You are here

Lake Hillier. Pink Lake in Western Australia

Archipelago of the Recherche is a group of 105 islands, and over 1200 "obstacles to shipping", off the southern coast of Western Australia. The islands, also known as the Recherche Archipelago, stretch 230 kilometres (143 mi) from East to West and to 50 kilometres (31 mi) off-shore. The western group is near Esperance and the eastern group at Israelite Bay. They are located in coastal and inland waters, part of which is designated the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve.
Lake Hillier, is a lake on Middle Island, the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, Western Australia. It is the most prominent lacustrine feature on any island of the archipelago and air passengers often take note of it.
The specialty of this lake is its flamboyant colour, rose pink. The colour is permanent, as it does not alter when the water is taken in a container. The length of the lake is about six hundred meters. A narrow strip of land composed of sand dunes covered by vegetation separates it from the ocean. The lake is surrounded by a rim of white salt and a dense woodland of paperbark and eucalypt trees with sand dunes separating the lake from the Southern Ocean to the north.

On the shores of Lake Hiler were formed (1820-1840 gg.) Settlement hunters on seals and whales, and in the early twentieth century, established the extraction of salt. But soon (after 6 years), harvesting and extraction of salt ceased, and since then, the island attracts tourists just wanting to see the most amazing natural landmark in Australia.

Captain Flinders is said to have observed the pink lake after ascending the island's peak. John Thistle, the ships master, collected some of the lake's water which he found to be saturated with salt .The reason for the lake's colour is still under investigation, and so far no one has come up with a reasonable explanation. However, the most probable explanation according to some scientists involves the low nutrient concentrations and different types of bacteria and algae that are responsible for the lake's pink colour. The lake is one of the natural wonders of Australia.

The pink coloration of the lake water could be from a sea salt and nahcolite (sodium bicarbonate) deposit reaction as well as red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts.
In 1950 a group of scientists settled here in order to clarify the origin of the original pink color of the lake. Usually this phenomenon is determined by the presence in the water a certain species of algae (Dunaliellasalina), which are saturated with salt water produce a red pigment. For example, a lake, located near the town of Esperance on the mainland, these algae provide the kind of red-pink color.
But they were disappointed and puzzled. Numerous water samples taken in Lake Hiler, have convincingly demonstrated the complete absence of any traces of algae.
[gmap zoom=14 |center=-34.09574277654373,123.19021224975586 |width=600px |height=600px |control=Small |type=Satellite]

Country: