island