Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve


Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve

Loch Iel is part of the Wotjobaluk Aboriginal cultural landscape. The Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk Peoples, The Traditional Owners of this land, welcome you to Country. The Wotjobaluk People retain a close link with their land and continue to care for Country. Loch Iel provides an important connection to country.
Follow the Western Highway, north of Dimboola and Little Desert National Park, to discover one of Victoria’s most picturesque pink salt lakes. For budding photographers, this incredible, sometimes surreal, landscape is a dream. 

The water’s edge is dotted with shady yellow gumtrees and salt paperbarks and the vast reflective waters of Loch Iel offer a beautiful spot to unwind. If you’re walking around the lake’s edge, keep your eye out for small and distinctive salt tolerant plants that grow in this rare environment. For many years, the salt was commercially harvested from the lake and rusted-out relics of a mining operation long closed are scattered around the lake as reminders of its history.

The lake’s unique pink hue comes from a pigment secreted by microscopic algae found in Loch Iel’s extra salty wetlands. The intensity of the pink varies depending on the season, temperature, cloud cover and water level. After a large downpour, fresh nutrients wash into the lake, which in turn trigger the growth of algae. Sometimes it's a bright bubble-gum pink and at other times it's a light salmon. While the iconic pink hue can’t be guaranteed, the beautiful changing shades of this lake will not disappoint.

Getting to Pink Lake is easy; it’s located right next to the Western Highway. Next to the highway is a rest stop and Loch Iel Reserve, from where you can easily take in views of the lake. Alternatively, visitors can also make a short trek to the edge of the lake from the rest stop.

Facilities such as picnic seating, shelters and toilets can be found by the car park. The lookout point is equipped with tables; from here you can enjoy panoramic views of Pink lake.

Things To Do


Photography at Loch Iel

On the eastern side of the lake, the car parking area located on a rise on the Western Highway provides an amazing vantage point for viewing and photographing the lake.
A wedged tailed eagle sits in the branch of a dead eucalypt.

Birdwatching at Loch Iel

Keep your eyes peeled as wading bird species can often be observed feeding in the shallows, while wedge tailed eagles have also been observed nesting in nearby yellow gums.

Loch Iel Pink Lake Reserve

The shallow water is popular with wading birds, but other uniquely Australian animals have been spotted at the lake. If you're lucky you might see:

Wedge-tailed eagles
Lace monitors

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve

Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve is 350km northwest of Melbourne. To get there, follow the Western Highway passed Dimboola, approximately 7kms west towards Adelaide.

When to go

Rain from the winter months or summer storms may have filled the lake, which will enhance the pink glow from the lake surface.

Need to know

Loch Iel (Pink Lake) Lake Reserve

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