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About Mount Barney

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Getting there and getting around

Rugged ridges, remote peaks and spectacular wilderness; be prepared! Photo: Tourism Queensland.

Rugged ridges, remote peaks and spectacular wilderness; be prepared! Photo: Tourism Queensland.

The following directions are to the Lower Portals and Yellow Pinch located at the base of Mount Barney.

From Brisbane via Rathdowney

Follow the Mount Lindesay Highway through Beaudesert to Rathdowney. Turn right on to the Boonah–Rathdowney Road 1 km after Rathdowney and travel 8 km to the Barney View–Upper Logan Road turn-off. After turning left, follow the signs to either Lower Portals or Yellow Pinch.

From Boonah

Follow the Boonah–Rathdowney Road south for 39 km. Turn right on to the Barney View–Upper Logan Road, travel a further 12 km and follow the signs to either the Lower Portals or Yellow Pinch.

To get to the Cleared Ridge car park and the Upper Portals track, turn off the Boonah–Rathdowney Road onto Newman Road, then turn left onto Waterfall Creek Road. A 4WD vehicle is required for access beyond the Waterfall Creek Reserve to the Cleared Ridge car park.

Check road conditions before you visit. See www.racq.com.au for details or contact us for further information.

Three tracks within Mount Barney National Park are accessed through private property; Mount Lindesay, Cleared Ridge and Mount Maroon. Please contact us for more details.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities in this park.

Park features

Mallee ash Eucalyptus codonocarpa, East Peak Mount Barney. Photo: Andrew Sampson, NPRSR.

Mallee ash Eucalyptus codonocarpa, East Peak Mount Barney. Photo: Andrew Sampson, NPRSR.

The distinctive peaks of Mount Barney, Mount Maroon, Mount May, Mount Lindesay, Mount Ernest, Mount Ballow and Mount Clunie make up Mount Barney National Park. These rugged peaks are the remains of the ancient Focal Peak Shield Volcano which erupted 24 million years ago. Mount Barney is the second highest peak in South East Queensland.

The park has extremely varied vegetation with open forests around the foothills of the peaks, subtropical rainforest above 600 m and montane heath shrublands towards the summits. The summit of Mount Ballow is cool temperate rainforest, and on Mount Maroon there are mallee eucalypt shrublands. Many rare and unusual plant species grow in the park including the endangered Mt Maroon wattle Acacia saxicola, the near threatened mallee ash Eucalyptus codonocarpa, and Hillgrove gum Eucalyptus michaeliana and the vulnerable bush pea Pultenaea whiteana.

Most of Mount Barney National Park is in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Camping and accommodation

Camping at Rum Jungle, Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Peter Lehmann, NPRSR.

Camping at Rum Jungle, Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Peter Lehmann, NPRSR.

Camping

Mount Barney National Park’s camping areas can only be reached on foot. Campers should expect rugged conditions with no facilities. Please read and follow the guidelines for staying safe and how to walking softly in the park and minimise your impacts.

To camp in the national park you will need a camping permit (fees apply). It is recommended that you book online 6 to 8 weeks in advance for public holidays and 3 to 6 weeks in advance during the rest of the year.

Car-based camp sites are available outside the national park at:

  • Waterfall Creek Reserve (no facilities provided). This reserve is managed by the Scenic Rim Regional Council. Contact the council for booking and information enquiries.
  • Three privately-run camping areas (with toilets, showers and barbecues): Mt Barney Lodge Country Retreat campground, Bigriggen Reserve and Flanagan's Reserve. Mt Barney Lodge Country Retreat campground is near Yellow Pinch Reserve. Bigriggen Reserve and Flanagan's Reserve are closer to the Boonah–Rathdowney Road.

Other accommodation

Hotel, motel, lodges, cabins, bed and breakfast and caravan park accommodation are available at Boonah and Rathdowney. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Remote area walking in Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Andrew Sampson, NPRSR.

Remote area walking in Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Andrew Sampson, NPRSR.

Walking

There are three maintained tracks at the base of Mount Barney: the Lower Portals, Cronan Creek and Upper Portals tracks. There are long, steep climbs on unformed trails to the tops of Mount Maroon (the Cotswold track) and Mount Barney, which should only be attempted by very fit walkers. There are no formed or marked tracks elsewhere in the park, so these areas are accessible only to fit, well-equipped bushwalkers with sound navigational skills.

Other national parks in the region, including Moogerah Peaks, Lamington, Springbrook, Tamborine and Main Range, provide easier conditions with formed, signposted walking tracks and more developed visitor facilities.

Please read and follow the guidelines for staying safe and for reducing your impact on the park.

Key to track standards

Class 4 track (Australian standards)
  • Distinct track, surface likely to be rough with exposed roots and rocks.
  • Junctions signposted. Markers may be used where necessary (e.g. creek crossings).
  • Track variable in width, muddy sections, steep grades and steps likely to be encountered.
  • May be overgrown, hazards such as fallen trees and rocks likely to be present.
  • No bridges, no fences on cliff edges or lookouts, high level of caution required.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Class 5 track (Australian standards)
  • Trails not constructed or maintained by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing (NPRSR).
  • No signs or markers provided, except where necessary to reduce environmental damage. Depending on usage levels trails may range from clearly visible footpads to indistinct, overgrown routes.
  • Muddy sections, steep grades and numerous hazards such as fallen trees and rock falls highly likely to be encountered.
  • No bridges, no fences on cliff edges or lookouts, high level of caution required.
  • High level of fitness, ankle-supporting footwear, highly developed navigational skills, extensive off-track walking experience, relevant topographic maps and compass essential.

Walking tracks at a glance

Matching experience and expectations—to make your planning easier, simply match your expectations and experience with the most suitable track or trail.

Track name Classification Distance return Walking time

Walks around the base of Mount Barney

Lower Portals track

Class 4 Class 4 walking track

7.4 km 3 hr
Cronan Creek track Class 4 Class 4 walking track 13 km 5 hr
Upper Portals track Class 4 Class 4 walking track 8 km 3 hr
South Ridge track Class 5 Class 5 walking track measured in time only 8–10 hr

Walk to Mount Maroon summit 

Cotswold track Class 5 Class 5 walking track symbol measured in time only 8 hr

Walks around the base of Mount Barney

Lower Portals track (Class 4)

Distance: 7.4 km return

Time: Allow about 3 hr walking time

Details: This track leaves from the Lower Portals car park and goes to the Lower Portals, a beautiful pool along a gorge on Mount Barney Creek. This walk has moderate to steep gradients.

 Cronan Creek track (Class 4)

Distance: 13 km return

Time: Allow about 5 hr walking time

Details: From Yellow Pinch car park, a pleasant walk along the fire trail leads you past the base of South Ridge into cool green rainforest. (Note: the climb up South Ridge is rugged and steep and for experienced walkers only).

 Upper Portals track (Class 4)

Distance: 8 km return

Time: Allow about 3 hr walking time

Details: The Upper Portals track leads from the Cleared Ridge car park to the Upper Portals. This walk has some steep gradients. Access to Cleared Ridge requires a 4WD vehicle. The drive takes about 45 min from the Lower Portals and the Yellow Pinch area.

Access to Upper Portals passes through private property.

South Ridge track (Class 5)

Distance: Measured in time only

Time: Allow about 8 to 10 hr walking time

Details: The climb up Mount Barney via South Ridge (Peasants Ridge) track can be arduous and should be undertaken by very fit, experienced bushwalkers. Navigational and map reading skills are essential as tracks are unmarked.

Walk to Mount Maroon summit

 Cotswold track (Class 5)

Distance: Measured in time only

Time: Allow about 8 hr walking time

Details: In spring this summit provides spectacular wildflower displays set against the craggy peaks of the Scenic Rim. Allow a full day to reach the summit safely and to return to your vehicle.

Walks to Mount Barney peaks

The unmarked or barely marked trails to the peaks of Mount Barney require bushwalking experience and navigational skills. The climb up Mount Barney via South Ridge is arduous and should only be undertaken by very fit, experienced bushwalkers. Other peaks and routes up Mount Barney require a very high level of fitness, experience and navigational skills. All walks take at least 7 hr and should not be attempted late in the day.

Remote bushwalking

Mount Barney National Park offers some of the most spectacular remote area bushwalking opportunities in the Scenic Rim area. The extremely rugged mountain terrain can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly prepared walkers.

Walkers should familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended walk.

Bushwalkers must:

  • have a high level of physical fitness, navigational and cliff scrambling skills and bush sense, and
  • be well prepared.

Contact us for assistance with route advice and other detailed information.

Established bushwalking clubs with experienced off-track walkers organise trips to Mount Barney National Park. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from specialist camping stores and some bookshops.

Remote area walking is only advised in the cooler weather, usually April to September. Walking during summer can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

All remote bushwalkers are expected to follow the minimal impact bushwalking and bush camping practices, such as observing proper sanitation and hygiene methods and avoiding polluting water in any way.

Picnic and day-use areas

There are picnic tables, toilets, barbecues and information displays at Yellow Pinch at the base of Mount Barney.

Viewing wildlife

The park's numerous habitats provide homes for over 34 mammal, 182 bird, 40 reptile and 71 frog species as well as countless insects and other invertebrates. Six species, including the eastern bristlebird and the Coxen's fig-parrot, are listed as endangered, while as many as 13 species of animals are regarded as near threatened. This means that any major impact on their habitat will endanger the future of these species.

  • See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Mount Barney National Park’s diverse wildlife.

Guided tours and talks

The Connect with Nature program offers a range of nature-based activities and events every season for adults, children and families in and around parks and forests throughout Brisbane, Western Scenic Rim and Gold Coast and hinterland.

Things to know before you go

A zip-lock back is ideal for carrying rubbish when walking in the park. Photo: Adam Creed, EHP.

A zip-lock back is ideal for carrying rubbish when walking in the park. Photo: Adam Creed, EHP.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring drinking water, a fuel stove to boil water for drinking and/or chemical tablets to treat water.
  • Take warm clothing and raincoats as rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.
  • Wear a hat and apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • No bins are provided. Bring rubbish bags to remove your rubbish from the park.
  • Bring a topographic map, compass and other bushwalking equipment for staying safe in the park.

Essential to know

Several tracks within Mount Barney National Park are accessed through private property. Please respect private property and stay on the route.

  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Do not litter, disturb stock or damage fences.
  • Do not light fires or camp on private property without the owner’s permission.
  • Obtain the owner’s permission before crossing or entering any private land away from the tracks.

Opening hours

Mount Barney National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.

Permits and fees

All camping, including remote bushcamping, within Mount Barney National Park requires a camping permit and fees apply.

For more details, see camping information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Mount Barney National Park.

Climate and weather

Mount Barney experiences rapid changes in temperature and weather. Winters are usually dry and cold with frosty nights, temperatures dropping to an average minimum of -4 °C. Summers are warm to very hot, especially on the exposed ridges, reaching 25 to 40 °C, with cooler nights, averaging 15 to 18 °C. Watch out for late spring and summer thunderstorms, which bring lightning and unseasonably cold weather. Most rain falls between November and March.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Boonah and Rathdowney. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

Mount Barney's peaks are often in cloud, so be prepared. Photo: Justin O'Connell, NPRSR.

Mount Barney's peaks are often in cloud, so be prepared. Photo: Justin O'Connell, NPRSR.

Be prepared. Walk with friends, keep to the tracks and always carry water, torch, first-aid kit and a map.  Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Be prepared. Walk with friends, keep to the tracks and always carry water, torch, first-aid kit and a map. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Good preparation is the key to a safe bushwalking trip. Walkers should contact us on route selection and other detailed information before setting out.

It is advisable for bushwalkers to familiarise themselves with the area by doing shorter walks before attempting an extended walk. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from bushwalking equipment stores and some bookshops.

Even accomplished bushwalkers can experience difficulties. Every year some walkers become lost, injured or overdue. Search and rescue operations are costly and endanger searchers' lives. Minimise your risk. Prepare yourself before you leave. Remember that your safety is up to you.

  • Check weather conditions a day or two before leaving, by visiting www.bom.gov.au (weather bureau). It may be sunny and bright at the beginning of the walk but always plan for a change in the weather. Mount Barney's peaks are often in cloud.
  • Before setting out on walks, you should leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a friend, relative or other reliable person. This person has responsibility for contacting police if you are overdue. Your plan should include:
    • your name, address, number of people in your party, ages and any medical conditions
    • vehicle registration, make, model, colour and parking location
    • the route you are taking, expected times of departure and return.
  • Walk with a recognised bushwalking club. This is a good way to gain experience.
  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be a competent map-reader and bushwalker.
  • Learn map and compass skills. Recommended maps for bushwalking are 1:25 000 topographic maps. Relevant maps for this area are: Mount Clunie, Mount Lindesay, Teviot, Maroon and Palen Creek sheets. These maps are available through Sunmap and other outlets. It is also advisable to carry a recognised bushwalking guidebook for the area.
  • Carry sufficient food, water and protective clothing. Rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.
  • Leave plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • A first-aid kit and torch should be carried. Learn first-aid procedures.
  • It is advisable to boil creek water before drinking.
  • Take care near cliff edges.

To sum up—be prepared and use sound judgement.

In an emergency

  • While out on the track; know your location at all times.
  • Carry a mobile phone and call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.
  • If you have difficulty getting reception, try dialling 112.
  • Call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers.
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) may be the best emergency beacon in remote areas.

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Mount Barney National Park, but may be available in areas with high elevation. The nearest hospitals are in Beaudesert and Boonah.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Walk softly and help protect our natural environment. Photo: Justin O'Connell, NPRSR.

Walk softly and help protect our natural environment. Photo: Justin O'Connell, NPRSR.

Minimal impact bushwalking means being thoughtful about your actions in the bush. To minimise your impact on the environment, please follow these guidelines.

  • Wood fires are prohibited. Use a fuel stove for cooking. Fuel stoves are safer, faster and cleaner, are easier to use in wet weather. They do not leave unsightly scars at the site, reduce trampling of camp site surroundings and reduce bushfire risk.
  • Camp at existing sites. Do not create new sites. Use a free-standing tent requiring few pegs.
  • Stay on walking tracks. Shortcutting causes erosion and can lead to visitors becoming lost.
  • Carry it in, carry it out. Reduce your rubbish by bringing as little packaging as possible. Remove all rubbish including items such as aluminium foil, plastic bottles, tins and cigarette butts. Also pick up any rubbish you might see on your walk. Carry a small rubbish bag for this purpose.
  • Bury human waste and toilet paper well away from watercourses (at least 100 m). Dig a hole at least 15 cm (6 inches) deep. A small lightweight plastic or aluminium trowel will make this task easier. Bag and carry out all sanitary products as these are not rapidly biodegradable. Take small, sealable bags for this purpose.
  • Wash away from streams. All detergents, shampoos, toothpastes and soaps pollute water and are harmful to aquatic life.
  • Walk in small groups (4 to 8) rather than one large group. Smaller groups have proportionately less impact.

In addition, please help us care for Mount Barney National Park by observing these rules.

  • Please leave all plants and animals undisturbed. The gathering or cutting down of vegetation is illegal. It is also illegal to bring firearms, machetes, sheath knives or axes into the park.
  • Feeding native animals may cause them poor health and sometimes death. Please do not feed them.
  • If you need to cross private property, obtain the owners' permission first and respect their wishes.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The park is managed to sustain habitats for many significant species such as the mallee ash Eucalyptus codonocarpa shrublands that occur on Mount Maroon. Photo: Courtesy Glenn Leiper.

The park is managed to sustain habitats for many significant species such as the mallee ash Eucalyptus codonocarpa shrublands that occur on Mount Maroon. Photo: Courtesy Glenn Leiper.

Mount Barney National Park and Mount Lindesay National Park were gazetted as separate parks on 6 September 1947. Mount Barney National Park was extended to include Mount May and Mount Maroon in 1950. Thirty years later, in 1980, the two parks were amalgamated to form the current Mount Barney National Park, named after the park's highest and most imposing peak.

In December 1994, the World Heritage Committee officially declared the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area over the Scenic Rim (including nearly all of Lamington and Springbrook national parks and most of Main Range and Mount Barney national parks) and the rainforests of northern and central New South Wales.

World Heritage status is a prestigious international recognition of the important conservation values of this area, especially its unique geology, subtropical and cool temperate rainforests and rare fauna.

See the description of the park's nature, culture and history for more information about the history and values of the park.

A management plan for Mount Barney National Park will be prepared in the future.

Tourism information links

For more information about activities, tours and accommodation in this region, contact:

Beaudesert Community Arts and Information Centre
www.visitscenicrim.com.au
Westerman Park, Cnr Mt Lindesay Highway and Enterprise Drive, Beaudesert Qld 4285
ph 1300 881 164
email tourism@scenicrim.com.au

Rathdowney Visitor Information Centre
www.rathdowney.org.au
Mt Lindesay Highway, Rathdowney Qld 4287
ph (07) 5544 1222
email info@rathdowney.org.au

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au

Further information

Contact us

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Last updated
11 July 2013