26 September 2023

Pink lakes a lift for colourful Autumn spirits

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Victorians are being encouraged to get out and explore the State’s bubblegum pink lakes this Autumn, which according to Parks Victoria is the perfect time to visit.

Urging people to make the most of the season, Parks Victoria said the pink lakes were a natural wonder that many people never get a chance to see.

Chief Conservation Scientist at Parks Victoria, Mark Norman said people had travelled all around the world to see the phenomenon, but Victoria’s had it right on their doorstep.

“What you’ll find about these lakes in that they are very salty,” Dr Norman said.

“This makes them the perfect habitat for a single-celled algae that is super-adapted to live only in extremely salty conditions,” he said.

“The algae is super-adapted to survive in environments where nothing else can.

“Then there’s the added bonus of creating a spectacular colour!”

Dr Norman said the algae was the type of ‘alien life’ that researchers hoped to find on an asteroid or the moon, “and we are lucky enough to have them living under a bridge in the second-largest city in Australia.”

Parks Victoria said people could see the colour-changing wonder at Pink Lakes in Murray Sunset National Park; Westgate Park in Melbourne; Lake Tyrrell in the Mallee region; and at Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve in the Wimmera region.

“Autumn is a great time for exploring and making time to see the lakes for yourself,” it said.

“Stand on the edge of the lakes and experience its natural beauty but don’t be tempted to jump in pink water, the super saltiness may be perfect for alien algae but can really irritate your skin,” Parks Victoria said.

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