Rathdowney and Mt Barney

Adventurers and lovers of the great outdoors stop here. Explore the Gondwana Rainforest, camp in beautiful natural surrounds and conquer Mt Barney, a dominant feature of the local landscape.


The Scenic Rim’s southern region is home to some of Queensland’s most impressive walking and climbing tracks. Begin your journey into the south with a visit to Rathdowney, which lies about 32km out of Beaudesert. Rathdowney began life in the early 1900s as a service centre to new farming districts and was once serviced by a tramway to Beaudesert. These days there are a number of scenic roads which bring you to town.

The area’s history is well-recorded in the local museum, where you will learn about the struggles of the town’s pioneering men and women.

Rathdowney is also the gateway to a myriad of walks and climbs available in the nearby Mt Barney National Park, which was named after its highest peak.

The Park’s two majestic mountains, Mt Barney and Mt Lindesay, are distinctive markers in the Scenic Rim landscape.
On some days, they can seem so surreal, they make a breathtaking backdrop and have become famous landmarks in South East Queensland.

Mt Barney, which at 1354m high is Southern Queensland’s second-highest peak, is visible from many points throughout the Scenic Rim. It rises above surrounding farmlands in the Mt Barney National Park, which straddles the Queensland-New South Wales border. The rugged peaks are all that remain of the ancient Focal Peak Shield Volcano which erupted 24 million years ago.

Mt Barney

Mt Barney National Park is World Heritage listed and is designated a wilderness park, which means there are very few maintained walking tracks within the park. And that’s why so many visitors love this park, they’re seeing the habitat in its true and original form, untouched by human hand. Subsequently there are many rare and restricted plant species, especially on higher peaks.

Mt Barney is surrounded by valleys, caves, rock pools and woodland forest, and a number of tourism based businesses operate in the foothills of this dramatic mountain.

Meet an alpaca breeder, learn to make authentic Italian cuisine, go bird watching, walk through a local olive grove and take some fresh-pressed oil with you. Drink wine made from Mt Barney grapes.

There’s plenty of places to stay for a night, warm, luxurious stop-overs with generous hosts who will soothe body and soul after a busy day in the park. There are lodges that are perfect for larger gatherings and cottages for the romantics. Bring the kids and visit a farmstay where you’ll get an insight into the workings of a busy rural property.

Rathdowney and Mt Barney

Things to do

  • Cuddle an alpaca, these fascinating animals can keep you amused (and warm) for hours
  • Learn to cook authentic Italian cuisine and savour the results over a local drop
  • Visit a working farm, get up close and personal with the animals, or explore on horseback
  • Taste some Scenic Rim olives, olive oil and dukkah
  • Feeling fit? The local mountain climbing and abseiling activities will test you
  • Swim in a natural rockpool or take an eco/wildlife tour with qualified leaders
  • Snuggle up beside a warm wood fire at night
  • Try a spot of fishing at Lake Maroon