Pink lakes and more: 5 of the world’s most psychedelic lakes

Pink lakes, green lakes and more: put these brightly coloured sights on your bucket list.


Looking for your next Instagrammable holiday spot? From the green hues of New Zealand’s emerald lakes in the south, to the Arctic-kissed surface of Canada’s Abraham lakes in the north, these five sights prove that there’s no one trippier than Mother Nature.


Emerald Lakes and Blue Lake, New Zealand

Woman hiking, Tongariro Alpine Crossing Ruapehu

You’ll need to limber up to admire these startling pools on the lunar landscape of Mount Tongariro. Reached via the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the North Island’s most epic day walks, the lakes are pooled in craters torn by past volcanic explosions and tinted by minerals seeping from stone. This spectacular sight is your reward for reaching the summit on a challenging seven-hour tramp.


Lake Hillier, Western Australia

Lake Hillier aerial view

A shock of bubble-gum pink set off by thick stands of eucalyptus and the deep blues of the Great Australian Bight, this vivid body of water lures seekers of the ultimate ’gram to Middle Island, off the coast of Esperance. The stubborn blush of this saline lake on the largest island of the Recherche Archipelago is best admired from a window seat of a scenic flight; swimming is strictly prohibited here to protect the lake’s sensitive pH balance.


Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park USA

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

This surreal pool in Wyoming is as deadly as it is hypnotic. Heated by cracks snaking through to Earth’s molten core, the Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest thermal lake in the United States and the third largest on the planet. The rings of colour in the water are thanks to pigmented heat-loving bacteria. As the temperature varies throughout the lake so does the kind of bacteria attracted to it, creating an ever-shifting spectacle. 


Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

Known to locals as “Fairyland on Earth” the magic behind the 114 crystal-clear blue, green and turquoise lakes that make up Sichuan’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jiuzhaigou National Park lies in the water’s high concentration of calcium carbonate. This natural phenomenon allows you to see right to the bottom of some of these enchanting lakes – which vary in depth  – where fallen calcified trees lie.  


Abraham Lake, Canada 

Bubbles in frozen Abraham Lake, Canada

Add Abraham Lake to the long list of reasons you should visit the Canadian Rockies. When winter temperatures are dangerously low and wind speeds high, Arctic blasts create a clear window of ice on the lake’s surface over frozen lava-lamp-like chalky bubbles trapped below. We hate to burst your bubble, but these icy wonders are actually made up of methane; a gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. 


By Constantina Demos – Published Wednesday 31 July

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