Little Blue Lake: Tasmania’s Exquisite Aqua Lake

Little Blue Lake is one of those fairy tale inspired locations.

This unique lake is truly a hidden gem tucked away in the northeast region of Tasmania.

It’s located between the towns of Derby (well known for its mountain bike trails) and Gladstone, around 1 hour 45 minutes drive from Launceston.

Little Blue Lake

The first thing that grabs your attention is the lakes exquisite aqua blue colour.

The aqua colour is made all the more impressive due to the contrasting sandstone coloured cliffs surrounding it, which makes the colour truly pop.

The area surrounding the lake is no slouch either. Beautiful mountains backdrop the lake and Australian bushlands surround the area and help highlight the lakes unnatural colour.

The lake was created when tin mining operations removed tonnes of material from the area, thereby forming depressions which later filled with water and formed the lake.

What Causes The Blue Colour?

While the colour of the lake looks mysterious and unnatural, and many theories exist as to its cause, such as caustic chemicals used during mining. The real reason for the lakes unusual colour is rather simple.

Aqua blue lake with sandstone cliffs and forests
Full length of the lake

The colouring is caused by the white clay, which was exposed during the tin mining operations, reflecting back the blue from the sky above.

Aqua blue lake with mountain background
View from the cliff’s edge

This illusion becomes apparent when you reach the water’s edge and look at the water at a certain angle and see that it isn’t vivid aqua blue at all.

That doesn’t mean you should attempt to drink or swim in the lake because although it looks inviting, it’s highly acidic and polluted with a high concentration of aluminium.

Little Blue Lake Viewing Area

The Little Blue Lake has a small fenced viewing area located directly in front of the main car parking area.

This platform provides a high vantage point with some nice views over most of the lake. It’s a great place to safely view the lake and is perfect for families with small children.

Sandstone cliffs and aqua blue lake
Looking towards the car park viewing area from the lake’s edge

Little Blue Lake Walking Trail

Besides the viewing area at the main car park, there isn’t much infrastructure in the area.

There doesn’t seem to be any official walking trails around the lake. But the area is crisscrossed with many goat trails created by curious visitors that lead to some of the best vantage points to view the lake. Although many of these vantage points are located on high unstable cliff edges.

There is a rough trail that curves around the back of the lake and leads to a small opening at the lake’s edge.

Small tree dipping into the aqua waters of the Little Blue Lake, Tasmania
View from the lake’s edge

This opening can be seen from the car park viewing area. It’s located slightly to the left on the opposite side of the lake.

Reaching the lake’s edge can be achieved by walking up the gravel road away from the main car park. This road leads to another car parking area which has a small trail heading clockwise around the lake.

Follow this trail around until you see a rusty metal pipe. A small trail runs parallel to the pipe and leads to the lake’s edge.

I did venture further around the lake, but it just became wild bushland and rather disorientating with paths leading in multiple directions.

After much exploring and a failure to find a route around the lake, I went back the way I came.


The Little Blue Lake is definitely a spot worth visiting if you’re in the area or passing through towards the east coast of Tasmania. We made a detour to the lake on our drive from Launceston to St Helen’s.

The photos really don’t do this place justice. The water is a spectacular vivid blue which is much more impressive in person.


  • 1-2 hours


Additional info

  • The cliff edges around the lake are unstable and have been known to collapse
  • Minimal phone service in the area
  • The gravel around the area is deceptively slippery

Nearby Attractions

  • Derby Tunnel
  • Mt Paris Dam
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