Middle Island, Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve, via Cape Arid, Esperance, 6450
Picture a pink lake of the brightest bubblegum-pink sitting beside the deepest blue ocean. Lake Hillier is one of the extraordinary sights you'll see flying or cruising through the pristine wilderness of the Recherche Archipelago.
Located on Middle Island, the largest of the Recherche islands (11 kilometres from the coast of Cape Arid National Park), this striking phenomenon can be accessed by chartering a plane or boat with nearby tour operators in Esperance.
The lake is separated from the Southern Ocean by just a thin strip of sand and it's widely believed that the water's permanent strawberry milkshake colour is due to the extremely high level of salinity. This discovery was made as early as 1802, when Matthew Flinders led an expedition to the islands and collected a sample from the lake, but there has been no definitive proof that salt is the source of its unique hue.
Measuring just 600 metres wide and shaped like a footprint, this relatively small feature has a huge impact when viewed from a scenic flight or cruise, and the untouched islands of the Recherche Archipelago create a stunning backdrop, rich in marine life.