Mount Barney National Park Brisbane

Photo credit: © Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

Watch the Mount Barney safety video to plan your visit

There is no easy way to climb Mount Barney and preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. The safety video only takes 4.5 minutes to watch but it could save you from being caught out overnight or being rescued.

Things to do

    All camp sites in Mount Barney National Park are accessed on foot and have no facilities. Campers need to be self-sufficient. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    All camp sites in Mount Barney National Park are accessed on foot and have no facilities. Campers need to be self-sufficient. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    Yellow Pinch lookout is the best location to take in the views of Mount Barney. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    Yellow Pinch lookout is the best location to take in the views of Mount Barney. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    The 3.7km walk to the Lower Portals is rewarded with an opportunity to dip a toe into a deep pool set within a rocky gorge. Always read the warning signs and supervise children at all times. Photo: Alison Ilic, Queensland Government.

    The 3.7km walk to the Lower Portals is rewarded with an opportunity to dip a toe into a deep pool set within a rocky gorge. Always read the warning signs and supervise children at all times. Photo: Alison Ilic, Queensland Government.

    It is recommended that walkers familiarise themselves with the area before attempting a remote area walk in Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Andrew Sampson, Queensland Government.

    It is recommended that walkers familiarise themselves with the area before attempting a remote area walk in Mount Barney National Park. Photo: Andrew Sampson, Queensland Government.

    Camping and accommodation

    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 walk softly in the park to 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.
    • Four privately-run camping areas (with toilets, showers and barbecues) visit—Mt Barney Lodge Country Retreat campground, Bigriggen Park, Flanagan Reserve or Lake Maroon Holiday Park. Mt Barney Lodge Country Retreat campground is near Yellow Pinch Reserve. Bigriggen Park and Flanagan Reserve are closer to the Boonah–Rathdowney Road. Lake Maroon Holiday Park is near Lake Maroon.
    • For more information on other camping areas close by, see the tourism information links.

    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.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    There are picnic tables, toilets and barbecues at the Yellow Pinch Reserve that is managed by the Scenic Rim Regional Council. This is adjacent the main entry to Mount Barney National Park.

    Walking tracks

    There are four maintained tracks around the base of Mount Barney: Yellow Pinch, Lower Portals, Cronan Creek and Upper Portals tracks. All are classified as grade 4 walking tracks. Easier walks can be found close by at Moogerah Peaks and Main Range national parks.

    Walking is advised during cooler weather, usually April to September. Be aware that walking in hotter weather can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

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

    Key to track standards

    The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

    Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 track

    • Bushwalking experience recommended.
    • Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Caution is needed on loose gravel surfaces and at exposed natural lookouts.

    Walking tracks at a glance:

    Class 4 walking trackYellow Pinch lookout (Grade 4)

    Distance: 2km return
    Time: Allow about 1hr
    Details: This track leaves from the Yellow Pinch trailhead and climbs steadily through open eucalypt forest to the Yellow Pinch gate. There the track turns right and climbs steeply along a rocky ridge until it levels at a natural lookout above an exposed cliff edge. Learn about the geological history of this ancient landscape—its volcanoes and ring faults—and be mesmerised by the commanding presence of Mount Barney before you.

    Class 4 walking trackCronan Creek Falls (Grade 4)

    Distance: 12km return
    Time: Allow about 4hr
    Details: This track leaves from Yellow Pinch trailhead. Follow the track until you arrive at the Yellow Pinch gate. Walk through the turnstile and follow the management trail for 5.4km. Cronan Creek Falls is 100m to the left of the management trail—look for the directional marker and follow the track.

    This track follows the picturesque rock-tumbled Cronan Creek and includes natural creek crossings.

    Class 4 walking trackLower Portals track (Grade 4)

    Distance: 7.4km return
    Time: Allow about 3hr
    Details: This track has moderate to steep slopes and is rough in sections. There are two rocky creek crossings—after the second crossing at Mount Barney Creek, follow the directional sign. The track ends at a deep pool set within a rocky gorge of Mount Barney Creek.

    Look for the directional sign to locate the creek crossing when returning.

    Class 4 walking trackUpper Portals track (Grade 4)

    Distance: 8km return
    Time: Allow about 3hr
    Details: Access to Cleared Ridge requires a 4WD vehicle. The drive takes about 45min from the Lower Portals and the Yellow Pinch area.

    The Upper Portals track has some steep gradients and is rough in sections—rock-hopping skills are required.

    To reach the upstream section of the Upper Portals, follow the management trail until it reaches the junction of Yamahra Creek and Mount Barney Creek. Follow Mount Barney Creek downstream to the Upper Portals. Here water continues to carve smooth channels through rhyolite and basalt rock.

    To reach the downstream section of the Upper Portals, follow a track steeply uphill on the northern bank before descending to the downstream section of the Upper Portals. This track avoids the narrow gorge that can be dangerous, especially after rain or when the creek is high.

    Go on an organised walk

    There are opportunities for remote area bushwalking in this park. The extremely rugged mountain terrain can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly prepared walkers. It is recommended that walkers familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended walk.

    If you are inexperienced but looking for a more challenging remote bushwalking experience, there are established bushwalking clubs with experienced off-track walkers that regularly organise trips to Mount Barney National Park.

    All remote area 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.

    Summit routes are not walking tracks! The routes have exposed, very steep rocky sections that require rock scrambling and climbing skills. South East Ridge summit route. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    Summit routes are not walking tracks! The routes have exposed, very steep rocky sections that require rock scrambling and climbing skills. South East Ridge summit route. Photo: Steve Browne, Queensland Government.

    Do not linger in the 'No waiting' zone on the Mount Maroon summit route—there is a high risk of rockfall. Photo: courtesy Peter Beames.

    Do not linger in the 'No waiting' zone on the Mount Maroon summit route—there is a high risk of rockfall. Photo: courtesy Peter Beames.

    Summit routes—rock scrambling skills required

    There are numerous summit routes to the peaks in Mount Barney National Park—only three of the more popular summit routes are included below. All summit routes are very steep and often have narrow ridges and vertical cliff edges. Make sure everyone in the group is comfortable with the planned route.

    It is recommended you climb with a capable, experienced leader and follow a route guide to navigate over the steep terrain.

    Be aware:

    • People accessing the summit routes must be well-prepared climbers with a high level of fitness, bush navigation skills and rock-scrambling and climbing experience.
    • The summit routes have exposed, very steep rocky sections that require rock scrambling and climbing skills. There are narrow ridges and vertical cliff edges.
    • Serious injuries have occurred on summit routes—death could occur.
    • Rock falls could occur at any time. If you access the summit routes you need to be aware of the risks. Your safety is your responsibility.
    • Summit routes are not walking tracks and are unsuitable for young children and inexperienced people who cannot climb unassisted.
    • If you feel unsure about your ability to climb and keep up with the rest of your group, or you are not comfortable with the route selected, then don't attempt it.
    • Rescues are risky, even for the rescue team.

    Know the hazards!

    • Loose rocks and rock debris—they can fall at any time.
    • Steep, exposed rock faces and slabs.
    • Very slippery rocks in wet conditions.
    • Heat exposure—can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration.
    • Poor visibility in cloud, mist or fading daylight.
    • Inexperience, poor preparation and inappropriate gear.

    Summit routes at a glance:

    South Ridge summit route

    Time: Allow about 8 to 10hr to East Peak and return via the same route
    Details: South Ridge summit route is a constant, strenuous climb. It traverses sections of very steep ridges and involves several rock scrambles and climbs. Care must be taken near cliff edges and loose earth can make the route slippery.

    Once at Mount Barney saddle, there is still about 267m in altitude to climb before summiting on East Peak—1354m above sea level. This final climb may take up to 1.5hr one-way. Return via the same route.

    When descending from Mount Barney saddle, follow the directional markers. The return route climbs up over a small knoll before descending the ridge.

    Camping is prohibited on East Peak or within 500m surrounding the peak to protect the fragile, natural environment.

    Caution!
    Descending via South East Ridge summit route is not recommended
    . It is a very steep and difficult descent.

    South East Ridge summit route

    Time: Allow about 7 to 9hr to East Peak and return via South Ridge summit route
    Details: Although a shorter summit route than South Ridge, it is much steeper. This route requires greater fitness levels, rock scrambling and climbing skills.

    It is recommended you climb with a capable, experienced leader on this route. South East Ridge summit route is a steep, strenuous climb with exposed rock faces and sheer cliff edges. Rocky slabs are slippery in wet conditions.

    Care is to be taken when traversing the razorback ridge and the rock slab near the summit—beware of a 300m drop nearby. For your protection, ropes are recommended for some steep sections, especially when carrying heavy backpacks.

    Camping is prohibited on East Peak or within 500m surrounding the peak to protect the fragile, natural environment.

    Caution!
    Descending via South East Ridge summit route is not recommended
    . It is a very steep and difficult descent.

    Mount Maroon summit route

    Time: Allow about 6hr return
    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.

    The summit route starts from the Cotswold car park and continues in a gradual rise for about 400m before becoming steeper. Follow the route up the north-east ridge until the route veers right and descends into a steep, narrow, rocky gorge. This is the lower end of the ‘No waiting’ zone. After climbing up through the gorge, the route then leads through threatened montane heath and over rocky pavements to the southern summit of Mount Maroon at 966m.

    Camping is prohibited on the summit of Mount Maroon and within 600m surrounding the peak to protect the threatened montane heath.

    All other summit routes

    Not recommended for inexperienced people.

    There are numerous other summit routes to the peaks in Mount Barney National Park. It is recommended you climb with a capable, experienced leader and follow a route guide to navigate over the steep terrain. All routes require a very high level of fitness, experience and navigational skills. All routes take at least 7hr and should not be attempted late in the day.

    For your safety

    Plan ahead:

    • Check the weather. Conditions can change suddenly—temperatures can drop and cloud or mist can obscure key landscape features and cause disorientation.
    • Never climb in wet conditions or if it is likely to rain—wet rocks are dangerously slippery.
    • Have an experienced group leader and set a suitable group pace—keep to the pace of the least experienced in your group.
    • Make sure everyone in your group has suitable sturdy footwear, suitable clothing and enough water.
    • Allow enough time to return in daylight. It can take twice as long to descend than it takes to get to the top.
    • Plan for emergencies. Pack a fully charged mobile phone, a first-aid kit and extra clothing, water and food.
    • Carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)—in an emergency, this will assist Emergency Services to locate you.
    • Carry a GPS and topographic map and know how to use them—don’t run the risk of getting lost. Download a QTopo map of the area relevant to your plans.
    • Let a reliable person know your plans and what to do if you do not return as expected. Remember to let them know if your plans change.

    On a summit route:

    • Avoid dislodging rocks as they might hit people below you. Even small rocks can cause serious injury.
    • If you accidentally dislodge rocks, shout loud warnings.
    • Stay with your group or in pairs.
    • If weather conditions deteriorate and visibility becomes poor, stay put until the cloud, mist or fog clears. This may mean you have to stay overnight.
    • Do not linger in high risk rockfall zones—follow all safety sign directions.
    • If you decide to not continue with your group, don’t wait in the high risk zone or remain in a ‘No waiting zone’. Return to the trailhead.
    • Do not deviate off a summit route—follow directional markers where provided, not flagging tape or blazed trees.
    • Save your mobile phone battery life by minimising use—you might need it to make an emergency call.
    • Take your time and enjoy the climb—take short rest breaks.
    • Keep track of the time—return in daylight.

    Roped sports—abseiling and rockclimbing

    • Rockclimbing and abseiling opportunities are suitable for experienced and well equipped climbers only.
    • Take care to avoid dislodging rocks as they might hit climbers below you—even small rocks can cause serious injury.
    • Never attempt climbs in wet weather as smooth surfaces can be slippery and dangerous. The likelihood of rockfalls and landslides are heightened by rainfall and intense fire activity. Flexible soled shoes with good grip should be worn.

    Your safety

    • Never attempt to climb or abseil unless you are confident you can complete the activity.
    • Always use appropriate equipment. Helmets are strongly recommended.
    • Allow enough time to complete your climb in daylight hours.
    • Carry enough water and food for your climb.
    • Carry a mobile phone and keep emergency phone numbers.
    • Never climb alone.
    • Be aware of those below—be careful not to dislodge rocks when climbing.
    • Watch the weather—if it looks like it will rain, do not attempt the climb. Rocks will become slippery and dangerous.
    • Carry a first-aid kit.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.