Located next to the Drysdale Recreation Reserve, McLeods Waterhole Reserve has significant environmental and cultural heritage values, and is the perfect place to take in the scenery and wildlife. The stunning reserve is a scenic delight and has a variety of interesting walking tracks.

McLeods Waterholes on the western edge of Drysdale has important Aboriginal and early settlement heritage and provides habitat for many birds.

Named after local pioneer Angus McLeod, the two natural freshwater lakes are surrounded by 14 hectares of grassy parklands and remnant vegetation such as River Red Gums.

Both the lakes and surrounding land continue to hold great significance to the Wadawurrung Aboriginal community today.

In the early days of European settlement the upper lake was the source of freshwater for the early settlers of Drysdale. Today the lake supports a diverse population of waterbirds including several with special conservation status. These include the Blue-Billed Duck and Freckled Duck. The shores of the lake are gently sloping so when the water level drops, bare mud is exposed, attracting wader birds.

The lower waterhole is shallower and can dry out in periods of drought.

Looking after McLeods Waterholes

We undertake an ongoing program of weed removal and are also removing willows in stages. Willows are an introduced species that dominate and choke the waterways.  We are revegetating the area with local indigenous species including River Red Gum, Swamp Gum, Blackwood and Manna Gum.

Both lakes are fed by stormwater from the urban areas of Drysdale as well as surface flows from the surrounding reserve. A gross pollutant trap has been installed into the main stormwater drain that discharges into the lower lake to filter out the large amount of litter entering the drain from the Drysdale shopping centre.


McLeods Waterholes is within the Drysdale Recreation Reserve. Enter from Wyndham Street or Duke Street.

Tips when visiting

  • There are no paved paths but a walk around the lake is rewarding for those able to walk on unmade trails.
  • Please do not feed the birds
  • Dogs should be kept on a leash
  • Keep an eye out for snakes during spring and warmer months