First Australian McDonald's - Image sourced from

First Macca’s, Yagoona

The first Australian McDonald’s opened in the Sydney suburb of Yagoona 16 years after the company was founded in the USA. It was soon followed by one in Springvale Road in Melbourne. The original Yagoona store closed in 1994.

McDonald's menu 1972

McDonald’s menu 1972

The launch of the first Australian McDonald’s, on 30 December 1971, was a big event with a chartered double-decker bus conveying guests to the opening. A “man in a clown suit” – possibly Ronald McDonald – handed out miniature yo-yos to children.

After the store closed in 1994, the drive-through was removed and the building became a GIO office.

It wasn’t the only Macca’s store that had a limited lifespan. The store in Fairlight, Sydney, opened in 1972 but closed in 1995 when Manly council refused permission to add a late-night drive-through. In 1998 the Newtown store, operating since 1989, closed “due to the changing demographics of the Newtown area” – the latte set had moved in and McDonald’s wasn’t to their taste.