The one time of year you can cruise to Australia’s most Instagrammable lake

Lake Hillier, near Esperance in Western Australia, is one of those natural wonders that needs to be seen to be believed. And now visitors have the opportunity to do so by cruise, with Esperance Cruises operating specialty trips to the impressive pink lake once a year – with the next departure planned for January 11, 2020.

The reason for there only being one cruise per year is due to the distance and time it takes to travel to the very isolated Middle Island, where the lake sits. 

“It takes about two hours to cruise there from the Duke of Orleans which is 100 kilometres east of Esperance,” said Esperance Island Cruise manager Jaimen Hudson.

The one time to cruise to Middle Island
Lucky Bay. Image: Jarrad Seng

However, the rarity of the one-day tour only makes it more special as only a handful of people will be able to say they got right up close to Lake Hillier.

In the past, the only way to see the lake was by taking a scenic flight with Goldfields Air Services. Or for visitors to charter a plane or boat themselves, which isn’t so easily done.

The one time to cruise to Middle Island
Frenchmans Peak. Image: Jarrad Seng
The one time to cruise to Lake Hillier
Image: Jarrad Seng

Not to mention, the additional benefits of going by cruise is the planned itinerary. The trip includes a stop to the campground ruins of Australia’s only recorded pirate, Black Jack Anderson who used Middle Island as a base. There is also a chance to witness dolphins playing at the bow of the boat. Jaimen said this a common occurrence.

“Guests are always blown away by how incredibly clear the ocean is, it’s almost like a sheet of glass in some spots,” Jaimen said.

The one time to cruise to Middle Island
Hellfire Bay. Image: Jarrad Seng

Once arriving at Middle Cove, guests will have a decent amount of time to spend on the island. Take some time to marvel at the lake and beautiful surrounding scenery.

Research suggests that the striking pink colour comes from ten species of salt-loving bacteria, archaea and several species of Dunaliella algae that are almost all pink, red or salmon-coloured. 

If you want to be privy to this once-a-year trip to what’s arguably Australia’s most Instagrammable lake, then you better get in quick. The 60-foot vessel is limited to only 40 passengers and spots will fill up fast.

The full-day tour costs $320 per person and includes lunch, tea, coffee and water. 

The one time to cruise to Middle Island
Lucky Bay Image: Jarrad Seng

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