South Australia’s most popular pink lake, Lake Bumbunga is well known on the drive through the little town of Lochiel, 125km from Adelaide. For over 30 years the creature known as the Lochiel Loch Ness Monster has lived in the lake and is always something to look out for if you’re driving past. Kids in the car heading to or from Adelaide have always fought to spot it first.
The original Lochiel Eel (pictured above) now has a friend! The Clare Valley has revealed its newest art instalment, the Loch-eel Monster, which now roams Lake Bumbunga too. The sculpture was installed in March 2021 and is part of a redevelopment of the Pink Lake.
Lochiel is a tiny place but you can stop for a coffee, snack or lunch at Jitter Bean cafe across the road. If you want to see the lake at sunrise or sunset for a chance to see it in the best light, there is accommodation at the Pink Lake Tiny House.
Lake Bumbunga is the most easily accessible pink lake in South Australia. You can park right beside it to take in the view, or take a short walk down to get onto the lake.
While best known as the “Pink Lake” don’t expect it to always be a bubble gum pink colour you see in the Instagram posts. To manage expectations, the colour of the lake changes depending on the seasons, the weather, amount of rain, cloud cover, salinity levels in the water and the time of day. In fact as someone who has seen the lake on countless trips over the last 40 years since I was a young child (often several times a year) it’s never usually the intense pink colour in the Instagram posts which have been photoshopped. If you’re lucky, it might be a fairy floss pink. Other times it may be white, greyish, brown or blue. These photos were taken before sunset in October 2019. It looked paler earlier in the day. The colour was similar in February 2020.
TIPS WHEN WALKING ON A SALT LAKE:
The salt lake can be quite slushy but hard and crunchy on top. It will ruin your shoes and they will get wet so it’s worth taking some thongs (although they can easily sink and get stuck), really old sneakers that you can wash or don’t mind getting wet and salty, or gumboots. The crusted salt on top can be pretty rough to walk on with bare feet. You’ll often find some shoes at the lake that didn’t make it home with their owner. Let’s be considerate and make sure to take all our things and rubbish home with us, to keep this tourist attraction looking the best.
East from Lake Bumbunga you’ll find yourself in the beautiful Clare Valley wine region.
125 kms North of Adelaide, Augusta Highway – the section of Highway 1 between the township and the lake (it’s the Princes Highway before and after this section). Lochiel is between Port Wakefield and Snowtown.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: All photos by Play & Go except where credited
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