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Barren Grounds Nature Reserve


Boasting spectacular views, amazing birdwatching and walking opportunities for all ages, Barren Grounds is perfect for a school excursion or family day out.

Read more about Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

Escape from the city for the day and immerse yourself in the unique and fragile landscape of Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. Almost completely encircled in rocky cliffs at the top of Jamberoo Pass, it has a wealth of birdlife and unique plant species. The heathland wildflowers burst with colour during spring.

With walks ranging from an easy 2km to a more challenging 20km, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. Head to Illawarra lookout or Cooks Nose for magnificent views of the Illawarra coastline and surrounding countryside. Or head off on Griffiths walking track and spend the day in the bush.

Barren Grounds is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with around 180 different species of birds. Keep your binoculars and cameras handy to catch a photo of honeyeaters, southern emu wrens, crimson rosellas, cockatoos and grey currawongs. You might even spot a threatened ground parrot or eastern bristlebird.


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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

Conservation program:

Saving our Species conservation program

Saving our Species is a innovative conservation program in NSW. It aims to halt and reverse the growing numbers of Australian animals and plants facing extinction. This program aims to secure as many threatened species that can be secured in the wild as possible, for the next 100 years. 

Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken


  • in the South Coast region
  • Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre
      (02) 4887 7270
      Contact hours: 9am-5pm daily (closed Christmas Day)
    • Morton National Park, Nowra Road, Fitzroy Falls NSW 2577
    • Fax: (02) 4887 7203
See more visitor info
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, Stone Bridge. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government