Lower Portals Track
Mount Barney National Park
Allow 3 hrs
Elevation gain (m):
Max. elevation (m):
Moderate (Grade 4)
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An undulating walk through changing vegetation which rewards weary legs with a chance to swim in one of the most beautiful waterholes in the region.
This heavily trafficked, well-marked trail starts from the car park at the end of Lower Portals Road in Mount Barney.
The trail makes its way through undulating terrain under towering eucalypts and among brush box trees, other natives and grassland.
The track is found in the foothills of Mount Barney and you can peak views of the imposing mountain through the tress at various points of the walk.
While there are few prolonged ascents, there is a decent amount of elevation gain on the walk, with short moderate to steep sections (some with steps) followed by descents and the odd plateaued section. The track is also quite rough in sections.
There are a number of creek crossings on the way, with Rocky Creek and Mount Barney Creek the most prominent. In wet conditions some other smaller creeks may start to flow.
Just prior to Mount Barney Creek you will pass through a metal gate/fence. Make your way to the creek and locate the small directional sign on the opposite side of the creek – this is the best place to cross Mount Barney Creek.
From there, head left – upstream – to the Lower Portals. To reach the portals, you will have to squeeze up, through and over some large boulders.
The portals are pristine and set within a rocky gorge, with water cascading over rocks into the pools. The crystal-clear water starts shallow, but there are some deep sections. It is the perfect place to cool down after the walk.
Track: Graded and well-signed, the track is relatively easy to follow, with some rough sections and steps.
Difficulty: The track requires a moderate level of fitness. While not a particularly long track, there is a lot of undulation and elevation gain. The track is also rough in sections, with many exposed rocks and tree roots, so care is needed. Care is also needed at the creek crossings, particularly after recent rain, where the creek can become flooded and the rocks slippery.
Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way that it came.
The trail starts from the car park at the end of Lower Portals Road in Mount Barney, 2 hours drive south-west of Brisbane.
The car park becomes very busy during peak times.
best time to go
The walk can be completed year-round and is busiest during the warmer months.
If visiting after recent rain, be sure to check the Queensland Parks website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.
Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.