If you’re planning a trip to Victoria’s northwest desert region, the Pink Lakes in the Murray-Sunset National Park are a must-see!
The entry to Murray-Sunset National Park is approximately a 6.5 to 7.5 hour drive from Melbourne, dependant on the entrance you take. Located in one of the more untouched semi-arid regions of the world, these lakes are, as the name suggests, different shades of pink and striking to look at.
The Pink Lakes area offers scenic walking tracks for all ages and abilities. There is Lake Becking (approximately 45 minutes), Lake Hardy (approximately one hour) and the Kline Nature Walk (approximately two hours). There are also camping grounds and additional walks, such as the Sunset Remote Walking Track which is a three day walk (66km track) through the Mallee and is broken into three (one day) sections. Please note that one must contact a Parks Victoria ranger if you are eager to walk in these more remote expanses of the park.
The reason for these pink splendours is the red pigment, carotene, which is secreted from the algae. Dependent on the time of year, these colours can vary. In summer, these lakes evaporate and form salt crusts on top of black mud. They are particularly pink in late summer, ranging from a deep pink to a gleaming white. The colours are most picturesque either early or late in the day, or when it is overcast.
After having an afternoon relax soaking up both the sun and view, we decided to walk the leisurely Lake Becking track. This is the perfect walk for families and those keen for a little exploration. The walk is a relatively flat track with a minor incline on the way back. If you have time, it is breathtaking to watch the orange sunset over the pink lake.
On this track, you will be amongst areas of Mallee trees and wildlife which then open up to the lake. Mallee trees are plentiful in this desert region as they have adapted remarkably well to the harsh and dry climate. They are able to save water loss by facing their leaves away from the sun, whilst also storing water in their unique trunks that are concealed under the earth. Subsequently, only the Mallee branches are visible.
You may even come across some animal tracks along this walk. Some wildlife you could encounter include white-striped mastiff bats, apostlebirds, leaf-eating beetles, nankeen kestrels, malleefowl and emus.
If you enjoy industrial relics as well as nature, you have hit the jackpot. Historical information and the machinery used for salt harvesting are also dotted along the walking tracks. Profitable harvesting began in the Pink Lakes area in 1916 and salt was transported away from these lakes for more than 20 years.
This is not only a great place for walking and camping, but for four-wheel drive sightseeing as well. Autumn, winter and spring are the best times to visit, but for this kind of exploration you must be well prepared. Please contact Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 19 63 regarding your plan, park safety, conditions, entry, regulations and camping if you plan an outing.
A trip to this remote landscape is an experience for everyone to enjoy. If you and some friends are looking for a unique outback adventure in Victoria, plan a trip to the Mallee region and make sure to see the Pink Lakes!
If this interests you, take a look at our review on ‘12 Mile Patch Walk’, located in nearby Wyperfield National Park. I strongly suggest taking at least a few days to explore this unique outback region.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY - 1/5
EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY - 2/5
WILDLIFE - 4/5
SCENERY - 5/5
OVERALL RATING - 5/5
1. UNIQUE SCENERY/PINK LAKES
2. EASY TO MODERATE WALK IN NORTHWEST VICTORIA
3. ARID-ADAPTED NATIVE FLORA AND FAUNA
4. BATS, KESTRELS, EMUS AND SALT-HARVESTING REMNANTS
5. CONTACT PARKS VICTORIA FOR MORE INFO