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 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




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

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

Fairly easy walk. Toward the end, we climbed an unmarked peak and camped on it. The views from it were phenomenal.

If you're looking for a challenge, do not take this track.

Luke on 12 Jan, 2016

Challenging but good walk, waterhole is absolutely stunning, water was a bit chilly today but still a refreshing reward

Amy on 2 Jan, 2016

Always a good hike to the hole. Went beyond the water pool this time, over and down the hill into the creek and carried on with some rock hoping

agms on 1 Jan, 2016

Fairly flat for the majority of the walk. Great to cool down in the pools and catch a glimpse of some wallabies hanging around.

chazzie_leigh on 1/??/2016

a cloudy and slightly rainy day. Refreshing walk and the pool was warmer than expected!

agms on 20 Dec, 2015

I've done this walk twice now. I beg everyone to ensure they have more then enough water, and medical supplies and never be on there own. As recently when I did the walk the heat got over 40 degrees through out the day. And I had a severe asthma attack and heat exhaustion/stroke and had to be carried out of the walk. And it took at least 2.5hr just to get back. I only made it a little over half way my self before collapsing.

Jaynee on 21 Nov, 2015

Very beautiful waterhole. Nice walk and not too difficult but enough to get the heart pumping. Took 4 hrs return - 1.5hrs in including lots of photos, 1.5 hr swimming and enjoying the view, and 1 hr return walk with no stops.

gabemma on 1 Nov, 2015

very pleasant walk under trees, saw 6 Glossy Black Cockatoos eating at the commencement of the well-marked track. Fabulous swimming hole with soft, clean water in beautiful Lower Portals environment, stopped for a swim and lunch then retraced steps. Total time 2.5hours return

Varina Nissen on 13 Oct, 2015

Great walk with the kids including a deserved swim ;-)

Agile Chris on 2 Oct, 2015

This track is a favourite of mine, where dry bushland turns into a set of vibrant pools and a gushing creek. Absolutely beautiful.

mjorn_ on Sep, 2015

was a challenging, beautiful walk amongst trees and rock hopping.

Cait on May, 2015


Click here to load this map.

Done this walk?

This walk has been ticked 86 times

Aussie Bushwalking can keep track of your bushwalks.

Login/signup to tick this walk off.