Rathdowney, 34 kilometres south of Beaudesert, is the gateway to the wilderness areas of Mount Barney National Park.

Bushwalkers and other visitors on their way to the mountains frequently stop at the information centre to find out about the adventures awaiting them in the national park.

The information centre also has a wealth of historical material about the local region. It describes how John Rankin took up the lease for Melcombe (Maroon) Station in the mid-1800s. Timber milling and dairying became the key industries for the early settlers.

Visit the information centre's website at www.rathdowney.org.au

Dairying, horse breeding and training remain important industries in the area today.

Rathdowney has a population of some 400 people who live in two distinct residential areas, to the east and west of the highway.

The town has retained its pleasant village character, helped by a low level of traffic along this section of the Mount Lindesay Highway.

Locals enjoy lawn bowls, equestrian activities, rugby league, soccer, cricket, touch football, tennis and fishing. The Rathdowney Hotel Social Fishing Club attracts thousands of fishermen to the town each Easter for its Carpbusting Competition.

The Rathdowney newsagency carries a limited range of groceries and takeaway food. Other facilities in Rathdowney include a hotel-motel, caravan park, services station and butcher.

The township has a primary school, memorial hall, churches, library, police station, voluntary fire brigade, voluntary ambulance and a swimming pool.