Cronan Creek Falls is a hidden gem in Mt Barney National Park. With a naturally formed pool at the base of the waterfall and beautifully clear waters, it is an ideal place to try out bush swimming.
Location: Yellow Pinch Trailhead, Upper Logan Rd, Mt Barney QLD 4287
Walking Distance: 12km, out and back track (6km each way)
Elevation: approximately 150m
Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (steep elevation for the beginning half km), half a dozen creek crossings
Cost/Permit: Only required if camping
Opening Times: Some tracks closed occasionally for maintenance
Facilities: Parking for dozens of vehicles at Yellow Pinch Trailhead, toilets, picnic tables, Information Boards
What to Take: Insect repellent, picnic, camera, swimmers, hat, sunscreen
Yellow Pinch Trailhead is the starting place for Cronan Creek Falls as well as Mt Barney Summit Routes. Even though the drive to Yellow Pinch Trailhead involves about 5km of dirt road, a 4WD is not necessary.
There are multiple information boards at the beginning of the trail giving information on flaura, fauna, traditional owners, geological formation, maps and safety.
There are 2 tracks leading from the trailhead. The one on the left, the main one, is wide enough for a vehicle. The first 500m is steep and rocky. The track on the right is single file only, and a gentler slope. The 2 tracks meet after about 500m where another track branches off taking you to Yellow Pinch lookout. Although it is a strenuous hike to the lookout, it is well worth the effort. The lookout provides spectacular views of the very impressive Mt Barney.
All but 100m of the remainder of the track to Cronan Creek Falls is wide enough for a vehicle. Getting lost would be nearly impossible. Short lengths of the track are exposed, however, most of the track is shaded. My Lindesay, looking like a fez with a pom-pom on top, can been seen early on in the bushwalk.
Half a dozen creek crossings are required. A couple of them are as simple as an inch of water flowing over a concrete path. The remainder require a bit of rock hopping. Expect to get wet feet!
After passing 2 camping spots, about 2km further, on the left, is the turnoff to the falls. The final 100m is a deviation from the main track. It’s easy to miss if you’re not actively looking for it.
Cronan Creek Falls are approximately 10m tall. The secluded setting has a naturally formed water hole that beckons you in for a swim. In April, the water was bone chillingly cold. But so worth it!
20-50m downstream of the falls are some well placed boulders, calling out for you to stay a while and have a picnic, before turning around and beginning your return journey.