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Lake Macdonald

Home > Sunshine Coast > Escape the City | Playgrounds | Picnic Spots | Outdoor | Free
by Vanessa M (subscribe)
I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published July 18th 2014
A Noosa highlight away from the coast
Lake Macdonald is the expanse of water that is visible from Noosa Botanic Gardens. It's located just out of Cooroy, which is around 20 minutes west of Noosa.

The area is well equipped for a family picnic, with a number of parks located around its edges. Most have basic facilities and I visited the one right next to the botanic gardens, which had both shelters and a playground (Mary River Cod Park, around the corner, has toilets as well.

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Sheltered tables look out over the water


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Let your children play in the shade


Activities that can be enjoyed at the lake no matter where you base yourself include fishing (bass, saratoga and perch can all be caught, among others), canoeing, sailing and boating (thought you can only use a boat with an electric motor). There are also bushwalks around the area that begin at the lake, such as the trail to Kin Kin trail that starts at Koala Park, further up from the Noosa Botanic Gardens, off Lake Macdonald Drive.

Some activities are not permitted at the lake. These include camping and bringing your pets. The reason for their prohibition is that the lake is used to store water for Noosa, and such activities may contaminate it. Swimming is also not allowed and will result in fines.

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Paddleboarders setting out from the Noosa Botanic Gardens


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Getting out on the lake on a boat offers a great view


I was very happy with the area I visited, mainly because of its proximity to the Noosa Botanic Gardens. If you head to Lake Macdonald yourself, make sure you check the gardens out on your visit, as they're quite beautiful and worth a wander through. If you're lucky like I was, you'll get to see them during the annual Festival of Water.
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Why? For a picnic, fishing or fun out on the lake
When: Any day
Where: Six kilometres from Cooroy, off Lake Macdonald Drive
Cost: Free
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