27 June 2023.
Yellow Pinch Lookout proves that you don’t have to hike far to find epic views in Mount Barney National Park.
After just 1km of gradual uphill climbing, you’ll arrive at the Yellow Pinch Summit with the hulking pyramid peak of Mount Barney rising dramatically up ahead.
For anyone after a short walk that packs a big punch, Yellow Pinch Lookout gets you about as close to Mount Barney as you can go without setting out on the 8-hour slog to the actual summit.
It also makes a perfect afternoon addition to some of the national park’s other beautiful walks, like Lower Portals or Cronan Creek.
This guide covers everything you need to know for the short and sweet walk to Yellow Pinch Lookout.
Mount Barney National Park lies just west of Rathdowney between the major intersection of Mount Lindsey Highway and Boonah Rathdowney Road.
The Yellow Pinch Car Park can be reached from either side of this junction.
From the south, turn off the Mount Lindsey Highway onto Barney View Road at Palen Creek and after 10 minutes turn left onto Upper Logan Road.
From the Boonah Rathdowney Road, turn onto Upper Logan Road (you’ll see the big signs for the Olive Grove Cafe on the corner) and continue on for about 25 minutes, passing Barney View and Mount Barney Lodge.
The road is paved until the final few kilometres where you’ll hit the gravel, though this stretch is in good condition and easily manageable in a 2WD.
The Yellow Pinch Carpark marks the end of the road and you’ll find plenty of parking space here along with picnic tables, toilets, a large grassy area and a handful of hiking trails.
Yellow Pinch Lookout is the shortest of the Mount Barney walks at just 1km each way, but it certainly doesn’t skimp in the view department.
For those not able to hike the mighty Mount Barney or its incredible neighbour Mount Maroon, Yellow Pinch Lookout is an easy alternative that rewards visitors with panoramic views across the majestic peaks of the national park.
Beginning at the top right side of the car park, you’ll see a large information panel and pass through the pathogen control station before heading into the forest.
Tall eucalypts sway overhead providing dappled shade along the dusty trail that weaves between the trees.
The path meanders onwards in a wide arc while climbing gradually uphill.
After about 500m, lush grasses begin to crowd the trail and the way flattens out as you approach the large metal gate that marks Upper Logan Road.
If you’re planning to tackle some of the longer Mount Barney hikes, such as Cronan Creek or the Mount Barney Summit, through the turnstile and up the gravel road is the way to go. But to continue on to Yellow Pinch Lookout, you’ll need to swing around the sharp corner and head straight up the ridgeline.
The trail here is steep and rocky, lined with scraggly bushes that guide you forward beneath the trees.
From here it’s only a short push to the summit though and after just 300m you’ll emerge at Yellow Point Lookout.
Yellow Pinch stands parallel to the Mount Barney massif and as you arrive at the lookout, its rocky peak rears up dramatically before you amidst a sea of lush greenery that ripples across the folds of the mountain range.
Managing to nudge its way into virtually every Scenic Rim scene, the everpresent Mount Lindsey also makes an appearance, rising into its signature cup-cake-shaped summit over on the left.
With spectacular mountain peaks filling up the entire 180-degree vantage point, it’s an impressive sight and a particularly worthwhile reward after a mere 20 minutes on the trail.
Once you’ve spent some time soaking up the ridiculous views, simply head back the way you came. Once you reach the turnstile, you can either head back to the car park via the dirt road or the same trail you walked in on – they’re more or less the same distance.
Mount Barney Lodge | This sprawling eco-retreat is just 5 minutes from the Yellow Pinch Carpark and is perfect for exploring both Mount Maroon and Mount Barney. Accommodation options include camping, deluxe camper trailers, private cabins and a large, luxurious homestead. The Lodge also offers guided hikes and group expeditions. Check rates and availability here.
Barney Creek Cottages | Perched on the edge of Mount Barney National Park, this selection of charming self-catering cabins set beside a vineyard is a lovely choice in the area. Check rates and availability here.
Boonah Valley Motel | With all closer accommodations booked up over the Easter weekend, I opted for this lovely motel in Boonah which offers up spacious rooms that open up onto a large field where wallabies come to drink at the small dam. With a beautifully peaceful setting, this motel makes an excellent base for exploring the Scenic Rim and lies 50 minutes from Yellow Pinch. Check rates and availability here.
Boonah Motel | Located at the main roundabout as you leave Boonah, this affordable and friendly motel is a great budget option with a pool and outdoor terrace on site. Check rates and availability here.
* This post includes affiliate links and any purchases made through these links will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. *