MOUNT BARNEY NATIONAL PARK
Hearts were pumping with joy as yet another successful year came to an end. With holidays coming closer work days became longer but hey, they had to come to an end!! And they did. Holidays were here and we were looking at living relaxed life all over again. We could not think of a better way to relax than spending these moments in the peaceful serenity of nature. Distinct advantage of living in Australia is that we are surrounded by lush nature all around. However, it also adds to the conundrum of where to go! As always Google came to rescue! Little bit of research and we had found this little gem of a track called Lower Portals located within Mount Barney National Park.
Mount Barney National Park is located about 120km south-west of Brisbane. You can get here either via Boonah or Rathdowney (click here for more details on getting there). We chose to go via Boonah as personally I think drive via Boonah is a lot more scenic than the alternative.
So we packed our bags the night before and got ready to leave early morning. The last day of the year was here and before we knew we were winding down the roads at Boonah. The beauty of this area always leaves me speechless. Just to give you an idea this is what we were driving through…
What a drive! If you love long scenic drives, this is for you. After about another 40 minutes of scenic drive we got to the entrance of Lower Portals Road, Mount Barney. So we were almost there.
We did not realise that we had to drive two kilometers along this dirt road and started to wonder if we were on the correct path. But after a little bumpy drive, we made it to the Lower Portals trek car park.
Lower Portals track is classified as Class 4 track according to Australian Standards and is about 7.4kms return to the car park. The walk is fairly tough, but achievable and definitely worth it. Look at the photos towards the end of this article and you will be convinced.
As we walked this track, we came across many families with small kids. We even got to listen to and learn some nursery rhymes. What made us really happy was to see parents doing their bit to show the kids how beautiful the real world is. Perhaps a bit of personal opinion, but I think smelling the forest and listening to the sounds of nature fills our heart with unique joy. At least I feel rejuvenated after such walks.
The track goes up and down many times, through variety of forests and terrains. Some small streams to cross along the way too. How exciting! It hadn’t been raining for few days so most of the streams were dry, but the one just before the Lower Portals waterhole was still flowing.
It was gorgeous. We would have spent a good 20 plus minutes photographing this area.
This was exciting us. We rushed to the Lower Portals destination. About 5 minutes’ walk from here we had reached the final destination.
What we didn’t know was paradise lied behind the rocks that we had to scramble under and climb over. We had to make a choice to get there and Option 1 (as seen below) seemed like the one for us as Option 2 required us to not have any meat on our bones!!
Good news is, this is all worth it!!! This is what you see on the other side and yes you are allowed to swim here.
Place is stunning. Water can be a bit cold, but so refreshing. You wouldn’t want to leave the place. Make sure you take your swimmers with you or you will repent. We sat, relaxed, ate our lunch, took hundreds of photos and loved every bit of it before we returned home.
Overall it was a very enjoyable day out and a great way to end 2015. If you love trekking and are visiting Brisbane or live around here, you should definitely try this one. Don’t forget to take lots of water and keep hydrated.