Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mt Barney, Lower Portals.

27th May

Today I returned to bush walking in Australia. A 1 1/2 hour drive took us through winter dressed, pastoral vistas, to the Mt Barney, Lower Portals. At 12kms return it was a hike of contrasts. The elevation may not have been as high as in our European adventures [still to post] , but it was hard work. The vistas weren't as huge, but still humbling. The vegetation wasn't the vibrant greens, but its aromas are unique. The cowbells weren't ringing, but the wallabies were jumping. Yes it was great to be back in the bush down under.

8am - nearing our destination.
Mt Barney

It was 3 1/2 kms into Barney Creek, on varied trail.

Aussie trails are frustratingly, undocumented and sign posted. Today we had come armed with a new GPS app and notes, but we still lost time struggling to find trail.

Arrival at Mt Barney Creek - the force of the Cyclone Debbie flooding was all too evident.



Up stream and Mt Barney.

The crossing of Barney Creek - boots off to ensure they stayed dry - icey cold!

We followed the creek bank on flat trail for approx a kilometre and found the hole in the rocks which took us to the beauty of The Lower Portals.

From here on, rarely was the going simple.
'Now which big boulder are we looking for?'

If we weren't in the creek bed, we were going steep up or steep down.

Yes, we were a tad excited to reach the Mt Barney view point.

Then it was back down to the upper side of the creek, to rock hop to Mt Barney Falls.

Time got away from us, so the falls weren't reached. After a snack break, we retraced our steps to the point where we had joined the creek, after the viewing climb. Our notes said we were able to continue downstream to the Portals, but first we had to cross to the opposite bank.

Rachel style.

Janice style.

We assume that the force of the 'Debbie' flooding removed the trail suggested in our notes, that should of allowed us to pass through this narrow steep section. There didn't appear to be any trail climbing over and around the cliffs either. Disappointed but happy with our day, we retraced our steps back upstream to the ridge climb and back to the creek crossing. It is winter, but we were so hot and sweaty that Janice and I also decided to also take a dip to refresh ourselves for the last kilometres back to the car.

We always make time for laughter and nonsense. 

Snack time - Rachel 'bravely' chose to cool off, while Janice munched on a 'rock' sandwich.

On the trail out, we spotted a 'koala'.

All in all, it was a very successful day of hiking and enjoying our unique Aussie bush. The colour, smoothness and size of the rocks and boulders was awesome. The sound of the tumbling stream, rock hopping and reward for effort, had my happiness metre soaring.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. That looks like quite strenuous walk. Your antics made me smile :)

  2. Good to see you back to hiking "down under!" Love the zany photos of you and your friends.

  3. The water looked crystal clear. I think I would break my neck trying to walk across the fallen logs. It looks like you had a wonderful time with your friends!

  4. It appears to be perfect walking weather... Cool enough. Love the marsupial observer, and I love the way you framed that shot. It's always good to get back home, isn't it...

  5. Hard to believe it is "WINTER" there.

    1. The nearest snow is over a 1000 kilometres away. Winter is the best time for hiking.

  6. And I thought that was a kangaroo... :)
    Wonderful photos.
    Thank you for letting me know you are on Instagram. You have a great selection of very interesting photos there!

    1. Your opening comment, Sara, got me thinking - have I named this animal correctly. I've done a lot of googling and I cannot conclusively state that this is a wallaby or kangaroo. Wallabies tend to be smaller, hence why I named it - wallaby. Their features are very similar. The length of their forearms is a good indication, after comparing my shot to multiple shots on-line, I have decided it is a small kangaroo. Clever you!

  7. Must have been quite a contrast with your European hikes, looking forward to those posts