Getting to Cronan Creek Falls (also known as the Secret Falls) starts the same way as all the Mount Barney summit routes. After a short ascent from the Yellow Pinch car park over a saddle, the track continues along an old forestry road. The first section is through fairly open land, with some views of Mount Barney in the distance.
After about 1.9km the trail crosses Logan River: this marks the point at which the trail enters Mount Barney National Park, and the landscape changes to more dense forest.
After the Logan River crossing, the trail continues along the valley soon reaching Cronan Creek (Cronan Creek flows into Logan River). It’s easy walking along the wide trail, which passes two official camping sites.
As well as the two camping sites, the firetrail provides access to three routes to the summit of Mount Barney East: the South East Ridge, “Old” South East Ridge and South Ridge. Two of the Mount Barney routes are marked by a sign, and the third trail is fairly obvious but has no signage.
The trail ascends fairly consistently but gently as it follows Conan Creek, crossing the creek a couple of times (unless there’s been recent heavy rain you should be able to “rock hop” across the creek without getting wet feet!).
It’s about 6.5km from Yellow Pinch carpark to Creek to a small sign marking the narrow bushwalking traiil to Cronan Creek Falls. There used to be a couple of cairns marking two different trails down to the waterfall, which is why there are some references to Cronan Creek Falls falls also being called the “Cronan Creek Secret Falls”. The track signage is now very obvious, although it’s quite a narrow and rough track through the rainforest down to the creek.
While the Cronan Creek Falls are not huge, its a beautiful spot with the water cascading into a small but deep pool. On a warm day, the Cronan Creek Falls would make a great swimming spot.
From the Cronan Creek Falls it’s back the same way to the car; I’ve added this walk to the end of an ascent of Mount Barney East, so I need to pack up my tent and collect overnight backpack on the way back. I haven’t seen a single person on the trail or at the Cronan Creek Falls, although it is winter and getting late in the day. However, even on a warmer day the relatively long walk to the falls means it’s unlikely to ever get busy.
More information on Cronan Creek Falls
There are multiple campsites along the track to Cronan Creek Falls: they must be booked and a small fee applies – you can do this on-line via the Queensland National Parks Booking Service. You’ll be able to print a Camping Tag to attach to your tent.
- John & Lyn Daley, “Take a Walk in South East Queensland“
- Robert Rankin, “Secrets of the Scenic Rim” has detailed notes on many walks in the area, including Mount Barney