I’ve seen pink lakes north-western Victoria and I’ve even seen them in Bolivia, but if you’d told me there’s one seven kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, I’d have called you a liar… Until I saw it with my own eyes.
As it turns out, Melbourne’s very own pink lake is in Westgate Park (Port Melbourne, technically), under the Westgate Bridge. There are two lakes in the park, a freshwater lake and a salt lake. Unbeknownst to me, the salt lake has been turning pink almost every year since December 2012.
Our Fairy Princess, lover of all things pink, has been obsessed with the idea of a pink lake since she learned of the existence of such a thing a couple of years ago (“NO WAY! How can a lake be pink?!”). I’ve always promised I’d take her to see one someday, but I had no idea I could find one half an hour from home. When I heard about it through social media, we had to take a father-daughter trip at the first opportunity.
I was careful to manage expectations and made sure to approach via the Westgate Bridge, where we got our first glimpse from above, but still, I wasn’t expecting much when we arrived at the lake itself. My low expectations were way off the mark, though. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we approached the shores of the lake to find that the water was actually fairy floss pink.
“It looks like the water I use to clean my brushes when I paint.”
I was thinking strawberry flavoured milk but either way, that’s how it looked. It’s beyond hard to believe that this is a natural phenomenon. I’ve even heard people theorise that it turns pink because it’s polluted.
When is the lake pink?
This year (2019), the salt lake was first observed turning pink on the 20th of February. Other years, it’s started in December, and anecdotally it seems fairly common that March is the best time to witness the spectacle.
When’s the best time to visit?
Why is the lake pink?
How to get to the Westgate Park pink lake
The salt lake is best accessed via the carpark off Todd Road, close to its intersection with Cook Street. Most people probably won’t be coming from the city so I won’t bother giving directions here. Just plug it into Google Maps or whatever you use for navigation.
The park is accessible via public transport, though it’s no easy task. The 234 and 235 bus both stop there, but you’re best to look them up and decide where to catch them from.
Need to Know
Have you visited Melbourne’s Westgate Park pink lake? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
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