Lake Macdonald

originally farmland until 'Ida Duncan' came along ...


Nestled next to the hinterland town centre of Cooroy, Lake Macdonald is a suburb within the local government area Shire of Noosa. Lake Macdonald has a population of 1129, according to the 2011 Australian Census.


Lake Macdonald is home to the Noosa Botanic Gardens, which comprise eight hectares of native and exotic plant species and an abundance of wildlife.

Facilities include an open-air bush chapel; a fern house; a lily pond; large lawn areas with winding paths leading to picnic areas and a Greek style amphitheatre (a circular structure with rows of seats).


Originally farmland, Council resumed the site in the late 1950s and part of it was used to create the Lake Macdonald water supply. The site was used to dump rubbish until local resident Ida Duncan approached council for permission to clear the site and with the help of other locals the area was cleared of weeds and car bodies.

Funding from a government community employment program was used to start construction of the botanic gardens in 1987. When the program ended, council appointed two full time staff to continue construction and maintenance of the gardens. Former Noosa Shire Parks Curator Bob Bickley designed the layout of the gardens and Council has funded the gardens since 1988.

The Noosa Botanic Gardens officially opened to the public in August 1990.


The closest state schools to Lake Macdonald are in Cooroy and include Noosa District State High School and Cooroy State Primary School. Noosa Christian College, also in Cooroy, is the closest private school, which caters for students from Prep to Year 12.


The lake itself is a good spot for an enjoyable day of fishing and family fun. Lake Macdonald is stocked with bass, yellow belly (golden perch), saratoga, snub-nosed gar, tandans (eel tailed catfish) and the introduced spangled perch. Mary River cod also swim the waters, but must not be removed from the Lake.

The lake is vast and has a choice of fishing spots, including the Perch Park fishing platform, fishing on the lake from a boat with an electric motor or kayak and more.