Lake MacDonald, near Cooroy in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, is a destination well worth visiting for those with a little leisure time up their sleeve.
Managed by SEQ Water and a part of South East Queensland's drinking water supply, this scenic spot has much to offer. Various parks around the lake's edge provide a variety of experiences. There are many opportunities for keen photographers to snap that perfect shot, so be sure to pack the camera.
At Lake MacDonald Park picnic tables, shelters, and BBQs are provided - all with fabulous views across the lake. Parents will be happy to know that there's also a playground here so the kids can burn off a bit of energy and just 250 metres from the playground, a fishing platform for the anglers can be found. Both paddle craft and motorised (electric) vessels can be launched from here. There is a very big bonus to visiting this park - the Noosa Botanic Gardens are right next door and are a "must do". Although there are no toilet facilities at the park, you will find them in the grounds of the gardens.
Kookaburra Park provides car parking for the entrance to one of the starting points of the Noosa Trail Network. This is where the fun begins for horse riders, mountain bike riders, keen walkers and runners. Toilet facilities are provided here. See here for trail maps and information.
Jabiru Park is a lovely natural setting where visitors can watch the resident wildlife from the Fearnley Bird Hide. Paddle craft only can be launched from this park.
Mary River Cod Park provides access to the lake via a boat ramp and pontoon and also has a wash down facility, picnic table and toilet.
Fishing fanatics can whet their lines from either vessels or the shoreline at Lake MacDonald Park, Jabiru Park or Mary River Cod Park. A SIPS permit is required to fish in Lake MacDonald.
Paddle craft, sail craft and electric powered watercraft are all welcome here with three launch points located around the lake. Boating permits are not required at Lake MacDonald. Motorised watercraft (fuel powered), water skiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, tubing and swimming are not permitted.
In order to protect both the water supply and resident wildlife, dogs are permitted at Lake MacDonald Park only. They must be kept on leads and are not permitted to enter the water.
If visitors are keen to experience everything Lake MacDonald has to offer and would like to make this more than a day trip, camping is available at Camp Cooroora.
By Sandy Ludinski
Lake MacDonald Park - Lake MacDonald Drive
Jabiru Park - Collwood Road
Mary River Cod Park - Grange Road