Ferries McDonald Conservation Park was part of what was once a vast area of mallee bushland during pre-industrial times, however, much of the land surrounding the current park was cleared years ago for agriculture. Fortunately, a few rocky outcrops, which were not suitable for farming, preserved fragments of the original vegetation.
The park was dedicated in two stages. The first took place on 28 July 1938 when the area was gazetted as a closed area for birds and animals, creating the first reserve specifically for mallee fauna. The area was named after Robert McDonald, the donor of much of the land. An addition to the park was made in 1953 from a bequest from James Ferries, thus creating the Ferries-McDonald Reserve. The area was previously known as Chauncey’s Line Scrub.