Scenic Rim Region // Mount Barney (South-East QLD)

Scenic Rim Region // Mount Barney (South-East QLD)
Experience true untouched wilderness  Paradise for bushwalkers  Photogenic peaks  Grand scale
5.0Microadventure Rating

Mount Barney seems to loom and shadow over the park as you enter it. You are humbled by its size, scale and prominence as you get closer and closer to it. We were itching to start our climb, but that was tomorrow’s job!

Part of the ‘Scenic Rim’ Mount Barney is surrounded by World Heritage Gondwana rainforest and stands a cool 1354m high (1000m from surrounding plains). We had booked accommodation with the Mount Barney Lodge near the base of the mountain and were given a spectacular view for sunset while being treated with amazing photographic compositions. We had a beautiful site on the edge of the fence line with our own fire pit, table, and a view we won’t forget of Mt Maroon to the north.

We set off for the summit around 11:30am after a relaxing and laid back morning. Our planned route was South ‘Peasants’ Ridge, which is said to be the easiest way up and down the mountain, so we thought why not!
We started at Yellow Pinch Car park and walked about 3km until the start of the ascent. Walking through cold, damp rainforest made it a sublime experience that we won’t forget. The diversity and contrast of nature is the place is just incredible. The walk is stated as a grade 5 and a 6-8 hour return but it took us just over 5 hours to summit from Yellow Pinch car park as we had many rest breaks.
To be honest, the walk was hard and prolonged. It seemed as though the mountain didn’t end, meanwhile its scale haunted us as we looked up to the top feeling like we weren’t making any progress. There are some tricky parts like the chimney, where you climb about 10m vertical up rock, but in general the walk is just big boulders.
So after 4 hours climbing we reached a place called the ‘Rum Jungle’ located in the saddle, between the west peak and the east peak. To get to the east peak from here requires a 300m in elevation treacherous climb up a huge face which seems to go forever. Beware of false summits as many of these tricked us. It took us an hour to reach the summit from the saddle where we set up camp and got a few photos of the huge views. You can sense you’re up really high and you can feel this once you walk out to the viewing area on the summit.
Our night consisted of howling wind and freezing conditions but it didn’t drop our spirits because we were keen for the moody conditions in the morning. Forgetting the wind and the cold, it was absolutely sublime being on top of the world feeling so much power around us. Clouds were racing past us at 100kph, or so we think. We managed to get stunning moody photographic compositions which made the trip well worth it. It wasn’t the sunny sunrise we wanted but we got something special instead.
Around 9am we started our descent through thick cloud, hoping it wouldn’t rain. It was freezing until around 700m elevation where the temperature just seemed to hold off. We could finally take our jackets and thermals off and start descending for real. After 4.5 hours we reached the car park we set off a day earlier. Physically shattered but loved every moment of it. What an experience to camp on the top of Mount Barney in the conditions we did.

Essential Gear

  • A good tent: It can get extremely windy (80kph when we summited).
  • Warm gear in winter: Thermals, alpine jacket, beanie etc.
  • An excellent pair of hiking shoes that fit well because of its steep nature.
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping mat, cooking gear and enough food and water for climb up and down. I’d recommend 5-6 litres.
  • Camera with a wide and long lens for different perspectives, along with a tripod as it can get windy.
  • First aid kit.

How To Get There

Mount Barney National Park
120km or 2 hour drive south west from Brisbane through Beaudesert and Rathdowney.
Yellow pinch car park (where Peasants Ridge walk starts) is found just beyond the Mount Barney Lodge on Upper Logan Road.

Activities

  • Camping
  • Wildlife
  • Photography
  • Amazing views from the summit and surrounding peaks
  • Hiking
  • Climbing

Skill Level

Intermediate to expert. Requires a lot of fitness and some orienteering skills also.

Distance Covered

Peasants Ridge: Roughly 20km return / elevation gain of 1000m from Yellow pinch carpark to the summit.

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