Creeks, Waterholes & Waterfalls of Mt Barney


Please be advised that due to current drought conditions in SE Queensland our creek and several other local water holes/swimming spots are dry! This information is valid as of November 2019, Please call the lodge to discuss conditions if you would like an "on the ground" update.

Cool off in secluded waterholes, explore shady creeks and find secret waterfalls this summer!

Mt Barney Lodge is conveniently located right next to the World Heritage-listed Mt Barney National Park in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast, and is not only well known for walking tracks close to Brisbane and the Gold Coast and climbing challenging mountains, but also for exploring picturesque creeks and cooling off in refreshing rock waterholes and waterfalls in the warmer months.

Stay with us and we'll share with you these hidden gems and UNLOCK directions to a hidden cave shower...


The Logan River passes right by the Lodge where our guests have easy access to their very own ‘water park’, that engages kids for longer than a kids swimming pool. Plenty of safe and shady areas for families and children can be found. 

The creek is free-flowing, usually crystal clear and is ideal for paddling and exploring. See us at the office for 'Nature Play' “mission cards” for kids activities at the creek.


Shady walking tracks follow the creek as well as easy rockhopping options that lead to even more secluded waterholes, but you’ll need to ask us where!

1. Split Rock Waterhole.

The narrow track to Split Rock waterhole is an easy 5 minute stroll and is only accessible from Mt Barney Lodge.


Split Rock water hole is perfectly secluded for a cooling swim for the whole family. Maps are available from the office.

2. Yellow Pinch waterhole.

Yellow Pinch waterhole is easily accessible and is only known by locals and guests staying at the Lodge. It’s great for a swim! Just ask us!



You won’t find much information (if any at all) about these hidden gems on the internet, and much of which is ‘sketchy’ and incomplete.

The sparkling Mt Barney Creek, Cronan Creek, and Logan River pass right through the Mt Barney National Park. But did you know that they feed secluded and less well-known waterholes and waterfalls? And they can be explored easily from the Lodge!


Stay with us at Mt Barney Lodge, not only will we share with you our local knowledge about these waterholes and creeks, but we’ll also share with you laminated maps and trail notes to help you find your way!

1. Yellow Pinch Circuit Walk/Rockhop


The off-track self-guided Yellowpinch Circuit rock-hop is a challenge, and it requires our local knowledge and a sense of adventure. Maps and information are available from the office.


And you will be rewarded with many secluded waterholes to cool off in as you explore the upper reaches of the Logan River.

During the wildflower season, keep an eye out for many rare orchids (such as the Bootlace Orchid), along the banks of the creek, clinging precariously to rocks and tree trunks.


Make sure you check with us about current conditions of the Yellow Pinch Circuit Walk and swimming holes before setting out for your walk. You’ll only be able to get a map with trail notes from us.

2. Cronan Creek Cascades Walk


Located in the heart of the Mt Barney National Park, the Cronan Creek Walk is well worth the 5 hour return walk. There are opportunities to plunge into icy cold waterholes along the way.


The well-marked trail is easy to follow through the ancient remnants of the Gondwana rainforest, but you will need ‘inside info’ on how to find this beautiful large waterfall!

This is a ‘staff favourite’ as it has a pool with a waterfall that you can sit behind, so make sure you have a chat with us and grab a map before you depart.



Some of the more well-known waterholes such as the beautiful Lower Portals which is accessed by a straightforward bushwalk, and Upper Portals, are relatively easy to access and are very popular amongst bush walkers and visitors as a place to swim. You can get directions from us at the office before you head out.

Stay with us and unlock directions to the hidden cave shower at the Lower Portals!


A 4wd is required to access the walking trail to The Upper Portals.


Don’t forget the Waterfall Creek Reserve is a quick detour on your drive. A short drive from Mt Barney Lodge allows you to explore this interesting rocky gorge and plunge-pool. Be sure to take a dip on your way home from a Mt May or Mt Maroon walk, or when hiking the Upper Portals.


If you would prefer to leave the reading of maps and following tracks to the experts, Mt Barney Lodge offers many guided walks or expeditions led by experienced outdoor leaders. They will share with you their extensive local knowledge of the flora and fauna found in the area. Find out more here. 


Although Mt Barney National Park has swimming holes very close to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the actual walking tracks within the park have very few sign posts, are remote, and receive minimum maintenance.

Always take plenty of water, be sun-smart and be prepared!

You can also find out more information from the Mt Barney National Park website here.

If you are staying with us and plan to explore the National Park, check with us for the most recent and updated weather, track and creek conditions.

Book your accommodation or camping here.