Why You Need to do the Pink Lake Esperance Scenic Flight in WA

Interested in seeing the famous vibrant pink lakes in Esperance? I’ve had them on my bucket list for years and so when we were finally road tripping from Perth to Esperance with Star RV recently, I made sure we made time to see the famous rare natural phenomenon.

Turns out, some of the pink hue lakes I thought were pink are now not, and so I did an amazing scenic flight with Fly Esperance to get up close to the pink lakes as well a beautiful flight over the jaw dropping beaches in Cape Le Grand National Park.

If you’re looking for information about why the pink lake Esperance is famous or wondering if the Cape Le Grand scenic flight is worth it, I’m going to share my entire experience with you.

Why are pink lakes so popular?


Exploring pink lakes is such a rare experience that you won’t find them in many places in the world. Luckily there are a few places in Australia where you can see them (check out our guide for the Best Pink Lakes in Australia), and quite a few are located in Western Australia.

There were quite a few amazing pink lakes in Esperance, located on the South Coast of WA, which is due to the salt crystals mixing with the algae in the water to create a bright pink colour.

Is the Pink Lake Esperance still pink?


Firstly, the famous Pink Lake Esperance is famous for is no longer pink. I don’t think it’s been pink for a long time, and as we drove past it, it is in fact a massive salt lake instead.

What about Lake Warden?


Opposite the Pink Lake is Lake Warden which is sadly also not pink either (above is an old photo). I’m not sure if this is to do with the weather conditions, but it was confirmed that the Pink Lake hasn’t even had a red pigment or even the slightest bit of a pink hue for a long time.

Can you still visit Lake Hillier?


One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Esperance was to visit the famous Lake Hillier which can only be reached by a flight out to Middle Island. The problem is, it had so much rain a couple of years ago that the bubblegum pink lake is now not pink (sadly, again the above is an old photo). It never came back to its original colour and so you can’t get out there to see it on a tour anymore.

Best time of year to see the rainbow pink lakes


Luckily you can visit the amazing rainbow pink lakes in Esperance! If you’re wondering, the best time of the year to visit them, it is during Spring. This is because it can get really dry in Esperance so you’ll need the lakes to fill up with water. It then takes a couple of weeks before the algae can turn pink.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any of the lakes pink when visiting. We visited Pink Lake and Lake Warden in Esperance and both weren’t pink.

How to see the pink lakes in Esperance now


Luckily there are so many salt lakes in Esperance to visit. You’ll need to do a scenic flight to see them as they are on private land, but wow – there are so many small pink lakes, you won’t be disappointed.

Our scenic flight tour experience over the pink lakes


We drove to Esperance Airport which is a 20 minute drive out of town (Fly Esperance can pick you up from your accommodation if required) to jump onto a very small plane which is big enough to fit 5 people, plus the pilot.

We all hopped in after a quick briefing, and before we knew it, we were up in the air, flying over the Great Ocean Drive Beaches and onto Cape Le Grand National Park to see the mind-blowing beaches we had spent a couple of days in disbelief looking at from eye level.


It was so exciting to fly over all of the famous beaches like Lucky Bay and see our campsite from above. We also went out to Duke of Orleans Bay and saw Wharton Beach which we’ve since learnt is a local favourite that many claim is better than Lucky Bay, with whiter sand, clearer water and less people!

The scenic flight over the beaches really was so amazing, that we would have been happy if that was all we were going to see. But we were yet to see the pink lakes which honestly felt like we were on two tours.

As we flew back inland towards Esperance airport, we then started to see the Rainbow Lakes which is a huge series of lakes. Words can’t describe how incredible the lakes really are, and as we started to get closer, we saw pink and orange lakes.


To my surprise, we even saw a yellow lake which was a real highlight and something we have never seen before! We were in complete amazement seeing the lakes and it was honestly an incredible experience.

Should you consider the scenic flight over the pink lakes and Cape Le Grand National Park?


I would absolutely one hundred percent recommend doing the Pink Lakes Scenic Tour with Fly Esperance because it really is a bucket list experience you won’t find anything else like it in the world. Being able to fly over the best beaches in the world, as well as an insanely incredible natural phenonamon such as the pink lakes is something that will truly stay with you forever.

Other places to visit nearby


If you are heading to Cape Le Grand, check out our guide for Everything You Need to Know About Staying at Lucky Bay Campground.

You also might like to do the Great Ocean Drive and visit the stunning beaches like Twilight Beach.

More Pink Lakes in Western Australia to discover


If you’re on the lookout to see other pink lakes in Australia, head to Quairinding Pink Lake which is on the way back from Esperance to Perth via Wave Rock. We visited and even though the lake wasn’t pink at the time of visiting, it was an amazing sight from our drone.

To guarantee seeing a pink lake in person, head to Hutt Lagoon on the Perth to Broome road. We visited when it was raining and it was still bright pink! Pink lakes tend to be best viewed from either a scenic flight or via a drone so I would absolutely recommend the scenic flight we did as it was absolutely brilliant.

Pink Lake Esperance

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