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8 spectacular beaches with unusually colored sand

By: Josh Lew on July 17, 2014, 6:27 a.m.
McKenzie Lake Beach, Fraser Island, Australia

Photo: Thomas Hansson/Shutterstock

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McKenzie Lake Beach, Australia

Sitting on Fraser Island, a large sand island in Queensland, Australia (about 120 miles from Brisbane),  McKenzie Lake is a freshwater lake with a very unusual trait. It is a “perched lake,” which means that its only water source is rain. McKenzie contains no groundwater, it is not fed by any streams and it does not connect with the ocean. 

This alone makes it a very unique body of water, but most visitors are more impressed by the fine white sands that ring the lake. The sand here is made up of bright white silica, and it is known for its fine texture and pillow-like softness. Not only do visitors get to enjoy great visuals, they also get to walk on the silkiest sands that they are ever likely to experience. The silica plays an important part in the lake's water cycle. It helps prevent the rainwater from draining away, keeping McKenzie's water level consistent.