Mt Barney Lodge is a unique wilderness destination in the Scenic Rim within the footprint of “Australias Green Cauldron”. It is only 90 minutes drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It has been operating for 21 years as a privately owned 30 acre property. It is at the base of Mt Barney, and is nestled between two sections of the World Heritage-listed Mt Barney National park. The Scenic Rim has more than 50% of the land-based World Heritage-listed National Parks within it, and is part of the Border Ranges bioregion – listed as the most biodiverse in Australia.
Accommodation options include two genuine Queenslander Homesteads, two cabins, two deluxe camper trailers and camping. A range of eco accredited adventure activities are also available for kids and adults.
Mt Barney Lodge is a leader in Ecotourism who consistently operates at a high standard, and this is demonstrated through accreditation and awards:
• Ecotourism accreditation with Ecotourism Australia for accommodation and adventure activities
• “Green Travel Leader” status for accommodation and adventure activities
• 2012 TQUAL accreditation
• 2011 – Independently benchmarked as “world class micro business”
• Winner of QORF (Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation) Environmental Award 2007, 2008, 2010, and have achieved “Hall of Fame” status
• Finalist of Queensland Tourism Awards Ecotourism category – 2008,2009,2010
• “RV Friendly Destination” with CMCA (Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia)
Mt Barney Lodge was first established in 1991 by John and Jenny Larkin, who were pioneers in tourism at Mt Barney. They had the vision and passion to develop a sustainable tourism venture, even before the existence of formal eco-accreditation models. Their early planning and conservation work has allowed the 30 acre property to evolve from an intensively grazed cattle property, into an ecologically important “Land for Wildlife” adjacent to the National Park.
Innes and Tracey Larkin purchased the Lodge in 2006, and have added outdoor education and adventure activities, catering, and glamping to the business mix. They are careful to keep built infrastructure to a minimum, preferring to enable guests to experience natural areas within an unmodified environment. Mt Barney Lodge now has the capacity for up to 150 guests each night.
Mt Barney Lodge has established trusted connections with other local tourism business, developed packages, and initiated and drove successful collaborative events like “A World Apart” (food and wine festival) and “Adopt A Road” (tourism operators and community taking the initiative to remove roadside litter four times a year from the Mt Barney precinct). Through actions such as these, Mt Barney Lodge truly has achieved a balanced and high quality “triple-bottom line” Ecotourism business.
The original business motto - “Share Our Wilderness Heritage” - continues with Tracey and Innes. Mt Barney Lodge now uses a variety of educational strategies to impart understanding and appreciation of the natural environment, conservation, and cultural understanding. These include explanatory signage, a guest compendium with a strong focus on the natural environment, onsite owner/managers who give freely of their time to unlock the treasures of the National Park, and passionate staff who are also able to interpret the local environment for guests during eco activities and programs.
Outdoor Education and adventure activities are a strong component of the business that is unmatched by our competitors. This is underpinned by our experienced and qualified leaders, small group ratios, sustainability and natural area focus in the tailored programs, and a range of adventure options including; rockclimbing, abseiling, expedition and centre-based programs, group facilitation, hiking, and creek activities.
The characteristics and operations of the Lodge reflect a commitment to best-practice sustainable tourism, and pro-actively reduce the ecological footprint of business operations in a way that makes the guests Ecotourism experience real and purposeful. From building design features, to waste management, from regional food supplemented by the permaculture garden to non-impact eco-adventure experiences; the key common factor Mt Barney Lodge provides any market segment is a genuine ecotourism experience.
The onsite conservation and rehabilitation work continues; the onsite gullies and creek frontage are managed through weed control and replanting efforts to encourage natural wildlife corridors, more trees are replanted annually during National Tree Day, including habitat for the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo (note: Mt Barney Lodge is the only private business Partner of the Glossy Black Conservancy), and directed conservation activities during education camps. The property now benefits from an effective microclimate from the mature native revegetation.