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Pink Lake gets its pink colour, and sometimes even purple, depending on weather conditions. The colour of Pink Lake is attributed to high concentrations of salt tolerant algae, Dunalella Sailina. This was first definitely established in 1980 after almost 200 years of conjecture. Confirmation came when Esperance Museum Curator prompted a W.A. University biologist to analyze lake water samples. These samples and others sent earlier confirmed Dunalella Sailina in the lake as well as Coccomonas Algae.
The algae has been shown responsible for similar lake colourings in the U.S.A. The salt from Pink Lake is 99.9% pure and is harvested for W.A. Salt Supply and sent to Fremantle for processing. Salt licks for stock, with appropriate additives, are made in Esperance. There are at present about 13 hectares divided into 8 ponds, into which water is pumped during the dry month; as it evaporates it leaves behind the salt crystals. At present 14,000 tonnes a year are harvested.
Pink Lake near Esperance on Western Australia ’s far southern coastline is a popular natural attraction.
For the best view and excellent photographs, take a walk to Pink Lake lookout. A sunglass lens placed in front of your camera will create a dramatic effect, or even better, use a polarising filter. You can also see huge stockpiles of salt from the lookout.