Getaway Guide | Day Trip to Mt Barney

7:24 PM Nina B 2 Comments

So my partner and I got a very rare day off together, and decided to head out to Mt Barney, about an hour and forty five minutes from Brisbane. I had grand plans of getting up super early so we could get there in time to see the sunrise, but we were hanging out with friends the night before and didn't get to bed early enough, oops. When I was setting my alarm for 3am and realised that would only give us a few hours sleep I thought no freaking way, and set it for 6am instead.

Our one day off together happened to have patchy rain forecast, and during our first stop for all important coffee, I had to run through the rain trying not to slip over or spill the coffee everywhere, and I was pretty proud that I didn't. Despite the rain it was a fairly warm day, and we have had such a dry summer, so I wasn't complaining one bit.

The drive to Mt Barney winds through green rural areas with rolling hills dotted with cows and endless fences stretching into the distance. The sun came out for a while during the drive, and we even saw a thin rainbow arching directly over the road ahead of us. I took the opportunity to jump out of the car and lie in the middle of the road and get a photo, of course!

Mt Barney National Park has a number of different walking trails of varying difficulty, and I hadn't decided which one to do before we arrived. But I had packed our towels and swimmers because I knew that despite the rain I wanted to take the opportunity to jump in a swimming hole.

When we got to the national park, we drove around on the bumpy dirt roads for a little while, with me excitedly announcing "Stop!" every hundred meters or so, and jumping out to take photos.

Patches of light rain came and went but the clouds stayed overhead for most of the day, and I was actually really glad it wasn't one of the really hot days we've had recently.

We decided to walk the trail to the Lower Portals. I read about a lovely swimming hole at the end of the walk, which sounded perfect.

The walk was a little longer than I thought for some reason - 7.4km return. Make sure you have a big breakfast (I didn't eat much of my toasted sandwich at the cafe we stopped at, because there was an ant in my melted cheese... halfway through the walk I regretted not having something more substantial!) and pack your own lunch at home as we didn't find much food in Rathdowney to take with us, but more on that later.

The walk has some nice varied terrain; tracks through long grass, shady bushland, some rocky hills, and a few little creek crossings to get your feet wet along the way too.

The trail eventually leads you to the edge of the creek, where two big boulders stand in front of you - but this isn't the end. Duck under the rock, and climb up through the hole between the two boulders, to get to the clearing and gorgeous swimming hole. There is plenty of space for a few different groups to have their own little picnics without being in each others way.

Relax and have a little packed lunch picnic at the swimming hole. All we could find in the tiny shop in Rathdowney to take with us was some chips and Arnotts Scotch Fingers. It was definitely not what I felt like after a mediocre breakfast and bush walk. A couple nearby had these really delicious looking homemade sandwiches and I was super jelly, why had we not thought of that? Have a refreshing dip in the icy cold water - it took us about 15 minutes to work up the courage to go in deeper than our ankles, and about 2 minutes to get out and grab our towels, but I felt so much cooler afterwards.

I'd really like to go back to Mt Barney to try some of the other walking trails, and I'd love to actually climb the mountain itself and camp overnight at the top. Next time I'd definitely like to make the effort to get there early enough for sunrise too.

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  1. Glorious photos. Glad I could help with your carousel... You are so welcome. LindyLou from Gooyaabi

    1. Thank you :D And thank you again for your help. x