Sunday, 10 March 2019

Paddy's Peak - Scenic Rim

27 February

I woke to this sunrise greeting my day with such great promise. The promise was fulfilled!

The Scenic Rim has some challenging peaks, Mt Barney being number one. Several of my Gaiter Girls would love to climb them. I would too, but unfortunately I know that my body would tell me otherwise, once we reached the open scrambling sections. We are also not that great at map reading, so had often discussed paying someone to lead us on any ascent made.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a site for 'Horizon Guides' based at Boonah, just over an hour from my home. Teresa owns 'Far Out Doors', a camping and hiking store but offers day and overnight  hikes a number of times each month. The hikes offered beckoned and the cost was quite reasonable. Unfortunately neither Rachel, Mary or Janice were in a position at this time to book anything, but I chose to go by myself on the Paddy's Peak hike, a lower ridge nestled between Mt Barney and Mt Maroon.

This is Teresa's web page header, showing the peaks and ranges of the Scenic Rim.

The meeting point for the day was Boonah State School carpark at 7.45am. Keith, Gail and Melina were to be my fellow hiking companions. Teresa drove us to the trail head just over an hour away. The drive through farming countryside was quite depressing. Rain hasn't fallen here in a long time and the land in many areas, was horribly drought stricken.

Mt Maroon.
Paddy's Peak is immediately behind Maroon.

An old cabin, seen from where we parked, at the entrance to the trail head in Mt Barney National Park.

The hike is underway, initially along fire trail.

Almost immediately we crossed the trickle of Mt Barney Creek. 

Eucalypt forest and leaf litter contrasted with the vibrant green of the Grass Trees, all day. These grow only a centimetre a year.

After about a kilometre, we left the fire trail at a very dry Paddy's Creek, turning left to commence 'bush bashing' the ridge to Paddy's Peak. 

The dry creek bed.

Teresa's trail took us down to the creek here, for some rock scrambling.

The green of these staghorns was heartening, as so many we saw were browning off in the dry conditions.

A breather before the ascent of a steep, volcanic slab.

The slab ended but we weren't on top of the ridge.

Thankfully we veered to the right of this outcrop.

Rest stop here, with our first view of Mt Barney, after reaching the ridgeline to Paddy's Peak.

In hiding is the 'Wedding Cake, or Mt Lindsey',  a very special peak for me. 
I have wonderful childhood memories, of every winter, driving the winding dirt road around Mt Lindsey, which was often cloaked with cloud, on our trek north for a beach holiday.

Continuing on, the hiking was quite straight forward, and often with lovely views across to Mt Lindsey, Barney and the valley below.

Mt Barney - 1359 m.

Summit reached, 560 m with 180 degree views north.

We then backtracked a short distance to take a spur leading to the top of a huge rock waterfall slab, our lunch stop.

Mt Maroon - 996 m, seen to the left of where I was sitting.

The arrow points to a rocky knoll we headed to after lunch.

The back of the knoll.

About to scramble to its top.

Melina, a German backpacker working on a local farm, was thrilled to make it.

The view back to our rocky lunch spot and Mt Barney in the distance.

Leaving the knoll.

A short walk down through open forest brought us back to the fire trail and  to the top of Paddy's waterless waterfall, a 40 m drop over a rhyolite cliff.

Leaving the waterfall we had one more ruggard section to manouvre, allowing us to drop down to the original fire trail and the last few hundred metres back to Mt Barney Creek and the car.

Looking back to where we had descended.

A casual stroll back to the car.

Wow, what a marvelous day! The conditions were dry but it made for easy hiking and less chance of stumbling on a snake. None seen. The scenery was so typically Aussie bush and although filled with so much brown, it was still infused with so much beauty. To have someone else leading the group was sheer bliss for me. The views to Mt Barney were amazing but unfortuanately, confirmed that I won't be climbing her peak. I might add that the Gaiter Girls have hiked below Mt Barney, through its lower portals.

We will return and explore further.  Hopefully I will now be up to the challenge of leading them up to Paddy's Peak.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Congrats in bagging Mt Barney! Sometimes it's nice to have a guide to make the decisions and all you have to do is follow. Fantastic views from the top. Totally worth the trek!

    1. Alas Linda, it was only Paddy's Peak that was bagged but it was grest fun.

  2. Wow--- what a walk! Your ladybug looks a tad annoyed today.

  3. I am exhausted but glad to join you on this virtual walk. You mention the grass trees and how slow they grow. I saw from awesome giant grass trees at Coolah Tops National Park. Check our my images of them here

  4. The sunrise was a good omen for your hike. Parts of the hike looked pretty intense. We enjoy being on a bus rather than driving sometimes for the very same reasons you gave for choosing a guide for this hike. I'm glad you had a good day!

  5. Maravilhosas imagens.
    Prazer em conhecer seu blog.

  6. You answered the question that was on my mind when I saw the terraine - what about snakes? That was a lot of rock scrambling as well as ups and downs. Glad I could be an armchair hiker as I followed along on your adventure.

    1. So glad we had no snakes and that you enjoyed the armchair views. Totally opposite to the view from your window. Sooooo much snow! I hope you got my pelican photos.

  7. What interesting trees and so hilly. I hope you get some rain soon.

  8. Wonderful bush scenes. Thanks so much for the photos and info Helen.

  9. Thanks Ros. Have you climbed Mt Barney?

  10. Fabulous landscapes, Helen!
    The grass trees are my new favourites. :)
    I wish you not-too-hot days and some tender rain...

  11. Thank you Sara, both would be very welcome.

  12. I am in awe of your stamina and perseverance! Good for all of you! The pack on the rock looks like a giant ladybug! This looks like a really fabulous place to walk. I can only imagine the bird life there! With luck, I will get back to Australia next year so maybe I will experience some of this.

  13. Alas, there were very few birds to be seen or heard on this hike. I guess it maay have been from the dry conditions, but I am delighted that many desperate areas of SE Queensland have had wonderful falls of rain over the past few days, with more expected. I belong to a Facebook site called 'Who Got the Rain'. So much relief is being felt by the farmers who can now sow their winter crops.

  14. Wild bush walking, looked like fun but as non Aussie I’d have looking out for all things venomous!