Notification: Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

Middle Island - the jewel in the crown

Lake Hillier
Lake Hillier Parks and Wildlife

The distinctive pink lake on Middle Island near Esperance will be better protected following an increased focus on balancing visitation with the natural values of the island.

Strategies are being developed by Parks and Wildlife in conjunction with stakeholders to better manage the unique ecology of Middle Island near Esperance, while still allowing visitors to experience the unique island.

The 985ha island, which is 121km east south east of Esperance, is home to the popular tourist attraction Lake Hillier.

Although the lake is remote and difficult to access, it attracts many domestic and international visitors each year.

Parks and Wildlife Esperance district manager Rob Blok said more tourists were visiting the lake because of its distinctive pink colour, caused by low levels of nutrients and by various algae and bacteria that thrive in the water.

“While the lake colour is beautiful to look at, it is very sensitive and human body oils and artificial creams such as sunscreen and insect repellent negatively affect the water chemistry,” he said.

“Visitors should be aware that the introduction of dieback, weeds or other pest species will have a detrimental impact on the island including the possibility of the lake losing its distinctive colour.

 “We are trying to ensure there is a balance between the increasing tourism demand and the natural values of the island that make it so unique.”

Additional signage advising visitors about protecting this area have been placed on the island and around the lake, and bollards are in place near the lake’s edge to discourage people from getting too close to the water.

Anyone wanting to visit the island is advised to do so through a licensed commercial tour operator or contact the Esperance district office on (08) 9083 2100 for further information.