Mt Barney is a total hiking mecca, a continual favourite for keen hikers in SE Queensland.

I love the year round waterholes – spending a day by the cool water, clambering up and jumping off the boulders, watching the resident monitors popping by for a drink.

I love the many and varied ascents of the mountain – through dry woodland, lush rainforest, with views eventually towards the north and the Main Range or more south towards Lamington, Wollumbin (Mount Warning), and the classic Mt Lindsey close-by.

My favourite visit was a time I backcountry hiked solo out the back of mountain, and camped the night up on the ridge. I’d dropped my camera off a ledge on the ascent, breaking the lens, and for the remainder of the day worried whether I’d be able to get it working again. In the final rays of the day, I managed to, and was just able to capture the scene from up top when the ridge lines to the west were all washed in gold. The stars that evening were incredible, and in the morning I sat perched on a rocky outcrop, watching the sunrise as my baked bean breakie warmed up in my trail-beaten trangia.

But as a hiker, what I love most about Mt Barney is its communal sense of solitude. People for eons have been attracted to and inspired on the flanks of this charismatic mountain. To experience these trails and environs such as countless people have before me, and to still be able to feel that same wild element of a mountainous environment, is truely special – and a credit to those with the foresight to protect such an awesome patch of the world.

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