Tourists Flocking To ‘Australia’s Red Sea’

Pretty in pink.

Tourists Flocking To ‘Australia’s Red Sea’

Image Credit: @borderlesscollies

Hutt Lagoon boasts 13,903 ‘hashtags’ on Instagram (as well as a booming geotag page). So why haven’t you heard of it? Well, consider this a public service announcement.

With COVID-19 having caused a bit of a domestic travel (and van life) boom, Australian travellers have been (when they’ve been allowed into West Australia) flocking to what we would like to call ‘Australia’s Red Sea’ (Hutt Lagoon).

Though their photos might look carefree on Instagram, however, taking them isn’t quite so perfect.

Instead, the reality of Australia’s most Instagram famous lagoon, if you want to get a scroll stopping photo, involves careful planning, traipsing through mud and a salt encrusted back which makes you not want to put a shirt on for a while.

While there’s a whole lot worse things people have gone through in pursuit of a photo, in the interests of bringing you The Other Side Of The (Instagram) Story, we interviewed someone who has been to Hutt Lagoon, to ask what it’s really like.

First of all though – what is Hutt Lagoon? Hutt Lagoon is a (you guessed it) lagoon 6 hours drive north of Perth.

Sometimes it’s bright bubblegum pink, sometimes it’s lilac, and occasionally it goes full on red, thanks to the incredibly high levels of salinity in the water. You can see the lagoon while driving between Port Gregory and Kalbarru (it’s only a half an hour drive or so from Kalbarri).

“Head out before sunset and you can watch the colours transform,” recommends, adding: “its vibrancy changes with the seasons and time of day.”

“The best time to visit is on a clear day, around mid-morning or sunset. There are a number of places to stop and view this natural phenomenon along Port Gregory Road.”

“Nestled between Hutt Lagoon and the beach, you’ll find the picturesque fishing village of Port Gregory. Pick up refreshments at the general store and choose from farmstays, chalets, beach cottages and the caravan park for your overnight stay.”

“Visit between July and September to see the countryside blanketed in wildflowers.”

So far so scenic. But what’s it really like to visit? And can trying to take the perfect Instagram photo ruin the experience? We asked travel blogger Alex Collihole (one half of @borderlesscollies), who is travelling Australia with Jess Collihole (the other half of @borderlesscollies).

Here’s what Alex told DMARGE.

“Hutt Lagoon was literally the pink-est salt lake we have seen so far,” he explained. “The road is not very friendly for those towing which lead us into a neat little seaside town called Gregory.”

Alex then pointed out that – much like many popular places around the world – the Hutt Lagoon designated lookout was “packed with tourists trying to get their Instagram shot.”

Watch the following video to see a great comparison of tourism hotspots in real life vs. on social media.

Alex then explained to DMARGE how they escaped the crowds: “We went down the road and pulled up for some lunch away from everyone else and decided that it would be a great idea to get the floaties out and float on the lake.”

“The wind was blowing some had to walk up some distance so we didn’t float away from the car. Getting in and out of the salt lake was actually so muddy and you would sink halfway up your leg. After hutt lagoon we headed off…covered in salt.”

“I couldn’t wear a shirt as the feeling of the salt on my back was horrible haha. I certainly believe that sometimes trying to get ‘the shot’ can spoil the enjoyment of it, however this time it was fun to get the creative juices flowing and try something new.”

There you have it: it still sounds nice, but that’s the slightly grittier version of Hutt Lagoon for you, if all those Instagram photos were going to your head.

A good dousing of cold water does us all wonders, sometimes.

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