Adelaide: Pink Lakes and Red Wine

If you follow Australia on instagram you know the landscapes and nature here is insane. From steep cliff-side views to odd rock formations to multi-colored lakes it can be found here. One of the most intriguing for me was the pink lake. My friends and I found a couple outside of Adelaide and thought let’s go.

Round trip flights from Sydney are reasonable and after securing a local hostel and rental car we were ready. Heading there in February means hot temperatures (90+F/35+C) so the idea of swimming in a pink lake was inviting.  But little did we know that wasn’t about to happen.


Lake Bumbunga

After driving for an hour and a half we arrived. You can see the hue of pink from pretty far away which resulted in a lot of screaming. As we drove around trying to find the way in we noticed it was pretty dry. We parked, walked up and yep- its basically 100% dry. My friend and I would not be deterred. We saw the pink and were getting there.

Through the mud we sloshed until I noticed it was harder to walk. I call to my roommate, maybe we should turn back. In my next step I sink about 10 inches into the ground. Next step same thing happens. I scream to my roommate “IM SINKING” she immediately doubles over in laughter. I cannot blame her as I am doing the same but the feeling of panic is rising. She sees the terror in my eyes and comes to help me out. Lifting my feet out, my TOMS do not follow. I stare into the mud looking at my sunken sad shoes and pull them out. Guess I’m going to be barefoot for the rest of the day.

Pink Lake, Yorketown

We convince ourselves that maybe it is just this one lake that is dry, they can’t all be right? Back in the car, covered in mud, we head down the Yorke Peninsula. With a population of 25k we rarely pass cars much less see any people. 2 hours later we arrive and again see the hues. We try and reserve our excitement until we are actually close enough to judge. Nope, fully dry. Even more so than the last lake. Well we are here so we might as well have a photo shoot. It is stunning to see the depth and thickness of the salt, the dirt below not visible. If there was water here- this lake would be really freaking pink. *Sigh*.


McLaren Vale

Saturday night we return, tired and a little bit defeated, but excited to shower and have some wine we bought at the Central Market.  We enter our tiny private hostel room and realize the wine has been taken. Great. After some thinking we realize the hostel must have taken it since you can’t have alcohol in the rooms. It would have been nice to know that! The New Yorker in me is getting fueled up, this man will get an earful tomorrow.

Being deprived of our wine made us only thirstier for Sunday. We drove the hour out to McLaren Vale to explore the wineries for our last day. There are more than 88 wineries in the area but here are the 3 we went to.

  • Hugh Hamilton – gorgeous architecture & $10 tasting
  • S.C. Pannell Wines – good vibes & views & $5 tasting

  • Alpha Box & Dice – hipsters paradise & free tasting

After scooping our wine from the hostel and adding it to the box we bought at AB&D we headed to the airport singing Nelly because for some reason he was performing at a festival that evening. Our flight had been canceled and then rescheduled that day so there was a chance we would pull an audible and see him but alas we were on our way back to Sydney.

All and all the city of Adelaide is a bit odd so if you are considering visiting I’d suggest only flying in and out. If I went back I’d head to Kangaroo Island or go up to Alice Springs for Uluru. Until next time Radelaide.


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