Mt Barney - East Peak - Up South-East - Down South

Mt Barney National Park

Ascent of Mt Barney via South East Ridge and descent via Peasants Ridge: a challenging but rewarding hike. The views are amazing and certainly worth the effort. If coming from Brisbane leave early and aim to be at Yellow Pinch car park by 7:30-8 am. Allow 3-4 hours for the ascent via the South East Ridge track and 2-3 hours for decent via South Ridge (Peasants Ridge) track.

Scrambling or Climbing
Navigation Required
Camping Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there

Access from Yellowpinch picnic area on Upper Logan Rd (enter "Yellowpinch" into GPS/Apple Maps and NOT Mount Barney!)


1:25K Mt Lindesay topographical map (Sun Map)
You can create a bespoke topographical map which can be downloaded as an image or PDF at QTopo

Route/Trail notes

13/08/18: Updated with new South-East Ridge trailhead info (image attached showing changes)

Start at the locked gate on the access road at the back of Yellowpinch carpark. Go around the gate and follow the gravel road uphill to Yellowpinch, go through the metal gate at the top and start walking downhill along the same gravel road. When you reach the bottom of the hill (approx 800m into the walk) there will be a cleared area on your right and you will see the NEW South-East Ridge trailhead; it is marked by a National Parks information board. Head along the path through the grass/shrub, cross the Logan River creek and then continue along the footpad up the steady incline. Approx. 1.5km into the walk you will reach an intersection; left going downhill and right continuing up the incline. This is where you join on to the traditional SER track. Take the right uphill, the incline will increase noticeably as the real ascent now begins. Continue along the footpath; when you come to a rock outcrop go to the right and keep heading up hill. At the next outcrop go left then right, where you should end up on a narrow ridge. Keep going up until you come to a steep deep gully go down and heading to the left climb an obvious route up. Keep going up past a razorback ridge. Where after a while you will come to a shallow gully where you head uphill to the right to a rocky slab that is a bit slippery so be careful. Keep going up hill follow the trail until another steep section and rock slab. Keep going and the summit soon comes into view. Keep going uphill with a few scrambles to the top of a rocky knoll. I found I reached here in about 3 and half hours from Yelllowpinch and followed the faint trail through scrub uphill to the summit.

Once you finish enjoying the summit head west and downhill for about an hour aiming for the faint circle of the old Barney Hut There are obviously many different descent routes some over rock slabs some down gullies. Generally follow a south by south west bearing.  Once at the Campsite cross the creek and move uphill to Rum Jungle Campsite. The route out goes uphill with some arrows showing the way. After 10 mins or so the route descends. Keep the rocks to your left as the track steeply descends a narrow rocky ridge. When you descend to a small clearing the trail turns right then left and keep going down till you come to a steep rocky slab that can be slippery. Descend this carefully! keep following the path downhill till you reach the sign at the beginning of Peasants Ridge. Follow the road to the beginning of SE Ridge and retrace your steps back to the carpark at Yellowpinch. This walk was done when the weather was good and rock dry.


If you camp anywhere in Mt Barney National Park, the cost is $6.15.

Other References

Take A Walk In South East Queensland. Rob Rankin Secrets of the Scenic Rim


An excellent morning out! Navigation is relatively straightforward with a bit of prep and trail awareness. It was better signed than I expected and although the path is sometimes faint, it is evident all the way. I left Yellow Pinch carpark at 7:00am and ascended via the SE ridge. I was on the East Summit two hours after leaving the carpark. I crossed the Rum Jungle and made it to the West Summit by 10:10am. Then descended by Peasants. I made the short detour to the Yellow Pinch Lookout which was worth it for a splendid panorama of Mt Barney and also an interesting information board about the geology. I returned to the carpark at 12:40pm. The entire hike from start to finish took me five hours and forty minutes. I did a bit of trail running on the approach and descent. I definitely recommend tagging the West Summit. I mean can you really say you climbed Barney if you didn't hit the high point? Also, it is a lot less visited so the trail is harder to find, making for a good bit of sport.

Damo.M on 21 Feb, 2023

Another beautiful day on Barney.. Scrambling sections near the top get pretty wet when it's a cloudy morning so slowed us down a touch.

3.5 hours up
2 down peasants

Amanda J on 12 Apr, 2022

As many others have said, it is challenging but rewarding. Views are pretty awesome the whole way up and the track is fairly easy to find/assess although there are quite a few spurs which diverge. We found the last half of the climb thrilling. There are a couple of ranger's markers on the ascent at the moment, mainly at about 1/3 the way up and then at the final ascent through the exposed gully.

At the moment there are a couple of ropes on faces/steps about 2/3 of the way up to help haul yourself or packs. When you come to about the last 1/4 of ascent the peak can look intimidating, there is a lot of scrambling (borderline climbing) in an exposed rocky gully where the east face threatens you with falling. Wouldn't recommend in the wet without some ropes.

Descent was straightforward, there is a section about 1/2 the way down from the rum jungle, where the obvious track may seem to keep to the east of the south ridge. It actually diverges west and over some rocky outcrop. We took the east route and had to navigate west back to the main track (on an obvious track) at the base of a big fairly smooth rock face, with a big fallen tree on it.

Our group (young and fit) completed this route in just under 9 hrs return to Mt Barney Lodge Country Retreat, including time for exploring campsites, photography, eating and a swim. If we could do it again we would start an hour+ before sunrise.

Went through about 3.5L water each on a day with no cloud and high of about 30 degrees. Definitely take at least 4L each. It rained quite heavily ~4 days before, the gorge creek in the east-west saddle was running nicely while we were there, could definitely be used for a top up given recent enough rain.

Make sure you know what you are getting into when you attempt this route. Be adequately prepared physically, mentally and with your gear. There is not much shade on this ascent. Use the ranger's checklists for this walk.

asherbasher on 6 Oct, 2021

This has been the big ticket item on the hiking bucket list for a long time. The Southeast ridge can be quite intimidating towards the top, and it started drizzling while we were up there but luckily not too badly. I can see how people could get lost in places but if you have a map downloaded you should be fine. Favourite part would have to be scrambling down the saddle side of the east peak. Doable in a day but would also be nice to stay up in the Rum Jungle campsite.

JayWalker on 28 Sep, 2021

Quite a big day. Take a lot of water. Might be easy to get lost or fall off so be careful.

Bruce on Aug, 2021

10hrs from carpark to carpark, 4up/5down with 1hr up top. (Had quite a few mini-breaks & a friend with an ankle injury on way down though, so definitely could of been done faster by us 30+yr olds with very average fitness.)
Survived on 2L water but would either take more next time or refill up top with Aquatabs (if stream is running).
A bit too long of a hike for my preference but it was still good, with great views up top and some interesting visuals through the walk (e.g. Regrowth & hollowed out trees from fires & the Palm Valley area.)
Strenuous hike but I wouldn't call it too difficult or too dangerous in regards to technical movements. Just make sure you have good grippy shoes! (Long legs & a calm mind also help though.)

Sando on 31 Jul, 2021

Did this one with a meetup group, 4.5 hrs up and 4.5 hrs down, will definitely come back with people who are a little bit faster. Bring warm clothes as the wind chill can feel like zero degrees Celsius. Not as challenging as I thought it would be, the biggest issue is that it's long and you do get tired toward the end (knees got a little sore for sure).

Anonymous on 29 May, 2021

Really rewarding hike, a lot of scrambling. Weather can change very quickly so be sure to bring waterproof jacket & moisture wicking base & midlayer clothes especially during colder months. Planning to do the South East Ridge for the 4th time & descent via the same route. Done this on rainy & windy conditions & had trouble navigating due to thick clouds.Barney would keep your heart pumping well , view is beautiful beautiful. Would do this again with the Mount Hibok Hibok girls.

Michael Barcelon on 27 Mar, 2021

Probably the hardest thing you can do on the Gold Coast. But definitely worth it. Even though not overall signed posted, but easy to navigate

Kieran Wiggins on 2021

Really Tough, tho I've just turned 60. took 4l water: not enough. the ascent was 4 limbed scramble sometimes, coming down on loose surface not much better. Tremendous views along the way. I feel a real achievement

stuart on 29 Dec, 2020

First attempt of South East Ridge and also going solo. Made it up through the cloud and fog, what a spectacular trail. Went across to West Peak, the wildflowers were everywhere. Will definitely be doing this again.

Kelvski on 17 Oct, 2020

My wife and I did this in early October. Picked a great weekend for it, sunny weather but not too warm. Probably wouldn't want to do it later in the season for the sake of avoiding the summer heat and risk of running into snakes. None of us had done Mt Barney before and reading on this forum we were a bit scared, however, now after I must say that a lot of people here are exaggerating the level of difficulty of this trail. Is it long distance to cover, a long day out and strenuous? Yes, sure thing. Is it technically difficult? No, not the slightest. Is there a risk to get lost? No, then you have to be really – I mean REALLY – bad at navigating. Going up the South east ridge there is pretty much only one trail to follow the hole time, and since you are going upwards, there's not many options to choose anyways, and where there were options, most trails seems to converge and take you there anyways. From memory there were only two places where we reached a cliff face and you could go either left or right, we tried one way first 30 meters and evaluated and it seemed to be incorrect, so we just traced our steps back and tried the other way - bingo! The other place there was a rope to indicate the right way onward. As simple as that. To me, Flinders peak was more difficult/strenuous. If you've done either that or Mt Maroon you fix this one easy. Not to worry.

We started at 5.30am taking South East Ridge summit trail which entailed climbing up 1100m within 5km, it took us 5hrs to the summit. We then took South Ridge route down, if yet not as steep it turned out to be even more challenging descending than going up.. It took us 1 hour only to get from the top to Rum Jungle, hey that part was really tiresome and boring. The way done from there was characterised by very slippery rocks and lots of loose gravel.. :S In total ~15km in 10.5 hrs, including 1 hour brunch stop on the top..

To summarise: thrilling and scenic on the way up, but the views from the top were a bit of a disappointment, Mt Maroon is more scenic both the hike itself and the views from the top (and you see Mt Barney from there which is pretty majestic). The way down the South ridge is outright boring. Just a transport stretch basically. Consider going down South East ridge instead, shorter, more exciting and more scenic. Part of the disappointment was also due to the recent bushfires I think, as much of the vegetation was gone from the top down.

Owie on 10 Oct, 2020

Went up with two people who'd been before, highly recommend not going up without someone experienced or being really experienced (including navigation) yourself. Our day took 10 and a half hours because of the different fitness levels in our group. The scrambles were super fun, a little challenging but if you're a confident scrambler (or do bouldering) should be no problems. It was pretty wet when we did it, but the rock was good and it wasn't actively raining when we were on the hard bits. It was really windy, definitely take layers and a rain jacket and more water than you think you need (I ran out because I drank about 3 times as much as I usually do) but thankfully our experienced guides had surplus water). The descent is really hard on the knees, I was very thankful for lugging my poles all that way to use them on the last bit of the hike. Also it's not 13km... add on an extra 3km from the Yellowpinch trailhead. Definitely the hardest hike I've done, not for the inexperienced or unprepared but so very rewarding. Absolutely epic.

sarasvati on 26 Jul, 2020

It was very windy. There is a section if you're short (like me), you need help from someone to pull you up. Preparation is a must. I read comments and suggestions on this page, this helps me a lot.
I enjoy this walk so much.

Nok on 4 Jul, 2020

Amazing walk. Very challenging rock scrambling. 6hrs to climb up, 5hrs back down. Hard on the legs by the end of the day. Totally loved it.
Guided by Mt Barney Lodge - they are the best!

Wez on 21 Aug, 2019

Track is relatively easy to follow going up and although strenuous and steep the climbing except for a few small sections isn't overly technical. Definitely a good level of fitness and a cool head needed. Descending down south ridge I found to be difficult to navigate at points and markers are missing at crucial points. Ended up losing the track after I descended down the wrong piece of rock.
A bit of bush bashing and I reconnected with the track. Overall beautiful mountain and great views from SE ridge and the peak.

Pped on 17 Aug, 2019

Not a walk ! Better defined as bouldering. 2hrs to the top and 3 hrs down, that included getting lost on 3 occasions. Very poorly marked with only 6 triangular signs, compared to south summit that has 36. This seriously tested my vertigo especially the last bit next to the ridge.
On Strava

James Mangold on 16 Aug, 2019

Hiked up and down SE Ridge again with another 70 year old on Wednesday to celebrate belated birthdays and had an awesome day in spite of the arctic wind. I agree with walkingwithtim, although some new arrows have been added, they seem to be in strange places, usually where there is no alternative and absent from the spots where they are most needed, particularly when descending.

jgmansell on 5 Jun, 2019

Very tough hike. This was my first time to hike the juggernaut barney. Not sure if I would do it again.

Chris Park on 20 May, 2019

Left the car park at 8am, returned at 4pm and followed the service road to the start of the south east ascent.
The walk started off really well, it’s steep and very steep in places.
Navigated across the Razorback with little effort but you do need a head for heights as to the left it drops right off.
Once past this point you come across a variety of challenges so be very aware of your footings. It can be slippy and attempting this in the rain would be treacherous so avoid if possible.
We came up to the first rock slab, not too bad but foot and finger holds are slippy even in dry weather so take care. This is also near to the edge so again nerves of steel needed. This is where the trail (loose term here) goes round to the left of the false summit, again slippy and the edges drop off. Once round you get up top and work your way to another slab. From here it’s a rock climb near edges to the top so be careful.
Got to the top for a well earned rest and then headed down the South ridge side. Not as easy as it sounded and basically just headed down and to the left. We stumbled across a tent site and found markers from there but it was vague until that point.
A longer walk back than expected and tough on the knees so take your time.
just under 18kms for the entire trek and more risky than i would have liked. Not for kids guys

Rob on 25 Apr, 2019


Click here to load this map.

Nearby Walks

Done this walk?

This walk has been ticked 168 times

Aussie Bushwalking can keep track of your bushwalks.

Login/signup to tick this walk off.

Tick walks to keep track of where you've been. You must Login to tick walks. Accounts are 100% free so sign up if you don't have one.