Noosa Bird Trail
Noosa Council established the Noosa Bird Trail in 2004.
The Fearnley Bird Hide, located at Jabiru Park is one of
32 sites that form the Noosa Bird Trail.
Sunshine Coast bird observers have recorded 150 bird
species in the environs of this lake including:
• The Osprey: plunges spectacularly, feet first to catch fish
• The small Australasian Grebe: chicks ride on parents’ back
• Lily–trotting Comb-crested Jacana: chicks carried under
• The secretive Baillon’s Crake: a challenge to find
• Bush birds such as White-throated Gerygone: has sweet
‘falling leaf song’
• Garden birds such as pugnacious Little Wattlebird:
postures and rattles bill
For more information:
Phone 5474 2486 to obtain a copy
of the Noosa Bird Trail brochure or
to find out about the Noosa Parks
Association Bird Observers Group.
This majestic Black-necked Stork is
also called Jabiru. The male has a black
eye and female has a yellow eye.
Male is almost black. In breeding, neck plumage
is a rich chestnut colour. The female is creamy grey.
Often seen with wings ‘hanging out to dry’.
This stately bird is usually seen alone, walking slowly
and deliberately in shallow water. His long slender
neck is often crooked in a question mark.
Look for these colourful birds on power lines
or hawking for insects. They have two extended
tail feathers, which are longest in the male.
These birds use a foot paddling action to disturb
prey, which is then speared. When breeding,
note their long grey and chestnut nuptial plumes.
Located at Lake Macdonald Drive, Cooroy, the gardens are
planted with around 80 per cent of native species. Rare ones
include the King Fern Angiopteris evicta and the Hakea trinervia.
Picnic tables are located around the gardens and the amphitheatre.
The gardens are home to tortoises and some 40 varieties of birds,
including wild ducks. Kangaroos feed around the gardens in the
The amphitheatre may be booked for a wedding or a one-off
community gathering by phoning 5449 5284. Restrictions apply
to evening use.
It is a 1.5km walk from Noosa Botanic Gardens to Mary River Cod
Park via Kookaburra Park. There are numerous short walking tracks
in the Botanic Gardens.
For a more detailed brochure about the Botanic Gardens
phone 5449 5200.
Noosa Trail Network
The 26km Lake Macdonald to Kin Kin trail begins
at Kookaburra Park.
Visit the Noosa Trail Network:
or phone 5449 5200 for a brochure.
History of Lake Macdonald
Lake Macdonald was named for the late Ian Macdonald who was
Chairman of Noosa Council, from 2 May 1964 to 13 September 1980.
The site for the Noosa Shire Dam was chosen on the Six Mile Creek,
which emptied into the Mary River near Gympie.
It was an earth-filled concrete sheeted dam with a retaining wall 266
metres in length. Sir Thomas Hiley officially opened the dam on 16th
A further 3.6 metres was added to the height of the dam in 1980
enabling a storage capacity of 8,000 megalitres.
The building of the dam provided the towns of
Noosa Shire with a water supply and enabled
a sewerage scheme to be implemented.
Camping is available adjacent to Lake Macdonald
at Camp Cooroora located on Collwood Drive
(see map). Camp Cooroora is a scout camp and is often
booked by large groups, thus bookings are essential.
To make a booking phone 5442 5285.
For more information, contact Noosa Council on 5449 5200.
at your leisure...
In an idyllic rural setting, but just a few minutes from the cafes
of Cooroy and Noosa Heads, beautiful Lake Macdonald is home
to a wide range of wildlife.
It is the place to catch a Bass, Saratoga, Perch or even an iconic
Mary River Cod and then pop it fondly back into the water. The
place to bird watch, the place to canoe or even to canoodle.
The lake is bordered by Noosa’s Botanic Gardens brimming
with native species and providing the perfect spot for a picnic,
a stroll or even a wedding, while the adjacent amphitheatre is a
magnificent location for concerts and entertainment.
Lake Macdonald, at your leisure.
For further information about Lake Macdonald visit Council’s
To ensure you get the most out of your paddling experience
on Lake Macdonald please....
• Stay in your canoe. Submerged hazards may exist such as
old fence lines, tree stumps and Cabomba.
• Remember swimming is not allowed in the lake. Fines apply.
• Be prepared. Wear sunscreen, a hat, long sleeves and a personal
floatation device. Take along a backpack or waterproof container
to hold a mobile phone, raincoat, first aid kit, food, water and
binoculars for a closer look at our native water birds
• Place all rubbish and food scraps in bins provided. As
well as being unsightly, rubbish endangers native
wildlife and attracts feral animals.
• Maintain a distance of at least 25m from
all birds and roosting places.
Lake Macdonald is a town water supply storage
for the Noosa Shire.
These activities are not permitted as they may lead to contamination
of the water supply. Canoeing, sailing vessels and boats with electric
motors are permitted.
This area contains Cabomba
a submerged NOXIOUS plant.
Please thoroughly clean all boats
Enquiries: 5485 1833
Canoe and Kayak Trails (marked on map across)
MRCP to Noosa Botanic Gardens - 850m (one way)
Park your canoe/kayak next to the boat ramp and go for a gentle stroll
around the Botanic Gardens, walk 200m up to the Perch Park Fishing
Platform or follow the Noosa Trail Network from Kookaburra Park
1.5km back to MRCP.
MRCP to Darter Park - 2km (one way)
The trail to Darter Park is subject to seasonal conditions.
During summer, if it has been humid, the cabomba and other weeds
can make it difficult for paddling. The best time to use this trail is in
MRCP to Fearnley Bird Hide - 4.5km (one way)
This trail follows the path of the original Six Mile Creek which due to
its depths is weed free and makes for good fishing.
Please assist us to prevent the spread of Cabomba
and Hygrophila costata by washing down your
canoes and kayaks at the designated wash bay.
LAKE MACDONALD DRIVE
Cod Park (MRCP)
Frogmouth Bushland Reserve
> Noosa Trail Network
26km to Kin Kin
Fearnley Bird Hide
• Canoe trails marked
• Where the botanical Gardens
• Location Map
*MAP TO BE REDRAWN*
NOOSA COOROY ROAD
Cooroy Noosa Road
The Paddle Trails are
marked with yellow buoys,
the buoys to avoid the
infestations of Cabomba.
How To Get Here
Take the Noosa-Cooroy Road towards Cooroy.
Turn right into Swift Drive and right again into
Lake Macdonald Drive.
Turn off the Bruce Highway towards Cooroy.
Turn left into Myall St and right into Elm St.
Turn right into Cedar St which veers
into Lake Macdonald Drive.
It is important bag limits are adhered to.
Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 2
Closed Season (June 1 to August 31)
does not apply in this dam.
Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 10
Legal Size: 35cm min. Limit: 5
Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 10
Legal Size: 50cm min. Limit: 1
Saratoga are not good eating
but are good sport.
Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 5
Legal Size: No legal size limit. Limit: 20
Mary River Cod
Maccullochella peelii marienis
Native to the Mary River only.
An endangered species presently the
subject of a captive breeding programme.
Taking and possessing the Mary River Cod is strictly prohibited
within the Mary River system, including this lake.
So you can fish at your leisure, there is a fishing
platform located at Perch Park on Lake Macdonald Drive (see map).
The first fish-breeding program in Noosa Shire was at the privately
owned Tinbeerwah Fish Hatchery near Cooroy. The Tinbeerwah Fish
Hatchery operated from 1968 to 1980. When it closed Noosa Council
provided funds to a small group of volunteers to establish the Fish
Hatchery here at Lake Macdonald. The fish hatchery consists of
concrete tanks, nets, ponds and brood stock.
In its first year between 10,000 & 20,000 Golden Perch and several
thousand Silver Perch were bred at the fish hatchery and released
into Lake Macdonald. At the present time the fish hatchery specialises
in breeding Mary River Cod. If not for the Lake Macdonald Fish
Hatchery, the Mary River Cod would be almost extinct.
Over the years the fish hatchery has also bred Saratoga and Bass.
Group Tours are available by appointment only. Phone 5485 2334.
Fishing on this dam requires a stocked impoundment permit
• Any person (18 years and over) using a fishing line in this dam
is required to hold a stocked impoundment permit
• Permits cost $35 per year or $7 per week (discount available
for Entitlement Card holders)
• Carry your permit with you. The permit must be produced on
request by an Inspector under the Fisheries Act 1994.
Permits can be obtained from:
The Cooroy Motel 30-34 Elm Street Cooroy,
Phone 5447 6444.
Catch and release
in this dam.
Take, possession and size limits apply to other native fish. Contact DPI Call Centre 13 25 23 for more information.