20.07 mi

Elevation gain

5,292 ft

Technical difficulty

Very difficult

Elevation loss

5,292 ft

Max elevation

4,441 ft


58 5

Min elevation

767 ft

Trail type

  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge
  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge
  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge
  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge
  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge
  • Photo of Barney Creek Source, Barney Spur and Midget Ridge


one day 8 hours 48 minutes




January 24, 2018


January 2018
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  • Scenery


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4,441 ft
767 ft
20.07 mi

Viewed 1191 times, downloaded 29 times

near Mount Barney, Queensland (Australia)

If you're not a big fan of regular well maintained trails this walk will certainly make you appreciate them. This walk was a particularly stout undertaking and could be more enjoyably done over three or even four days (though campsites are seriously limited on the Barney Spur section). However, even with a longer timeframe to complete this walk both a high level of fitness and scrambling ability will be required to safely complete it. Navigation aids such as a gps or topographic map + compass (or both) will be required for the barney spur as there are few views available throughout this section of the walk.

The walk starts from the upper portals carpark and the trail can be readily followed to Barney Creek. The creek is followed westwards (a description of this section Lower Portals to Barney Gorge junction is available from other walks I have done). Continuing westwards from barney gorge junction the gradient increases somewhat and the creek bed is generally comprised of many large boulders. When the Upper Portals are reached they are readily bypassed on the northern side using an old trail (complete with what I'm assuming are crafted rock steps).

From this point onwards gaitors will be useful there are some large pools present in the which can only be bypassed by bushbashing. However the section of Barney Creek up to the T-Junction is mostly flat and devoid of any waterfalls/other rocky obstacles. Rainforest lines Barney Creek from just after the Yamahra Creek junction and for the remainder of its length. There are two suitable campsites along this section of the river. the larger one is present at the junction of the Barney and Ballow Creeks and a much smaller one (could only fit two small tents) is present at the T-Junction (a single slabby boulder at the confluence of the upper reaches of barney creek). It is also worth noting that beyond the T-Junction the only defined campsite on the Barney Spur is present in the saddle to the west of Burrajum Peak (and good luck fitting more than a single tent there).

From the T-Junction to the start of the Barney Spur the creek narrows and becomes very scenic (it is quite comparable to the creeks present throughout the graded trail-walks in Lamington NP). Many small pools and three waterfalls need to contoured around to continue up the creek, though none of these obstacles are overly tricky. The final reaches of the creek should be avoided as they become thickly vegetated and hold a large population of wild pigs. I was interested in reaching the border to see if there was an old trail along its length, but I can safely tell you there is nothing there except jungle... The creek 200m above Falls 3 would likely provide a better route to attaining the barney spur and also readily accessible water up till near the saddle (it had a strong flow). Upon reaching the Barney Spur I chose to camp at the saddle above this creek (there was no campsite at this location though).

The defining feature of the barney spur is that it's well vegetated. Relatively open rainforest is present up till the ascent towards Burrajum Peak with only some understory. I used a waterpoint just off the spur to refill before ascending Burrajum Peak (you would likely need to travel much further down this creek to collect water under dry conditions though). Ascending Burrajum Peak was rather nightmarish and I regularly found myself suspended in head-high, very sharp rushes. To avoid this painfull experience I would recommend staying on the ridge proper or just to the east of it when ascending towards the saddle below Burrajum Peak. The section of the walk between this saddle and Savages ridge present a near impenetrably thick understory comprising of a variety of vegetation. Some of this thick understory can be avoided by heading into rainforest about 3/4 of the way down from Burrajum Peak and just before the saddle. A line of rocky outcrops on the south east side of the ascent up towards savages ridge would be best used to avoid vegetation where possible.

Savages ridge presents some excellent views and a worn footpad can be readily followed up to the summit of West Peak. Just below the summit you approach a rocky chute which provides a scrambling experience akin to that posed by Logans ridge and Tibro caves route (think exposure) and is by far the most difficult scrambling done on the walk. The best way to initially descend Midget Ridge from the summit of west peak remains a mystery to me. A line of slabby cliffs block the north side of West Peaks summit and can be passed on both the eastern or western side before contouring back to the ridge proper (I can advise that the eastern side is better vegetated than most people would appreciate...).

Midget Ridge itself is rather straightforward for the majority of its rather long length in comparison to the other ridges up barney. There is plenty of vegetation but also some open rocky outcrops: Think South ridge but longer, no path and plenty of loose rocks. There is one section of difficulty below Bippoh Peak where a line of near vertical slabs marks the divergence of a separate ridge. Keep to the eastern side of Midget ridge till you reach the top of these slabs where red tape on a tree marks the start of a descent route down the slabs. This route follows small patches of vegetation down the slabs then traverses across to the east about 20m above the base of the slabs (this traverse is also marked with red tape). It is also possible to contour completely around these steep slabs by following the western ridge down then walking east back to midget ridge (the exposure free option).

Rather than continue to the base of Midget Ridge I chose to drop down into Barney Gorge to avoid more vegetation and find some cooler conditions. The route I took was of similar character to the previously described scramble (minus the tape) and thus I would suggest dropping into Barney Gorge at a later point. Soon you arrive back on the welcome open expanses of rock hopping presented by Barney Creek.

Bippoh Peak

Altitude33 m
Created2018-01-24 21:42:33

Burrajum Peak

Altitude31 m
Created2018-01-24 21:41:26


Altitude732 m
Accuracy14 m
Created2018-01-23 14:38:13

Falls 2

Altitude789 m
Speed0.9 km/h
Accuracy17 m
Created2018-01-23 15:05:17

Falls 3

Altitude788 m
Accuracy18 m
Created2018-01-23 15:29:49

Lower Portals

Altitude32 m
Created2018-01-24 21:44:15

Savages Ridge

Altitude30 m
Created2018-01-24 21:45:21

Scenic cascades

Altitude692 m
Accuracy13 m
Created2018-01-23 14:08:10

Small water point

Altitude931 m
Accuracy10 m
Created2018-01-24 05:48:08

Upper Portals

Altitude33 m
Created2018-01-24 21:43:01

West Peak

Altitude32 m
Created2018-01-24 21:44:50

1 comment

  • Photo of Kbm63a

    Kbm63a Oct 11, 2020

    What a great right up. I keep this hike in mind when I think I need to be punished. I pretty sure that this is only way I have not climbed Barney and pretty sure now I in my late fifties , it will remain that way.

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