Lake MacDonnell (Pink Lake) Self-drive Tour
Penong is a great place to head for a day trip from Ceduna. The small town on the Eyre Highway is just 74km west of Ceduna and has plenty of things to see and do, including the incredibly picturesque Lake MacDonnell. The now-famous lake sits just outside of Penong and is a great place to head along with a visit to nearby surf beaches and museums.
A self-drive tour from Ceduna to Penong is a great adventure along the Eyre Highway that takes in many of the highlights of the Far West Coast. Whether you have half a day or a full day to explore, the trip from Ceduna to Penong has options for everyone.
NOTE: This itinerary is designed to be used along with our map of Ceduna where you can view all locations and roads and informational cards and videos to assist and enhance your adventure.
Itinerary for Lake MacDonnell self-drive tour
Stop 1: Lake MacDonnell
Many travellers come to Penong to visit the now-famous “pink lake”. Lake MacDonnell is easily reached at just 14km out of town on Point Sinclair Road. The lake is at the former site of a salt mine on the largest gypsum deposit in Australia. The incredibly high salinity combined with algae and bacteria in the water produces a brilliant pink colour across the surface. It’s at its brightest when the lake is dry, so make sure that you check for recent rainfall if you don’t want to be disappointed.
This site has slowly attracted hundreds of travellers and keen photographers who love to capture the unique pink colour of the lake, which often contrasts with the blue water next to it. However, you should know that it’s a public road, so be careful of other vehicles and do not block the road while trying to take photos. You should be able to find somewhere to safely pull your vehicle over.
Stop 2: Cactus Beach at Point Sinclair
If you continue down the same road towards the coast, you’ll find yourself at Point Sinclair. This dramatic coastal point on the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight is home to Cactus Beach. This world-class surfing spot has three surf breaks that attract experienced surfers from around the country. There is also a jetty at Point Sinclair which is popular for fishing and swimming in the safe swimming enclosure which is present during summer.
Stop 3: Penong Windmill Museum
Once you head back into Penong town, you might have time to explore the Penong Windmill Museum. This has slowly become of the most popular attractions on the Far West Coast for the whole family. The open-air museum is home to 20 restored windmills from around the country, including “Bruce” the largest windmill in Australia. It’s a great way to learn more about the unique agricultural history of the area and the importance of these great inventions.
Stop 4: The Pantry Tree
As you head out of Penong back towards Ceduna, you’ll find the Pantry Tree. Located on the edge of the Eyre Highway this “pantry” showcases the local sense of humour. People have added pots and pans to the branches of the tree making it a unique photo op as you drive by or you can even add your own kitchen item to the “pantry”.
Return to Ceduna
You can return to Ceduna from Penong back along the Eyre Highway.