Mt Barney - East Peak - South Ridge

Mt Barney National Park
Many walks are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please,
  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

South Ridge is the easiest track up Mt Barney (but it's NOT easy!). Sometimes referred to as Peasants' Ridge (a dig that only Peasants would take such a boring route up the mountain), South Ridge is an excellent choice for a first ascent of Barney. The track has triangular trail markers but there are still opportunities for navigational difficulties if you're inexperienced.

You MUST start early in the day. Expected time is 8-10 hours with almost 1200m of climbing from the carpark. Make sure to leave early to allow time for any mishaps and be prepared to turn back if necessary.

Lookouts
Scrambling or Climbing
Navigation Required
No Dogs Permitted
Eucalypt Forest

Getting there

The walk starts from the Yellow Pinch carpark. From the Mount Lindesay Highway travel through Rathdowney and turn right on to the Boonah-Rathdowney Road. Turn left 8km later onto Barney View-Upper Logan Road. Follow the signs past Bigriggen, Flanagans Reserve and the Lower Portals turn off to Yellow Pinch at the end of this road.

Maps

Topographical maps can be generated from the government's QTopo website: http://qtopo.dnrm.qld.gov.au/Mobile/

Route/Trail notes

Start on the track up and over Yellow Pinch from the end of the carpark. This short but steep climb will give you a bit of a taste of what is to come. Halfway up Yellow Pinch there is a gate on your left. Follow the fire trail through this gate.

After approximately an hour's walk along this trail you will reach a signed fork. This is the start of the South Ridge. Take note of the picture of the triangular trail markers you will follow later on the track. Follow the right fork to begin your climb.

The track is well defined for quite a way past this fork. Eventually you'll reach some scrambling areas. Keep an eye out for the triangular route markers and make sure to look back regularly to help with the return navigation. There are two rock sections that stand out: one a large slightly exposed slab with a crack running through it, and the other, a narrow staircase.

The South Ridge ends at a knoll, which means you'll actually descend into the saddle between the East and West Peaks. After traversing this knoll you'll enter the Rum Jungle. Depending on speed, the climb so far will take 3-4 hours. This is a great place for a rest, or continue on a few minutes to the Old Hut campground (just over the creek). You can top up your water in the creek if it is running.

There are no distinct tracks up to the East Peak, general advice is to go up! Make sure to look back early in your climb to identify the Old Hut site. You'll want to aim for this on your return journey. After a few false summits you'll reach the peak. Expect this to take 5-6 hours from leaving the carpark.

During the return be careful to retrace your steps. Remember when you come out of the Rum Jungle you need to climb over a knoll before starting your descent. A fork at the start of this knoll heads immediately downhill but this track will take you via Egan Creek, a much tougher route. Keep an eye our for the route markers to confirm you're on track.

Permits/Costs

Climbing the mountain is free. There are costs for using either of the campgrounds in the East-West saddle.

Other References

TODO: List some guidebooks

Comments

Highly recommend. Took us 9 hours (incl 1 hour lunch + breaks).

Olga on 17 Jul, 2021

Not to repeat previous comments, please take note of everyone's warnings..., losing the trail is the number one issue, but it really will take 5 hrs to the peak of you are averagely fit or older (60 ish). Btw We went up/down south ridge. Totally agree that it isn't very technical, short scrambles. Basically, if you find yourself climbing, you've gone the wrong way!
Used a tracker app, was invaluable, recommended. Uses satellite. Phone on airplane mode. Accurate to within 2 metres. We went off track simply because i only checked the app periodically. It's not easy to find all the way markers (orange triangles but one was white!). Anyway, we started at 8am. Which left with no contingency for going off track and we were walking the last hour in the dark. (Take head torches) Try to leave before 7... To give time to enjoy the views. The camping area just after rum jungle by the creek is gorgeous. Shade and water (i hope the creek is flowing for you). Recommendation is carry 4L water but if there has been recent rain the creek after yellow pinch can be used to top up a bottle (add sterilizer tablet). Drink 300ml at the car park, sip as you climb over yellow pinch, refill. Again, if there has been rain you will be able to refill at the camp area Creek both on the way up and down. We were able to carry just two drink bottles and sterilization tablets in April...temps high 20's. I carry a sock to filter large particles when refilling.
Main issues:. Going off track, way markers sometimes hard to spot. (At one point there a marker pointing up and 6 feet to the left another pointing left). The undergrowth is trying it's best to cover the track, especially after Summer. Long pants, loose fitting are good. I had shorts and got a few scratches. I was more concerned about ticks... Got none but other seasons might be worse?
Shoes... Many areas are slippery either due to dry gravel or after rain where rocks have become exposed. It is extremely easy to slip. ( We probably had a dozen slips between us, luckily minor, but you could end up hitting your butt hard!)
Carry simple first aid, plasters and betadine. Stop and check your feet after a few hours, place plasters over red or sore areas. Take spare socks because damp skin is softened and subject to blisters. Fresh socks are a joy!

Dominic Clarke on 15 Apr, 2021

Took us 10 hours to complete the hike.
Not particularly difficult, just long. The scrambling is not technically difficult and isn't very long. The biggest challenge of the hike is not getting lost. Due to the thick lantana growing over the path, it is very hard to actually see the path.

Andy on 10 Apr, 2021

Cracker of a hike! Left at 06:00 and was up at East Peak by 09:30. The views were amazing. Will definitely be going up again.

Kelvski on 3 Oct, 2020

Finally after 3 failed plans to go, i got to summit this beast of a mountain today for the first time!!!!! We started at 8 am which is the recommended LATEST started time and it took us 9 hours there and back again including lunch, photo's, me being soft and having to rest all the time with my overloaded backpack. This is definitely not a mountain you should be trying unless you have moderate to high fitness, as you will not be able to complete it in the required time.

With this climb, preparation is the key. You need to build up to this one, do Mt Maroon a couple of times first. If you can do that quickly without any problems, you should be ready for Barney.

Even though the South East trail is the one known for it's dizzying heights and sketchy rock climbing sections, if you have vertigo, you may find some parts of this climb challenging. Make sure you bring a minimum of 4 litres of water, (if your'e planing on hitting this in the hotter months, take an electrolyte drink as well), good supportive shoes, lunch and snacks and a camera.\

Enjoy!!!

Nittus on 20 Sep, 2020

We had absolutely beautiful weather for our 9 hours on Mt Barney. We went off track a few times but very soon realised and got back on track. It was a well-marked trail. We stopped for food and sun baking at the creek. The scrambling was fun and a little challenging at times (my husband did it easily). We definitely felt our poor feet on the last hour back to the car park!

Whicheverway on 7 Jul, 2020

Challenging and rewarding mountain!
Had cloud engulf the mountain and then micro hail stones hit us out of nowhere making everything just a dificult to descend

Deon Krahe on 14 Aug, 2019

Pretty easy path to follow with minimal ways to get lost. The path to follow is easy but the hike itself is tough so be prepared for that.

Blowing a gale which means take enough warm clothes.

Magic place for views

Glenn on 10 Aug, 2019

Did the south east ridge / south ridge descent with a friend for the second time today. Managed to make it up and back after approx 5 hours, though last time we did it in about 7 hours.

One thing to keep in mind on the south ridge descent is to turn right for a slab descent at the number 5 SR marker. The trail continues to the left, though this isn’t the correct route. Not sure where the other path leads but I heard from others that it can be difficult to navigate back from.

Poggers on 23 Feb, 2019

I did this with a group of 9, camping at Rum Jungle overnight...was great to break up the walk, but hard with full packs. The rest of the group went to the summit while I stayed back and explored my surroundings, found the water pools to freshen up and resupply water.
A great challenge.

LadySim on 12 Jan, 2019

Ascent via South Ridge to Old Hut camp, summit east peak late afternoon. Down via South Ridge the following day.

3hrs5mins to campsite, 1hr to summit
2hrs40 back to south pinch carpark

jamo96 on 19 Dec, 2018

Started climbing early (6am). Slight navigation error as we reached the saddle meant we scrambled around some faint trails a bit and skipped Rum Jungle entirely. Picnic at the old hut site then up to East Peak for glorious views. Visited Rum Jungle on the way back down. Descent was quick but legs were complaining a lot! Plenty of water in the saddle creek.

Richard Mason on 2 Oct, 2018


Manon on 21 Sep, 2018

Incredible climb, started off at around 7:45am, would’ve liked to kick off a bit earlier but I was running late. It kicks into gear pretty quickly. I’m a novice climber so I knew this would be a challenge. A previous climber guided me up, so staying on track was easy as he knew the way very well. It was hard going for a long while until we reached rum jungle (I definitely would’ve gotten lost had I attempted it alone). Here it started to rain so I filled up my water at the creek and we waited until it eased. The entire peak was covered in fog so I knew we wouldn’t get views. The scramble up to the peak is very fun - daunting at first but really once you get into the rhythm, it isn’t that hard. Miraculously, we reached the peak and the fog had cleared - perfect 360 views for the 45mins we stayed up there. Decided to head off as it was getting late, coming back down the rock scramble was fun - a lot easier than I thought it would be when I was going up! Once we left the peak, the fog returned (it was meant to be) - smashed out the descent in just under 3hrs. Absolutely destroyed my knees but it was worth every second. Got down to the car at 5:30pm, just in time to watch the sun going down. Incredible day, there are no words. Definitely a good level of fitness needed, and lots of confidence in yourself.

Chantelle on 7 Apr, 2018

Hiked up and back to East Peak via South ridge (peasants ridge) for my first mt Barney hike. Challenging but very rewarding hike, views were spectacular, couldn't have asked for a clearer day. The track upto Rum Jungle was easy enougth to follow with only a couple of false tracks that could put you off cource. The track from Rum Jungle to East peak was a little more difficult and navigational skills are deffinitly recommended for this. Next time I will plan it to camp at Rum Jungle to split the walk across two days. Would rate it as hard, 18.5km, 9hrs.

Dan on 17 Mar, 2018

Early this year I started hiking as a way to regain some semblance of fitness and found I thoroughly enjoyed it. Somewhere along the line I caught the Barney Fever and set my goal to hike the Peasant Ridge.

A few months ago I thought I was ready and set out. Barney taught me otherwise. I only made it as far as the slab and returned to the car park defeated, but determined to train harder to make it next time.

So two days ago a friend and I set out once again, frustrated by all the recent wildfire closures that had prevented us going in the cooler weather. This was the most physically exhausting and mentally demanding thing I have ever done in my life. Somehow no matter how tired, how much I wanted to stop I kept going and we made it to Rum Jungle, then up the east peak to a small set of cliffs (1300m elevation) just shy of the summit. Running low on water (I had brought 5L, still not enough!) and exhausted we couldn't find an easy way around them so turned back. The hike back down was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Exhausted, dehydrated, we somehow put one foot in front of another and half-climbed, half-slid down Peasants Ridge again. I almost slid right off the slab on the way down, only avoiding it by hooking my foot on a tuft of grass.

The highest hike I had been on before this was Mt Joyce at Wyrralong Dam (which shares similar steepness of slope with Barney, but far less elevation). Still not bad for a guy who at the start of this year had shortness of breath walking down the hall to work, and did most of Peasants Ridge and the Summit while still weighing in somewhere over 120kg.

No matter how often you read this in other comments, I cannot stress it enough - be prepared for this one. If your debating the weight penalty of an extra litre of water, forget the weight - take the water. You'll regret it if you don't.

Cannot wait to go back next time, maybe on an over-nighter at Rum Jungle. It is a beautiful place to camp up there.

Kuhr on 30 Sep, 2017

3.5 hours up, 3 hours down to/from yellowpinch carpark plus 1 hour of sidetrack through the ferns at the base of the peak north along the creek and back up the creek to find the crossing to rum jungle.

Chris on 25 Apr, 2017

A great overnighter at either rum jungle or old hut. Be prepared: If there is a white out you can become lost easily. Good knowledge of the mountain or a topo map and compass will save you.

Zerpy on 19 Apr, 2017

Hiked up with full overnight packs in a group of six. Two of us had done the trip before but the rest hadn't. Took us aprox. 7 hrs each way. This is the most challenging walk I have done so far, love the views from the top and its never too hard. Some parts are pretty intimidating and it is almost essential to take track notes as some parts are not obvious where to go. Not much wildlife to see, a few bugs and some lizards at the top, but the real beauty is the landscape and that really you have to earn it.

Lawdaddy on Aug, 2016

We found our limit for 1 day, 12.5 hrs total, 7hrs up with a 6.15am start and down in 5 hrs by 6.45pm. We took the peasants ridge to the east summit (by 1pm). My 5 year old was just a tad slow, he never complained or struggled, just dawdled from rum jungle down. We never got lost and made it to the road width graded path before dark which guaranteed an easy walk without stressing. We had 4 layers on the top, pants, gloves, and beanies, 1.5 days of food, 8 litres of water, 2 headlamps and 2x200 lumen torches, GPS, GPS watch, a mobile phone, and a UHF. Everything but a tent which we will use for any mountaineering over this distance again - 14km round trip, and 1352mtrs high.
Gorgeous view and it made our previous trip up Mount Maroon look small.

father&son on 2 Jul, 2016

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