Situated 9 km north of Brisbane city, McDowall (4053) is primarily a residential with extensive natural protected bushland areas with abundant native wildlife including possums, scrub turkeys and wallabies. McDowall was named after an early settler, Colonel John McDowall. Residential building commenced in 1970s through to the early 1990s with defence housing developed from early 2000s. Its roads are named in honour of film and television celebrities and pioneers.
McDowall is well serviced by regular bus services to surrounding suburbs, five schools and colleges as well as two shopping villages with access to several major shopping centres in adjoining suburbs.
In 2011, about 6800 people lived in McDowall, their average age being 38 years. About 85% were born in Australia, England or New Zealand with notable exceptions being South Africa, India or Italy. 87% spoke only English at home with the minor exceptions being Italian, Cantonese and Mandarin.