Melbourne: Westgate Park

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There is still a bit more to go on Melbourne's posts, so I will pick out those days that are more memorable to recount to you. One of those days in late autumn.. I decided to go to Westgate Park in Port Melbourne. I had read about the pink lake right in the heart of the city, and I couldn't miss it for the world. So off I went, alone.

Here are some pictures of that day:
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It was quite anticlimactic because the park and lake areas were deathly quiet and empty of humankind of any sort. Strange, right? Yes, I guess natural pink lakes aren't all that fancy to locals, but I was starry-eyed. There was no smell in the air, no birds fluttering around, no other wildlife, even though the park rangers promised (through yellowed notices) that the lake is safe, they don't recommend touching the water. And definitely no swimming, of course.
This pink lake will be even pinker than this in the summer because the colour is generated by a combination of high salt levels, high temperatures, sunlight and lack of rainfall. The salt lakes turn pink due to the natural interaction of a harmless, single cell alga and a halbacterium. Given the right conditions, D. salina growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment - beta carotene - which absorbs and uses the energy of sunlight needed to keep salt out of their cytoplasm.
The only way to get there by public transport is by bus route 235 (bus route map here) and walking 15 minutes along a super deserted road lined with industrial/ factory buildings. Not recommended to walk alone here, it can get a bit scary (even by my standards because I am quite fearless in wandering about) and probably dangerous. Find company to seek the pink lake and beyond.
For the day trip itinerary to Footscray and Williamstown along with Westgate Park, click here.

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