LAKE MACDONALD - Fraser Coast Canoe & Kayak Club

LAKE MACDONALD - Fraser Coast Canoe & Kayak Club

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

parents’ wing

• 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.

Bird Species

Black-necked Stork

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

This majestic Black-necked Stork is

also called Jabiru. The male has a black

eye and female has a yellow eye.


Anhinga melanogaster

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’.

Great Egret

Ardea alba

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.

Rainbow Bee-eater

Merops ornatus

Look for these colourful birds on power lines

or hawking for insects. They have two extended

tail feathers, which are longest in the male.

White-faced Heron

Egretta novaehollandiae

These birds use a foot paddling action to disturb

prey, which is then speared. When breeding,

note their long grey and chestnut nuptial plumes.

Botanic Gardens

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

October 1965.

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...

Lake Macdonald

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



Paddle Trail

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

and equipment.

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

the winter.

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.


Picnic Table

Boat Ramp

Canoe Launch

Bird Watching



Bush Walking


Perch Park





Trail Network


Gravel Road





Swift Drive



Hoys Road

Gumtree Drive


Mary River

Cod Park (MRCP)




Frogmouth Bushland Reserve

> Noosa Trail Network

26km to Kin Kin

Collwood Road

Bruce Highway

Camp Cooroora

Jabiru Park

Fearnley Bird Hide


Gumboil Road




Canoe trails marked

• Where the botanical Gardens


• Location Map



Cooroy Noosa Road

The Paddle Trails are

marked with yellow buoys,

please follow

the buoys to avoid the

infestations of Cabomba.


School Park

Worba Park



How To Get Here

From Noosa

Take the Noosa-Cooroy Road towards Cooroy.

Turn right into Swift Drive and right again into

Lake Macdonald Drive.

From Brisbane

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.

Fish Species

It is important bag limits are adhered to.

Australian Bass

Macquaria novemaculeata

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

Eel-tailed Catfish

Tandanus tandanus

Legal Size: 35cm min. Limit: 5

Golden Perch

Macquaria ambigua

Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 10


Schleropages leichardti

Legal Size: 50cm min. Limit: 1

Saratoga are not good eating

but are good sport.

Silver Perch

Bidyanus bidyanus

Legal Size: 30cm min. Limit: 5

Spangled Perch

Leiopotherapon unicolor

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.

Fishing Platform

So you can fish at your leisure, there is a fishing

platform located at Perch Park on Lake Macdonald Drive (see map).

Fish Hatchery

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 Permits

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

is encouraged

in this dam.

Take, possession and size limits apply to other native fish. Contact DPI Call Centre 13 25 23 for more information.

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