Mount Barney National Park is home to a series of peaks that were once part of a large volcano that erupted 24 million years ago. Today Mount Barney is the second highest peak in South east Queensland and the focal point of this beautiful and rugged landscape. Many keen hikers and climbers come to scale to the peak of Mount Barney, but for those slightly less adventurous (or fit) the Lower Portals walk is a great alternative.
This walk is a moderate 7.4 km hike, allow about three hours return to complete. There are some steep parts but overall it is not a difficult walk. The trail starts at the Lower Portals car park and snakes through open forest that has been recently burnt. Keep a look out for small lizards as they dart into the safety of the prickly grass trees.
The walk then starts to descend towards Mount Barney Creek, depending on the water levels care should be taken when crossing. The weekend we did the walk it rained heavily and the creek was flowing fast. After crossing the creek, continue along its banks upstream to reach the Lower Portals, a series of rock pools in the gorge. Spend some time exploring or just relaxing before the return walk back.
Mount Barney National Park is approximately 115 km from Brisbane. For those wanting to stay the night, there is only bush camping in the National Park. Alternatively nearby there are some private camp grounds. One is Bigriggen Park; this is a great place to use as a base for exploring Mount Barney and its surrounding areas.