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




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

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

A lot of erosion on the path & some damage to the creek bank from floods of Cyclone Debbie but still a very enjoyable walk.

Cheryl on 6 Jul, 2017

Something a little unique. Not to hard at all. Went for a swim in really cold water, it was so clear and clean.

Annalise Burton on 25 May, 2017

Great walk, good time of year to do this walk as the temperature in the morning was perfect for hiking. Saw 4 Black Cockatoos about a third of the way into the walk, could hear them first, cracking their nuts!
The path is well worn and easy to follow, a bit washed out at the moment after all the heavy rainfall.
The water in the pools is quite cold I could imagine very refreshing in summer. The creekside campsites are currently closed due to regeneration.

Evo on 7 May, 2017

This was a tough hike - the first half was fine but coming back was quite tough. the path is well worn but perhaps all the rain from the floods recently washed away some of the tracks and there are lots of exposed roots and loose rocks so be careful, slips were common for us yesterday. But it was fine otherwise - the Lower Portals are stunning and worth the 3-4hour return walk. It was a lovely hike and the rock pools are the nicest I've seen - surpassing Hells Hole in the Mt Jerusalem National Park. Next time we would like to walk over the ridge line that goes above the portals. A must walk!

BeckNWood on 23 Apr, 2017

Fantastic as always. Camped at the campsite with my daughter for her first overnight hike. Plenty of water in the creeks after the big rain.

Richard Mason on 21 Apr, 2017

Very nice walk along many terrains, the water at the end is just amazing! Very cold water though. Highly recommend

jjoha on 11 Apr, 2017

Hot, hot, hot. Lovely walk and the waterhole is stunning but coming back it was 43 degrees! We were well-prepared (me, wife and 2 kids ages 12 and 10) but we met a couple as we were walking out who were on the way in wearing thongs with just 2 bottles of water!

ShavenWalrus on 12 Feb, 2017

Hot walk in the summer, thankfully the portals are there for a swim.
There are giant eels swimming with you, be warned!

Zerpy on 8 Jan, 2017

Really easy walk. We took about three hours return with a slight detour towards Barney Gorge as we were looking for the cairn on the Waterfall Circuit notes but time was against us after arriving late. Next time for sure. The Portals are worth checking out from both sides, on the eastern side of the trail where you pass under a boulder then the other side if you take the south-west climb up the hill and descend down the gully with the small cave on your left down to the creek. Exploring upstream was quite beautiful.

Kingi on 9 Oct, 2016

This was a nice easy walk. There were a lot of trees down over the path but easy to get around. It was pretty dry when I went so the creek crossings were no problem but you would definitely get your feet wet if you tried this after heavy rains. The pools at the end were absolutely beautiful. Can't wait to come back in summer for a swim.

Ameliakh on 11 Aug, 2016

Hiked this one by myself and met a new friend at the end, also exploring the area! The water was crystal clear and amazing to swim in, even in July :) It took less than an hour for me but I can appreciate why it might take some longer; there was a decent blend of long ups and downs! Take lots of water if it's a hot day.

Peita on 22 Jul, 2016

Great easy walk, started off very dry from the carpark, but as we got to the creek the portals were amazing. Great to see water flowing fresh and clear.

Gumby on 10 Apr, 2016

Good walk with three friends. Found the waterfall that was stated in the info which was amazing. Beautiful scenery everywhere. I have the coordinates to the waterfall if anyone is interested in seeing it as well just message me. Just didn't want to put it in the edit I did , as part of the fun to hiking for me is finding new things.

Only down fall to the day was we were picking up other hikers rubbish and Brought it back down.
Got to keep these places clean, so that we can all enjoy them as they should be.

phoenixanderson on 28 Mar, 2016

Beautiful. Cruisey walk, 1.5hr there. 1hr return. Allow plenty of time to swim and enjoy the portals, it is worth it! When you reach what appears to be the end of the track and see a small swimming hole to your left. Proceed under up and through the two big rocks in front of you to get to the true portals.

CassLee on 20 Feb, 2016

Nice walk to a Great Swimming hole.

Steve on 14 Feb, 2016

Quick and easy with a great reward. Make sure to find and go through the hole in the rocks on the trails right once you get to the first swimming hole.

alxhoff on 15 Jan, 2016


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