a brief history
Mt Barney Lodge began in the late 1980s when John and Jenny Larkin purchased the original Hardgrave farmhouse (Moringararah), which was built in the 1900s.
Over a 10 year period the rest of the Lodge was established to include a camping ground with modern amenities, a second homestead, and two rustic cabins. John & Jenny owned the property for nearly 15 years, and developed and revegetated it from a run-down abandoned farm to a widely recognised getaway destination.
In December 2003, Innes and Tracey Larkin commenced managing the property and in June 2006 they purchased it from John and Jenny. Since then, they have added 2 new deluxe camper trailers to the accommodation options, and expanded their services to include adventure activities, environmental education, and provide country style hospitality to groups and conference attendees. The function room under Boolamoola is used frequently through Wilderness First Aid Courses, craft weekends, corporate meetings, weddings and special functions. Our market is as varied as our accommodation. We appeal to a wide range of people, from young agile bushwalkers; the nature seeker; school groups; and senior citizens sharing a rock-pool with their toddler grandchild. We are unique in that we can accommodate and provide meals for groups of up to 46 people, or you can self-cater in the fully self-contained facilities.
“Families from a radius of Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Lismore, through to the Gold Coast make up the bulk of our guests, and some are returning for their tenth time! We assure you that we’ll be doing all we can to ensure your stay is memorable.”
Our philosophy is based on living in harmony with people and nature, and we aim to project this philosophy towards our guests so that they leave feeling more at ease with themselves and with the world.
Being located at the base of Queensland’s 4th highest mountain (1359m), we are an ideal point of departure for those fit and adventurous enough to climb Mt Barney and its associated peaks. Mt Barney Lodge is secluded from any main roads, surrounded by nature and offers spectacular views to the mountains that categorize this area as the 3rd most significant biological hotspot in Australia. Without a doubt, we live in an extremely special place, and we look forward to sharing it with you.
We follow the ideals of ecotourism, and achieved NEAP accreditation in March, 2002. We promote minimal impact bushwalking, and ask you to be thoughtful as you walk in the bush. For this reason our Lodge is not an appropriate place to bring your pets. We strive to create an atmosphere for our guests that is hospitable, helpful, and stimulating. We hope you enjoy your look around, and we look forward to hearing from you…
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”
What is Eco Tourism?
The definition of ecotourism adopted by Ecotourism Australia is:
“Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environment and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”
The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travelers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour, attraction, cruise or accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
The ECO Certification program assures travelers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provided high quality nature-based tourism experiences.Mt Barney Lodge has retained Ecotourism for many years. In 2010 Ecotourism Australia recognised over 40 Australian tourism operators as Green Travel Leaders as part of the Year of Responsible
Ethical and Sustainable Tourism
Mt Barney Lodge was one of these trail blazer in responsible travel having being Eco certified for 10 years or more. Long before most people were thinking about green issues, these businesses saw the importance of the environment to tourism, and wanted to ensure they behaved in a responsible ethical and sustainable way.
Today, Mt Barney Lodge combines a personal and business philosophy to be as sustainable as possible, and bring you a genuine Ecotourism experience.
We at Mt Barney Lodge follow the principles of ecotourism as outlined below:
- We use energy saving light-bulbs in buildings
- Have a dark sky’s policy at night time
- Prohibit generators in the campground so wildlife isn’t scared off and our guests can absorb the peace and quiet
- Have compost bins in all buildings, which we collect and feed to the chooks
- Buildings are designed to encourage air flow, and therefore don’t require air-conditioning in summer. Slow combustion fireplaces are installed in buildings to minimize fuel demand.
- Wood is supplied from fallen trees from the property, or from local landholders land with permission.
- Guests are encouraged to walk, rather than drive around the property, to reduce traffic, disturbance to wildlife, and reduce the impact vehicles have on the environment
- In all buildings, gas is used to power stoves, ovens and to heat all hot water.
- Televisions are excluded from all buildings in order to encourage our guests to be immersed in and explore nature.
- We stock Quilton toilet paper as it is an Australian owned and operated company that recycles post-consumer wastepaper in Brisbane. Learn more here
- We choose to use the local businesses to supply our fuel, postal services, firewood, and convenience item needs. We also supply local wines and olive oil for our guests to purchase.
- Mt Barney Lodge works collaboratively with other local tourism operators to co-promote Mt Barney as a destination. Local landowners’ private land and farming interests are respected and acknowledged in our information provided to onsite guests.
- We choose to support and mentor other local tourism business in the Mt Barney region, and were founding members and facilitators to “Discover Mt Barney”, which is now a recognised sub-committee of Beaudesert Country Tourism.
- We purchase local goat soap, which are available for guests to sample during their stay.
- Our Sunset Eco Tour not only offers information about the natural environment, but also offers local wine, olive oil and dukka tastings.
- We have an excellent rapport with QPWS – Boonah Branch. We regularly provide them with local information on weather, bushfire and track conditions.
- We support the local school community by the provision of fundraising prizes.
- We give employment preference to residents of the Scenic Rim Region to support local employment, and all our current staff are from within this area.
Education & Interpretation
Children’s activities are designed to allow the individual to explore and be immersed in the natural surroundings. Our children’s activities have a focus on recycling, and exploring the bush using all senses. Our staff are always available to talk about local wildlife, close-by walks, and wildflowers in season, to any inquisitive guest.
The local Aboriginal community is Minjelha Dhagun. This is owned by Yugambeh Land Enterprises, and we have a positive link with the Board of Directors, and an excellent working relationship with Scott Hunter, the Land Manager. We are undertaking water quality testing of the local rivers and improving Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat co-operatively.Children’s activities are designed to allow the individual to explore and be immersed in the natural surroundings. Our children’s activities have a focus on recycling, and exploring the bush using all senses. Our staff are always available to talk about local wildlife, close-by walks, and wildflowers in season, to any inquisitive guest.
Contribution to Conservation
Mt Barney Lodge educates guests on the conservation significance of Mt Barney National Park.It is World Heritage-listed, and is contained within the third most biodiverse region in Australia. By enabling guests to “Share Our Wilderness Heritage”, they develop appreciation and understanding of the value of the unmodified environment. This allows individuals to be active custodians of this great natural resource.
Since Mt Barney Lodge’s foundation 17 years ago, the 30-acre property and creek has been progressively rehabilitated and replanted with native trees and shrubs. The mature native gardens around the buildings are an extension to the planned wildlife corridors found on the property that directly links the guest’s accommodation to the National Park and creek.
The local presence of threatened species such as Glossy Black Cockatoo and Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby is valued.
Mt Barney Lodge has extended onsite remnant habitat for the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo through forage and nesting tree planting. 150 seedling trees have been planted onsite, and guests are further informed of the conservation significance of protecting and supporting threatened species through the self-guided walk, and while participating in the eco interpretive walks.
Community awareness has been created through 400 seedling forage trees for the Glossy Black Cockatoo and a fact sheet being handed out in a sample bag to the local community.
Mt Barney Lodge is a member and supporter of the Logan and Albert Conservation Association (LACA), which is the local action group for conservation initiatives, and Logan and Albert Rivers Catchment Association (LARC).
Gardens & Wildlife
The gardens at Mt Barney Lodge are an integral part why guests continue to return again and again. Our guest’s most popular comment is “I can’t believe how much wildlife we have seen”.
Mt Barney Lodge, once a bare, old farm, has been transformed in to a prolific native habitat for sugar gliders, possums, bandicoots, wallabies, insects, lizards, bats and a large variety of birds.
We are continuously seeing new fauna species on the property, which can only be a result of the increase in native food plants that have been planted over the past 15 years.
Mt Barney Lodge also has an active worm farm and permaculture garden with a chook tractor. The permaculture garden provides us with a large variety of herbs and seasonal vegetables. Intermingled within the garden, are flowering plants and trees, specifically planted to attract insect eating animals. The worm farm supplies nutrient rich fertiliser to the soil, which allows us to avoid the use of any synthetic fertilisers. The chickens not only provide us with fresh eggs, but also eat any food scraps accumulated from our guests compost bins (located in each building). Chickens also dig and fertilise the soil, for future veggie patches.
Our permaculture garden is open for all guests to wander through, and is also a main feature when educating school groups about easy and simple environmental practices.
Mt Barney Lodge is currently planting more trees around the property to assist in offsetting carbon emissions, and to provide an extended habitat for animals. Animal feeding is highly discouraged, as we want to encourage the wildlife to feed by their natural means. We have planted an extensive amount of native flowering trees, bush food trees and grasses to feed and house the native wildlife.
Souvenirs & Products
Mt Barney lodge chooses to only sell items that are either supporting other local business’s such as the Mackellar Range coffee bags, supporting local authors such as Mike Groom and Stuart Oliver or able to be reused whilst hiking and enjoying the outdoors such as the Nalgene bottles and Fire starters.
As a souvenir for someone else you could also purchase a voucher so they could take home lasting memories. Have a look at our vouchers here.
TOURISM AWARDS & ACCREDITATION
Winner Scenic Rim Business Excellence Awards – 2019
‘Distinguished Achiever‘ Award- 2011
Winner of the QORF Environmental Award– 2010
Finalist in Ecotourism at Queensland Tourism Awards– 2010
Winner of the QORF Environmental Award – 2008
Finalist in Ecotourism at Queensland Tourism Awards – 2008
Finalist in Ecotourism at Queensland Tourism Awards – 2007
Winner of the QORF Environmental Award – 2007
Winner of Unique Accommodation Category in the Beaudesert Tourism Awards – 2001