Lower Portals

Mt Barney National Park

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

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




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

Lovely - stay overnight at campsite to get the best of the place (gets busy)

Brian Darlington on 29 Jul, 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

Definitely worth the hike. A lot of elevations. Turn left after the second river crossing and follow the track to the rock cave. You can climb through to the waterhole

Megan and Allan on 30 Apr, 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

Great day out hiking the lower portals my first out this way.

HR on 15 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

We did this walk on a very hot day (what fools!) and it wasn't pleasant! The environment was very arid and hot. We brought a few water bottles and by the end of the walk, everyone was tired and dehydrated, so definitely bring multiple water bottles and/or a water filter (if you are game) to top up at the waterholes to ensure you are hydrated. The walk was moderate with 1 large, steep hill, but what made it so hard was the heat! I would definitely recommend doing this walk on a cool day, in early morning or in winter. The waterhole itself was quite a nice, shady and enclosed area, but water was slightly murky. We climbed up a rope between two big rocks and jumped off them but the waterhole is best for just a paddle around and a play in the small rapids. For me, this walk felt a lot longer than it actually was.

Water...falls on Jan, 2017

Great walk but make sure you take plenty of water as there's nowhere to top up.
My partner stepped on a platypus in the shallows and was scratched pretty badly, so keep an eye out for wildlife!

Mariah Millington on Dec, 2016

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


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