so much to see & do
Mt Barney Lodge is located in the beautiful Scenic Rim Region next to the World Heritage-listed Mt Barney National Park, right at the base of Queensland’s most impressive peak Mt Barney.
The area is best known for its many walking tracks, challenging hikes and mountain climbs, picturesque creeks, refreshing waterholes and rockpools, breathtaking waterfalls and charming towns and villages making it the perfect Scenic Rim short-break or holiday destination.
BUSHWALKS, HIKES & CLIMBS
There are many outstanding walks and climbs that start at Mt Barney Lodge. We are surrounded by the McPherson Range of mountains – diverse in their shape and their geology as they have come from volcanoes, ring faults and eroded ocean beds.
We share our local knowledge and laminated maps with our guests to help you go on an independent adventure. We also guide groups to the top of all the surrounding peaks and hidden waterfalls – walks that are off-track and true wilderness! Our expert guides unlock the secrets of the environment that you are walking through.
Yellow Pinch Circuit Walk/Rockhop
The off-track self-guided Yellowpinch Circuit rock-hop is a challenge, and it requires our local knowledge and a sense of adventure. Maps and information are available from the office.
And you will be rewarded with many secluded waterholes to cool off in as you explore the upper reaches of the Logan River.
During the wildflower season, keep an eye out for many rare orchids (such as the Bootlace Orchid), along the banks of the creek, clinging precariously to rocks and tree trunks.
Make sure you check with us about current conditions of the Yellow Pinch Circuit Walk and swimming holes before setting out for your walk. You’ll only be able to get a map with trail notes from us.
Cronan Creek Cascades Walk
Located in the heart of the Mt Barney National Park, the Cronan Creek Walk is well worth the 14km return walk. There are opportunities to plunge into icy cold waterholes along the way.
The well-marked trail is easy to follow through the ancient remnants of the Gondwana rainforest, but you will need ‘inside info’ on how to find this beautiful large waterhole and waterfall!
This is a ‘staff favourite’ as it has a pool with a waterfall that you can sit behind, so make sure you have a chat with us and grab a map before you depart.
Lower and Upper Portals
Some of the more well-known waterholes such as the beautiful Lower Portals which is accessed by a straightforward bushwalk and Upper Portals, are relatively easy to access and are very popular amongst bush walkers and visitors as a place to swim. You can get directions from us at the office before you head out.
A 4wd is necessary to access the walking trail to The Upper Portals.
For the more adventurous, Mt Barney at 1351m is the ultimate challenge. We also think it is Queensland’s most impressive mountain summit! Our experienced guides provide interpretive information on the plants, animals, history and geology seen along the way. Remember, this hike isn’t to be underestimated as it is a serious undertaking!
Although not as big as Mt Barney, Mt Maroon is still challenge at 965 meters high. It’s steep ridge lines allow for sweeping views most of the way up. In spring the heath on the summit blooms into a spectacular wildflower display. It is a great tester for Mt Barney.
MOONRISE ON MAROON
The view from Mt Maroon summit on a clear full-moon night reveals expansive scenery bathed in silver light. See nearby Lake Maroon glinting, the full Mt Barney profile, other mountains glowing and the lights of Brisbane in the far distance.
MOUNTAIN FIT SERIES
We have a series of three walks in three months at different levels of elevation – Low, Medium and High. The series is designed to improve your fitness, gain knowledge of bushwalking, provide focus and motivation and help you find your ‘tribe’.
THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE
This is a week of planned mountain hikes walks and tours to allows you to explore the Scenic Rim and Mt Barney National Park in style. With limited guest numbers and a high guide to client ratio, you are guaranteed to get personal attention and knowledgeable insights from the experts. All inclusive of guiding, meals, Queenslander homestead accommodation, entry fees and transport.
THE STINSON WRECK, GREEN MOUNTAINS
Let us take you on a journey to one of the most remarkable airline rescue efforts in Australian History. You will be led through the beautiful Lamington National Park to locate Westray’s Grave and then guided to the fuselage remains of the Stinson Airliner that crashed in February 1937. The story of the discovery of this plane crash and the rescue of the survivors is a genuine epic and is retraced on this gorgeous walk amongst ancient rainforest and steep rocky escarpments.
Leave the tracks behind on this rugged mountain that provides a different perspective on the neighbouring Mt Barney and Mt Lindesay. The Mt Ernest traverse is a fantastic circuit that starts with the Mt Ernest peak and then travels over the “Organ Pipes” of rhyolite columns before returning via the Cronan Creek track to Mt Barney Lodge. There are fantastic views and lots of different habitats to add to the interest and challenge of the walk.
Mt Barney National Park has two different types of Rainforests that are begging to be explored. The rarer and less accessible cool temperate rainforest on Mt Ballow gives participants the chance to gaze upon the ancient Antarctic Beech tree and imagine life in Jurassic Park. Interpretive information on the rainforest’s hidden treasures will be provided on the walk.
BEGINNER & ADVANCED ROCKCLIMBING
Our outdoor rock faces are graded as 6-18 . This is a 5-hour activity that includes a scenic bushwalk to and from the climbing site. All equipment and training is provided when you come with us. Please check age requirements before booking.
Learn to abseil on the scenic cliffs located behind Mt Barney Lodge. As well as the challenge of the cliff descent, you will be inspired by the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains.
LEAD CLIMBING AT MT FRENCH
More experienced climbers can come with us to “ Frogs Buttress” to experience traditional lead climbing at Queensland’s premier crack climbing crag. During this 6+ hour activity you will learn how to belay a lead climber and learn how to remove protection from the cliff face.
RAZORBACK MULTI-PITCH ROCKCLIMB
This 3-pitch rock climb soars 100m above surrounding landscape, and is not for the height challenged! Your guide will set a series of anchors and belay you in stages safely up the climb. Our lunch spot is a notch at the top of the second pitch! There are sweeping mountain views at the top, and a bushwalk descent back to the Lodge.
During this full-day expedition, our expert guides take you off-track including two abseil drops to a gorge where you will view a spectacular 80m corkscrew waterfall where you can swim at the base.
When flowing, this is one of the more spectacular waterfalls in the region towering an awesome 50m above the ground. We walk to the top of the waterfall and then hike or abseil into the gorge. After a swim, we rock hop along the to join a track.
CREEKS, WATERHOLES & WATERFALLS
The crystal clear Mt Barney Creek, Cronan Creek, and Logan River pass right through the Mt Barney National Park. But did you know that they feed secluded and less well-known waterholes and waterfalls? And they can be explored easily from the Lodge!
Stay with us at Mt Barney Lodge, not only will we share with you our local knowledge about these waterholes and creeks, but we’ll also share with you some laminated maps and trail notes to help you find your way!
The Logan River passes right by the Lodge where our guests have easy access to their very own ‘water park’ that engages kids for longer than a kids swimming pool. Plenty of safe and shady areas for families and children can be found.
The creek is free-flowing, usually crystal clear and is ideal for swimming and exploring. See us at the office for ‘Nature Play’ ‘mission cards’ for kids activities at the creek.
Shady walking tracks follow the creek as well as easy rockhopping options that lead to even more secluded waterholes, but you’ll need to ask us where!
Split Rock Waterhole
The narrow track to Split Rock waterhole is an easy 5 minute stroll and is only accessible from Mt Barney Lodge. Split Rock water hole is perfectly secluded for a cooling swim for the whole family. Maps are available from the office.
Yellow Pinch Waterhole
Yellow Pinch waterhole is easily accessible and is only known by locals and guests staying at the Lodge. It’s great for a swim! Just ask us!
Waterfall Creek Reserve
Don’t forget the Waterfall Creek Reserve is a quick detour on your drive. A short drive from Mt Barney Lodge allows you to explore this interesting rocky gorge and plunge-pool. Be sure to take a dip on your way home from a Mt May or Mt Maroon walk, or when hiking the Upper Portals.
One of the benefits of visiting Mt Barney Lodge when rain is forecast is to witness the short-lived waterfalls on the face of Mt Barney and Mt Maroon.
Seasonal waterfalls can be found at The Golden Staircase, Larapinta Falls and in Hidden Valley and they are spectacular wet or dry! The are both in off-track and hard to find locations, which is why we recommend joining one of our guided walks to find them.
If you like to swim and plunge behind a curtain of water, then Cronan Creek Cascades and the Lower Portals are for you!
the local area
With its charming towns and villages, the Scenic Rim Region offers something for everyone. From boutique wineries and breweries to galleries, cafes, restaurants, farm gates, adventure parks and a jam-packed annual event calendar, there’s always something new to discover and a passionate group of locals who are ready to welcome you to this unique region.
We hope that you keep your travel footprint low after you arrive at Mt Barney Lodge, but here are some places that you can see on the way.
Visit the quaint town of Boonah and stroll through the main street to visit a diversity of speciality shops to include Cafés, second hand shops, clothes and antique shops. Boonah also has a cinema which shows films over the weekend.
Boonah Spar Arts Festival: Each September, Boonah holds an arts festival, in which the young and old of the whole town, has a chance to play a part. The festival extends for a period of about a week and includes art shows, paddock sculptures, music awards, live bands, cinema and a Spectacular lantern parade and performance to bring a close to the festival.
The Scenic Rim Tourism website features all there is to know of things to see and do in Boonah
If traveling from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you will pass through the small township of Rathdowney (pop 400) on your way to Mt Barney Lodge. Only a 20 minute drive from the Lodge, Rathdowney boasts a Pub (with meals), a butcher (check out their smoked goods and is open 5 days a week), a service station, Visitors Information Center (and museum), Childrens’ playground and a general store. The Rathy Store stocks all the ‘basics’ including take-a-way meals, ie hot chips, pies, sandwiches, hamburgers etc. The shop hours are 6am to 5pm daily.
Every year, a rodeo and campdraft are held at the local rodeo grounds. For more information on these events and more including Heritage Markets, click here.
QUEEN MARY FALLS
From Mt Barney Lodge, head towards Boonah (along the Boonah Rathdowney Road) and turn off at Carney’s Creek Road (sign posted ‘The Falls Drive’). This road winds its way through some of the stunning farmland, mountain ranges and cascading streams. Be sure to stop at Spring Creek Mountain Café (just before Queen Mary Falls) for fantastic views and mouth-watering cuisine.
After your stomachs are full… continue on to Queen Mary Falls for a delightful walk down through the tall open forest dominated by towering forest red gums and brush box to subtropical rainforest in the gorge. Your first view of the spectacular Queen Mary Falls is a delightful surprise. The waterfall drops 40 metres over the glistening basalt rock to the gorge below. As you cross Spring Creek, you walk through a fine mist spray from the waterfall… a refreshing moment…especially in the summer months.
For an alternate route, click here.
Note: Spring Creek Mountain Café is open for lunch, morning and afternoon tea on Wednesday’s, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Dinners can be organised are by appointment.
T: 4664 7101
For an absolutely gorgeous day out, visit Maroon Dam. There are fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, a lovely grassy picnic area and plenty of water for water sports such as canoeing and fishing.
Fishing permits can be obtained online via the Queensland Government Gateway websitewww.qld.gov.au/fishing or from the BP service station in Boonah. Permits cost $7 per week, or $35 per year. 1 permit is required per couple.
Moogerah Dam is a beautiful dam to swim in with a designated swimming area roped off for swimmers at A G Muller Park. Why not make a day trip off it and enjoy swimming at the dam followed by a trip to one of the wineries on your way back to Mt Barney Lodge. Head around to the dam wall for a stunning view of Elephant Rock and enjoy a bite to eat or a coffee at ‘The Dam Cafe’
Moogerah Dam is also known for it’s water sports and fishing.
Fishing permits can be obtained online via the Queensland Government Gateway website www.qld.gov.au/fishing or from the BP service station in Boonah. Permits cost $7 per week, or $35 per year. 1 permit is required per couple.
After a bit of rain, the waterfall plunging into the waterhole at this reserve is spectacular. On a hot summer’s day, this waterhole is ideal for a cool off and picnic.
Directions can be sought from staff at Mt Barney Lodge.
CONDAMINE 4WD TRACK
The Condamine is a beautiful scenic track, following the gorge crossing the Condamine River 14 times. Here you will be able to choose a spot for the day with the family and relax and swim in the several water holes . As we are not avid four wheel drivers, we suggest looking at this site for some more information. All we can ensure is that you will have some stunning views and you will not be disappointed when doing this track.
THINGS TO DO
If you are looking for things to do beyond our wilderness environment, swimming holes and hiking tracks – there are a number of nearby experience options.
& LAVENDER FARM
Only a 45min drive from Mt Barney Lodge is the beautiful Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm. You can purchase their lavender products, do some wine tasting and enjoy a degustation lunch or dinner at thier restaurant. You won’t be left disappointed with Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm. They also have live music for you to enjoy on a Sunday.
Always check their website as this stunning venue is very popular and closes for weddings
168 FM. Bells Road, Mount Alford
07 5463 0022
SCENIC RIM BREWERY
Only forty five minutes drive from Mt Barney Lodge is the Scenic Rim Brewery and cafe. Although beer is their core business, their beer has been developed to quench more than just your thirst!
Open Thursday to Sunday 10am-5pm
Open Wednesdays by appointment only for large groups and bus tours
898 Reckumpilla Street (Cnr Anders Rd)
07 5463 0412
BUNJURGEN ESTATE VINEYARD
Only a 45min drive from Mt Barney Lodge is Bunjugen Estate. You can enjoy some wine tasting at their Cellar Door whilst listening to David talk about his knowledge of wine and his local knowledge of the area.
You only have to read their google reviews to know this is a vineyard you cannot miss.
Give them a call to book in for a wine tasting ! We have been told the Port is amazing too !
121 Brent Road, Bungurgen
07 5463 0270
FISHING IN THE SCENIC RIM
For the keen fishermen amongst us, or for those who wish to just ‘dangle a line’, there are quite a few stocked dams in the Scenic Rim all within easy driving distance from Mt Barney Lodge.
Click here for more information on these popular fishing spots.
SUMMER LAND CAMEL FARM
Open on Sundays, Summer Land Camel Farm (located at Harrisville) is perfect for a visit on your way home from staying at Mt Barney Lodge! Summer Land Camel Farm is Australia’s first commercial scale camel dairy.
The Farm and Cafe is open on Sundays between 9am and 4.30pm where you can buy Camel Milk Coffee, Cheese, Gelato, baked treats and try their lunch menu. They also offer Farm Tours, Skin Care, Dairy Range, and a Gourmet Butchery.
Bookings are essential and can be made via their facebook page or by calling 07 5467 1707.
SCENIC RIM ROBOTIC DAIRY
A Tour of the Scenic Rim Robotic Dairy is a unique and fascinating experience. One of the longest running dairies in the area, the Dennis family begins the tour with a discussion of the way things were done in the 1930s.You’ll be led through the different stages of milking, including the introduction of machine milking in the 1940s with the introduction of electricity and the current high tech LELY Robotic milking system.
Bookings are essential and at least 7 days notice required.
07 5544 2206
Only a 37min drive from Mt Barney Lodge is Scenic Rim Adventure Park. Here you can do some 4x4ing or have some lunch and work through their man-made maze. If you have kid’s under 12, let them work their way through the ‘tyre maze’.
Open 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday
636 Tamrookum Creek Road,
0458 406 236
FOOD & DRINK
There are no restaurants or cafes at Mt Barney Lodge, so this gives you the perfect excuse to venture out and explore the Scenic Rim (and NSW!).
You will find quaint country pubs that serve traditional pub fare, vineyards with cheese platters, boutique brewerys whose food is as good as the beer, and small cafes that specialize in local fresh produce and the best coffee!
Always make sure you call ahead to check opening hours.
73 Collins St, Rathdowney
07 5544 1121
4 Upper Logan Rd, Rathdowney
Open weekends only
0403 163 151
898 Reckumpilla St, Mount Alford
07 5463 0412
901 Reckumpilla St, Mount Alford
07 5463 0230
A bookshop, a gift/craftware shop, a borrowed lounge room. If you love mismatched china crockery and silver teaspoons accompanying amazing homemade food this cafe is really ‘where the locals go’. The best real chai in Boonah!
07 5463 2980
Local, organic, and raw food options. They even have whole food plant-based menu items (look for wfpb on the menu) – real food just down the road!
07 5463 2980
Enjoy your coffee and a delicious treat at Arthur Clibe’s Bakery Cafe. It is proudly locally owned by the Pennell Family who have been baking in the Scenic Rim and surrounds since 1936.
07 5463 4477
07 5463 1024
Best visited on Sundays for the live music under the huge fig tree. Great country pub meals.
07 5463 1048
Saturday and Sunday afternoon music is seasonally available.
0455 221 895
Experience the quirky atmosphere in this cute little cafe and find your goldilocks armchair that is ‘just right’. Many of the cabinet items are homemade. One of the few places to find freshly squeezed juices in Beaudesert. Organic coffee is a plus.
07 5541 2199
Always great food with daily newspapers available.
07 5541 2504
Better than average pub food. A cool air-conditioned summer lunchtime retreat.
Great views of Wilsons Peak, and a good halfway stopover to Queen Mary Falls.
07 4664 7101
Here’s hoping the prawn curry is always on the menu. The burgers are bigger than you can imagine, and every bite is mouth-watering!
02 6635 1275
If you want even more choices than the ones we reccomend, then look at this comprehensive list of food options in the Scenic Rim.