Lower Portals

Mt Barney National Park

A walk through bushland to beautiful deep rock pools and small waterfalls in the Mt Barney Area

Getting there

You access the walking track from the end of Lower Portals Rd which comes of Upper Logan Rd, just out of Rathdowney.


Maps of Mt Barney area are recommended for this walk with 1:25 000 topographical map being recommended for safety. (e.g. 1:25 000 Maroon)

Route/Trail notes

The walk has moderate to steep grading and at times becomes quite challenging. It mainly consists of walking up and down ridges before it comes to the small stream containing the Lower Portals. It takes approximately 3 hours return from the carpark on Lower Portals Rd.

Upstream from the first crossing, say 1klm you can follow a steep track up and over a ridge (500mtrs)  back down to the stream where there is fabulous scenery everywhere. (? and from there you can slowly make your way to Mt Barney Falls? about 700mtrs? )

I would like someone to confirm that.

There are no pictures anywhere of Mt Barney Falls (?)


There are no permits needed. The cost is also Nil. There are very limited camping spots at the end of the walk near the Lower portals, and permits may be required to make use of them. 

Other References

More information can be obtained from the following government website




Not a very exciting walk. but swimming hole at the end is worth it

Pardo on 3 Apr, 2015

Really pleasant walk which we turned into a trail run. The portals were lovely but freezing cold! We climbed up the waterfall and rock hopped for about an hour up the creek. Great fun, especially for those who aren’t so ‘hiking’ inclined. Heaps of young children and families there 

Alice on 15 Mar, 2015

Was a great walk, managed the rock hopping okay with baby on back. The portals are well worth the exercise to get there

EmilyN on 7 Sep, 2014

Quite hilly, when you reach the riverbank at the end (it appears appears to be a dead end) you can climb up the hole in the rock to reach the portals/swimming area.

Rob N on 15 Mar, 2014

There were many up hills and down hills. It was challenging to climb thru the gap between the rocks to get to the lower portals, I detoured by crossing the rocks at the opposite side of the stream. It was a very nice view at the lower portals.

Harry on 15 Mar, 2014

Lovely walk, well worth the effort --trail is easy to follow. At the end, there is a nice little swimming hole. Lots of fun poking around the rocks at the Lower Portals.

Roxy on 23 Feb, 2014

Hot and arduous if you go under prepared.
However, if you go at the right time of year it's great and the swimming holes at the end of the trail are very refreshing. Plenty of clean drinking water from the creek.

Callaghan Clan on 24 Jan, 2014

A beautiful walk with a good physical challenge. Went in the middle of summer and it was 40 degrees, the swim to the far end of the portals was well worth it at the end!!!! Camped out the night and went home the next day. The campsite is in the opposite direction along the creek, nice sites to fit a few people. Ran into a wallaby at 4pm in the afternoon filling up water bottles.

Viking on 20 Jan, 2014

What a great way to kick off the new year! But a very hot day to do this walk, and we were not prepared with our togs (next time!). This is a good walk for a hot day, but make sure to take plenty of water as the trail goes up and down through 5-6 dry creek crossings, even though only about 20m net altitude gain from the car park to the Lower Portals, I think you go up and down 200m across the various ridges on the way.

RobboShoe on 1 Jan, 2014

We stayed at Mt Barney Lodge and did the lower portals in about 2.5hrs. Beautiful walk. Lots of uphills but not too steep. The owner of Mt Barney Lodge said many people stop at a running creek and don't cross it., so if you do this walk, keep going it's worth it. One climbing point where you climb through a few big boulders two get about 3m up a level where the trail ends and you find the waterhole. Kangaroos and wallabies to keep you company.

NateJ on 30 Nov, 2013

The lower portals are certainly worth the fairly lengthy walk. You do walk up and down several small hills, and gullies following the clear path. You will get to a nice little creek, and some people apparently stop here, then turn around and go back ... DON'T do this ! The lower portals are only a few hundred metre's further along, and very much worth the hike ! You can swim here, you can drink the running water, and great photo's are a guarantee.

DrummerJeff on 26 Oct, 2013

Very dry start to the walk, but the portals were a good depth. Tried to walk out to the waterfall through the water but it was way, way too cold. Just scrambled up and around the ridges nearby instead

Allan Allport on 26 Aug, 2013

Nice moderate walk, through/up the cave and magnificent lower portals.
Was there early and not many around. Must have passed 100 people on the way back though. Guess it's popular on a long weekend, not sure about a normal one.

Homely Beast on 9 Jun, 2013

over cast day and threated to rain all day, but it held off. couldnt get all the way to the portals due to the creek level being high.

Tristan Young on 11 Jun, 2012

Didn't start the walk till about 2:00pm, had a leisurely walk out to the portals, climbed over the large rock in the creek for a few photos, then continued up and over the ridge, past the small cave and rock hopped a fair distance up the creek, where we sat and had a bite to eat, made the return journey back to car park then back to Barney lodge campground..

Walkinghawk on 12 Apr, 2012

Really nice relaxing walk. Lower portal rocks are impressive. Added a walk over the top of the ridge and onwards up the river. Nice place to rockhop and relax.

WorldWalker on Apr, 2012

Many small ascents and decents folllowing creeks and gullys around the base of Mount Barney. The trail mostly follows a main fenceline in the park. In summer ensure you have plenty of water, watch out for snakes and start out early. At the halfway point is a beautiful rock pool area where you can stop and have a picnic and swim. Perfect in the height of summer when the water temperature is around 20 degrees. This is a picturesque rock pool and well worth the reward of hiking in. Recommend not taking small children or those who are not use to bushwalking as it can be quite a hard and long walk up and down the track. Allow at least a minimum of 2.5 hours to walk in, stop, have a swim and walk out again.

Badger on 12 Jan, 2012

It was a great walk and not too challenging. Not much to see until you arrive at the portals. About 1 hour each way. Make sure you go into the cave through into the other side once you get to the portals otherwise you miss the best part of the walk. Got some great photos and the resident brush-tailed rock wallaby was very friendly.

Nagle Clan on 2 Oct, 2011

Did this walk and really enjoyed it particularly when I reached the - so refreshing.
A little disappointed that I didn't see any wildlife while on the trail - however 4 decent sized roos jumped out in front of me on Mount Lindsay Highway at Wood
Hill. 3 kept going but the 4th one stopped smack bang in the middle of the road
almost causing a pile up from the vehicles behind. Move on Skippy!!

Tom Murphy on Oct, 2011

Great walk out to the lower portals, checked out the small cave, contiued along the ridge to the campsite and returned great views of barney along the ridge, got some great photos to bad i only had my phone...beautiful day

Walkinghawk on 14 May, 2011
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