Lower Portals

Mt Barney National Park

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

Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

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 on the left of the creek (when heading up from the lower portals). Appears only after a bit of rain. If it has been dry I'd say it would just look like a cliff. There is signs of water that show its there if you happen to come across it when it's dried up. Would be amazing to see tho after a good down pour as the area this waterfall takes up is massive. 


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




Camped with son. Beautiful as always and great being there without the crowds.

Richard Mason on 2 Mar, 2019

Take lots of water in the summer months, as the path holds a lot of heat. Good, easy to follow track to the lower portals- spotted a couple of snakes on the walk. The water was cold, but so refreshing. Rock hop through the gorge- there’s a rope to help yourself up over the main rockpool.

Nickii & Nouri on 17 Feb, 2019

Struggled with this walk due to heat, despite bringing over 2litres of water. If hiking in summer double to amount of water you estimate you'll need and set off no later the 9AM. There is little to no shade on this walk so it takes it's toll. Wear appropriate footwear.
Swimming hole is very scenic!

Bmonro on 26 Jan, 2019

A swim on new years day

drewmac on 1 Jan, 2019

Nice walk in, but can get hot as quite exposed to the sun. Dust and rubble can be slippery

Sally on 24 Nov, 2018

picture perfect.

gizmobazz on 27 Oct, 2018

Great walk.

Eena on 6 May, 2018

Great walk long about 5km each way but well worth the work to the refreshing swimming hole

Shara on 15 Apr, 2018

A nice walk with fantastic rock pools at the end. Didn’t have time for a swim this time, will return ams swim, eels and all!

Matt on 12 Apr, 2018

The water/rock pools at the end make this walk worthwhile. It was a pretty hot walk (we were out there in the middle of the day which is not ideal) and the walk itself was not that interesting (compared to others we have done). However, still one to tick off the list and we'd do it again.

BGS3 on 4 Apr, 2018

Great hike!!

Phxviix on 1 Apr, 2018

Long walk with little signage along the way - however track is very easy to stay on. Worth the swim at the end and a great place to relax for the day. Would not recommend doing it in thongs haha. No mobile reception also.

Austin on 20 Mar, 2018

Awesome we’ll worth the walk down. Definitely will go back again

Kerry on 2 Jan, 2018

Lovely destination and well worth the up and down and up and down and up and down of going over the ridges. Saw the eel in the main pool area as well as a couple of other smaller ones.

ozsailor on 1 Jan, 2018

One of the best swim spots in South East Queensland! Take enough water along on a hot day as there is not much along the way until you reach the actual portals. Beautiful to swim amongst the eels! Please take care of your food as the monitors here are very habituated. Don't leave anything behind to encourage them either.

T&B on Jan, 2018

Started early to beat the heat. The rolling hills were a welcome challenge. When crossing the creek, make sure you turn left to follow the track and scramble through the rocks to get to the rock pools. The rock pools have eels which seem to be used to the human interaction - one large eel was waiting in the water next to us as we had a bite to eat. It seemed like it had learned to beg for scraps!

Cyn on 9 Dec, 2017


Pretty good bushwalk. Trail is well defined dirt path, some nice variations in slope to keep you interested. Some uphill, some downhill. The walk however, is quite lengthy.

Decent variations in scenery along the trail, but gets a little boring after a while, as it is a pretty long walk. Walking along the river is quite nice. The portals were pretty cool, but if you don't swim, you can't reach the small waterfall part (so they tell me, I didn't swim). Minus 2 points quite a long walk for not a huge payout. Swimming would probably bump it up to a 4/5.

Sam on Dec, 2017

Hot days walk out there the day we went, but the portals were so beautiful, they immediately made us forget about the heat except to enjoy the swimming. Take plenty of drinking water or take a water filter for topping up when you're at the portals....we went through a lot more than we thought we would. 10/10 will go there again!

petalani on 28 Oct, 2017

Fantastic pools to rock hop along.

samk23 on 1 Sep, 2017

Once crossing the river make sure you turn left and head up to the next waterhole. When you reach the top of the ridge, instead of going back down towards the creek I highly recommend turning right and continuing up to the rocky peak, path disappears a little but easy to follow. Great view and doesnt take long.

Kate on 16 Aug, 2017


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