I first read about the existence of pink lakes in 2014 on Gary Pepper Girl. Still, I had to gasp when I saw it for myself. Lo and behold, a body of water in my favorite color. Almost unreal, yet there it was. I'd run in and bathe in its candy-colored glory but as they say, beauty is deceiving.
There are a few pink lakes in the world and to my delight, there is a pink lake in Lochiel - only an hour or less away from Moonta (or around 2 hours from Adelaide). According to Daily Mail Australia, these lakes get their colour from algae that produce carotenoids, which when given the right amount of salinity, temperature and light, accumulate beta carotene responsible for the red pigment. So no, the water is not ideal for swimming and definitely not for drinking. But if you do swim in it (as salt collectors do), at least protect your skin with shea butter first.
When K and I got there, I thought, we should have prepared a picnic to eat in front of this gorgeous view! Approaching it though and you can smell a different aroma in the air. K thought it smelled like sulfur. Alas, nothing can live there.
It was interesting to stare at the ground and at the water. I saw whatever weeds that was left - they were dying. On the surface, there were shiny, white crystal formations. I tread a little in the shallow waters and whatever water there was dried up quickly on my slippers and turned into extremely fine powder - salt, I presume (and I'm not an expert about nature here), finer than sand.
Still, this salt lake, is incredibly beautiful. Just surreal.
Getting to Lake Bumbunga
We simply typed, "Lake Bumbunga" on Google Maps and this is how we got to a single lane dirt road which led us around Lake Bumbunga but nowhere near a foot path. A better way to get there would be to simply look for and park near Jitter Bean Oasis and then walk towards the lake and you'll see the foot path.
Unfortunately, it was past 5 PM on a weekday when we made our way to the cafe and it was just about to close. Too bad, the place looked and smelled like they had good food.
When To Go
The summer is the perfect time to go. We went past 4 PM so that it wasn't too hot. But then this caused us to miss a dining opportunity at Jitter Bean. The weather was beautiful though. The sun was bright and glared so much that I had to put sunglasses on or else I'd be squinting in all the photos. But remember that the salt lake's algae requires high temperatures to produce the pink color so the brighter the day, the pinker the lake.
How amazing is the beauty of South Australia? Oh Lord, how wonderful are the works of Your hands.
Check out my previous post featuring another South Australian geological wonder here: Sugar Loaf at Hallett Cove Conservation Park