Interesting facts about Lake Hillier

lake hillier

Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia.

It is surrounded by eucalyptus and paperback trees and a long and thin shore divides the Southern Ocean from the lake.

Lake Hillier is about 600 meters (2,000 feet) in length by about 250 meters (820 feet) in width.

It has surface area of 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres).


Lake Hillier receives a large amount of attention from scientists and the public due to its obvious bright pink color.

The reason of its pink color is still a topic that is not fully understood by scientists, although most suspect it has to do with the presence of the Dunaliella salina microalgae. But the presence of red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts could be another explanation.

Its pink color is less accentuated when viewed from the surface but it is very prominent from above.

From the Aerial view this lake looks more like a fine pink colored bubble gum but in close up its more of a light pink.

lake hillier surface

The pink color of the water is a permanent characteristic and does not change when water is transferred to a container.

Lake Hillier is about 10 times saltier than the ocean and the entire lake is rimmed in a salty crust.

Despite the high salt content levels, Lake Hillier is safe to swim in.

The only living organisms in Lake Hillier are microorganisms.


The Extreme Microbiome Project, part of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF), Metagenomics Research Group (MGRG), has performed a metagenomic analysis on the lake to find Dunaliella as well as Salinibacter ruber, Dechloromonas aromatica, and a few species of the Archaea.

The Hillier Lake was first discovered in 1802 by navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders. He had climbed Middle Island’s highest peak (now known as Flinders Peak) to survey the surrounding waters when he came across this remarkable pink lake.

The lake was mined for salt in the early part of the 20th century, but the practice has been abandoned and the lake is now considered one of Australia’s natural wonders.


As of 2012, the lake is part of the protected area known as the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve and is the feature of a recreational walking trail which circumnavigates its shoreline.

There are very few ways to reach Lake Hillier. Helicopter is one of the most common methods of travel. Cruises are also an option for passengers wanting to visit the isolated lake, and surrounding forest area.

Lake Hillier is not the only pink lake in the world, for that matter, it is not even the only pink lake in

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