The Little Blue Lake: Tasmania’s Northeast Hidden Blue Gem

Little Blue Lake in Tasmania

Nestled in the beautiful South Mount Cameron region of Tasmania, Little Blue Lake is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Located between Derby and Gladstone, the Little Blue Lake is a stunning, man-made lake that spans only 300 meters in length and is becoming one of Tasmania’s popular tourist destinations.

The lake has a rich blue, bold, and deep colour that looks like something out of a fairytale book. It’s hard to believe that it doesn’t need any photo enhancements to make it look this beautiful.

The lake is nestled in the Northeast part of the island and is quickly becoming a hotspot for tourists who want to stretch their legs, enjoy a picnic lunch or snack with a stunning view and listen to the frogs croaking in the background. There are also options for a few trail hikes, but more on that later.

Depending on the time of day you visit, the lake will be either a stunning aqua while the sun shines, or deep turquoise when it’s overcast. Either way, you are in for a treat!

However, this Little Blue Lake is anything but natural. It’s a man-made lake that was created during the tin mining days in the area. This explains the lake’s unique colour, which comes from the high levels of acidity and aluminium that are leaching from the leftover decomposing granite. While it’s not a natural occurrence, the lake’s colour is still breathtaking and worth a visit.

History of Little Blue Lake, Tasmania

Little Blue Lake Tasmania was formed when the site of the lake was used as the Endurance Tin Mine. The precious black sediments lay undisturbed until mining began in the early 1880s after alluvial tin was discovered by George Renison Bell in 1874 in the Boobyalla River which is around 12 kilometres away. During the mining period, picks and shovels were used to dig up the granite gravel and extract the minerals.

The minerals that the miners were looking for had formed around 380 million years ago when magma welled up through the Earth’s crust, cooling beneath the surface to form granite. Over millions of years, eroded rock was washed downstream, and pockets of cassiterite accumulated between layers of sand, gravel, and clay.

Almost a hundred years after the initial discovery during the 1980s bulldozers continued to scrape away the topsoil so that the tin-bearing gravels could be mined, and powerful jets of water separated tiny grains of cassiterite (tin oxide) from the gravel.

After the mining lease ended, the miners abandoned the area, and water soon filled the cavity, forming this Little Blue Lake. A rehabilitation program was also put in place to replant the area to stop erosion.

Camping & Surrounding Accommodation at Little Blue Lake in Tasmania

You can camp at the lake in a caravan, campervan or tent. Be mindful that there are no facilities in the area, and the closest toilets are a 7-minute drive away in Gladstone.

There is no accommodation at Little Blue Lake but here are a few options within a 15-minute drive:

Alternatively, you can drive down to Derby (about a 25 min drive), and there are plenty of options there.

Little Blue Lake in Tasmania

FAQ for visitors to Little Blue Lake in Tasmania

Can you swim in Little Blue Lake?

Due to the high levels of aluminium and other minerals in the water, it is not safe to swim in it. The water is very acidic and should also not be consumed. There are warning signs displayed around the main walking area of the lake for visitors to be aware of the dangers.

Is Little Blue Lake worth visiting?

Absolutely! It’s not every day that you see a lake so blue and bright and one that is so easy to access.

Don’t take our word for it, with an average rating of 4.7 stars and over 330 reviews (July 2023), we think the results speak for themselves.

If you’re in the Northeast region of Tasmania, add Little Blue Lake to your list of must-see spots, you won’t be disappointed.

What minerals are in Little Blue Lake Tasmania?

Little Blue Lake has many minerals, but some of the highest are aluminium (leaching from the decomposing granite), kaolinite, and cassiterite.

It’s filled with sand, tin-bearing gravel, and kaolin clay, making it mineral-rich and the reason the lake is so blue.

Are there any walking tracks around Little Blue Lake Tasmania?

Sphere Rock is a short 2-kilometre walk up to see a spherical rock. It’s about a 40-minute return walk from the Little Blue Lake carpark area.

Cube Rock Hike is a scenic 5-6 kilometre return hike in South Mount Cameron which starts at Little Blue Lake. Make sure to wear hiking shoes as it can be a little slippery, and there is some elevation (medium-hard rated trail). Keep in mind that there are no signs on the path, however, there are orange markers on the trees that will guide you to the top. If you walk to the edge of the rock, you can see the Little Blue Lake in the distance.

Are there any facilities at Little Blue Lake in Tasmania?

There are no facilities like toilets, bins, tables, seats etc at Little Blue Lake.

Please also remember to take your rubbish with you to keep this beautiful location pristine.

Is the Little Blue Lake wheelchair accessible?

You can access the main lookout point with a wheelchair as the parking is right next to it. The rest of the area is very uneven ground.

Directions to Little Blue Lake

Before we get into how to get there from a few key spots in Tasmania, here’s the official address and the location of Little Blue Lake: 1753 Gladstone Rd, Mount Cameron TAS 7264.

Please keep in mind there is no internet connectivity, so make sure to download your maps before you go. Another thing to remember is to add ‘little’ blue lake to your search as otherwise you will be taken to a blue lake at a different location not far from this one, however, it’s nowhere near as blue and beautiful.

The roads are unsealed when you turn off the main road, but easily manageable for most cars and there is plenty of carpark space. You can park at the lookout just metres from the main road, and walk around to take in the breathtaking colours and views of the lake.

There aren’t too many signs of the lake, but there is one as you come up to it.

Launceston to Little Blue Lake

Little Blue Lake is around 1 hour and 45 minutes (128 kilometres) away from Launceston.

  • Follow the signs out of Launceston to Lilydale on the A8 and then Lilydale Road/B81 to the Northeast.
  • Continue on that road until you hit a T intersection and turn right onto the Tasman Highway/B84/A3 towards Scottsdale.
  • Continue on the road until you reach a left turn-off onto Gladstone Road/B82.
  • Continue on that road for 15 minutes (17 kilometres), and the Little Blue Lake will be on your left.

Hobart to Little Blue Lake

The Little Blue Lake is around 3 hours and 53 minutes (304 kilometres) away from Hobart.

  • Follow National Highway 1 and turn right over the Midland Highway Bridge and continue on National Highway 1.
  • Turn right onto Esk Highway/A4 and continue.
  • When you reach Fingal, turn left onto Mathinna Road/B43.
  • Turn right onto Mathinna Plains Road/C423.
  • Then turn right onto New River Road/C423 and drive through Ringarooma. At this point, the road would have turned into Ringarooma Road.
  • When you get to Ledgerwood, turn right onto Carisbrook Lane/C423.
  • At the end of the road, turn right onto the Tasman Highway/A3, and continue on the road until you reach a left turn off onto the Gladstone Road/B82.
  • Continue on that road for 15 minutes (17 kilometres), and the Little Blue Lake will be on your left.

Binalong Bay to Little Blue Lake

Little Blue Lake is just over 1 hour away (65 kilometres) from Binalong Bay.

  • Heading out of Binalong Bay, turn right onto Reids Road/C849.
  • Turn right onto Ansons Bay Road/C843 and continue.
  • Turn left when you reach Chaplins Road, you will be going slightly left to stay on Chaplins Road halfway along.
  • At the T intersection, turn right onto Counsels Road/C841, which will turn into Tebrakunna Road.
  • Once you hit the T intersection, turn right onto Gladstone Road/B82.
  • Continue on the road for 7 minutes (9.2 kilometres), and the Little Blue Lake will be on your left.

Derby to Little Blue Lake

Derby is very close to Little Blue Lake, only requiring a short 23-minute (27 kilometre) drive.

  • Head South on Main Street/Tasman Highway/A3.
  • Continue on the road until you reach a left turn-off onto Gladstone Road/B82.
  • Continue on that road for 15 minutes (17 kilometres), and the Little Blue Lake will be on your left.

If you want to make sure you are covered with directions, screenshot the directions above before you start your journey in case you lose reception.

Telstra seems to have the best coverage in Tasmania, so you shouldn’t have too many issues if you are with them. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the other service providers are like.

If you are a local or someone visiting Tasmania for the first time, Little Blue Lake should be on your list of must-see spots on this beautiful island off mainland Australia.

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