Griffiths walking track
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Escape from the city and get back to nature on Griffiths walking track, offering outstanding views, great bushwalking and amazing birdwatching opportunities.
- Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
- 8km loop
- Time suggested
- 2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min
- Grade 3
- Please note
- It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
- Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
- There is no drinking water available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
- The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
- The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking
- There is limited/no mobile reception in this park
Start Griffiths walking track at Barren Grounds picnic area and before you know it, you’ll be standing at Illawarra lookout taking in the spectacular views. Your journey then takes you through the diverse vegetation of Barren Grounds – heathland, woodland, rainforest. In spring, you’ll be treated to the vibrant display of wildflowers, and in winter, large yellow swamp banksias in bloom. On the heath, you're most likely to come across honeyeaters and southern emu wrens. And, if you're lucky, you might even spot a ground parrot or bristlebird.
The walk continues across to the dramatic cliffs lining Kangaroo Valley, with view of the coastline beyond. Then, after a climb up to Saddleback Trig, it’s time to take a break, enjoy the surrounding views and a snack. From there, the track continues to one of the highlights of this walk, a lovely naturally formed stone bridge across Lamonds Creek. After crossing the bridge, continue along the trail back to Barren Grounds picnic area.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/griffiths-walking-track/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve 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.
All the practical information you need to know about Griffiths walking track.
Grade 3Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
2hrs 30min - 3hrs 30min
Quality of markings
Clearly sign posted
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Formed track, some obstacles
Some bushwalking experience recommended
Getting there and parking
Griffiths walking track is at the northern end of Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. To get there:
- Continue on the road from the reserve entrance for approximately 1km
- Griffiths walking track starts from Barren Grounds picnic area at the end of the road
Parking is available at Barren Grounds picnic area.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Enjoy spectacular views on a clear autumn day of the coastline and surrounds from Illawarra lookout.
Enjoy the colourful wildflower display in the reserve's upland heaths.
Escape the crowds on the coast for a peaceful picnic among nature.
Warm up with a brisk walk in the misty highlands and admire the flowering banksias.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
16°C and 5°C
8°C and 18°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre
1301 Nowra Road, Fitzroy Falls NSW 2577
- 9am to 5pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 4887 7270
Jamberoo (8 km)
If the kids are on board, take them to Jamberoo Action Park, where Billabong Beach, Rapid River and Outback Bay will keep them entertained for a whole day. Minnamurra Rainforest is also close by, with easy walks through the rainforest for the whole family to enjoy.
Nowra (31 km)
Nowra is a historic city and the commercial heart of the Shoalhaven. It's on the Shoalhaven River close to beaches and national parks.
Wollongong (44 km)
There are plenty of opportunities for adventure activities in and around Wollongong ranging from surfing and swimming to sailing, hang gliding, paragliding, cycling and abseiling. Wollongong is the only place in NSW where you can skydive onto the beach.
Griffiths walking track is in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Go wild for flowers
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is famous for its heath wildflowers in spring and summer and flowering banksias in winter. The heathland is also one of only 4 large areas of heath on the NSW South Coast, making it an important habitat for many species of plants and animals. A large number of threatened or regionally rare ferns and other species also occur in wet sheltered sites below the escarpment, including several species of filmy fern. Around 180 bird species can also be found here, including honeyeaters, southern emu wrens, lyrebirds, crimson rosellas, cockatoos and grey currawongs. If you're really lucky, you might even spot the bright green ground parrot or an eastern bristlebird. In fact, it was to protect these two threatened heathland birds that Barren Grounds Nature Reserve was set up in 1956.
- 6-day birding and natural history tours Explore the beauty and diversity of Australian wildlife at Sydney’s doorstep on this 6-day tour with the knowledgeable guides of Inala Nature Tours. Visiting parklands, you'll see amazing birds, mammals and reptiles in their natural habitat.
- Cooks Nose walking track Stroll through the park's rich heathlands on Cooks Nose walking track and you’ll be rewarded with striking scenic views from the escarpment overlooking Kangaroo Valley.
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve holds a very special place in the history of conservation in NSW, as it was the third faunal reserve to be gazetted under the Fauna Protection Act. Led by early conservation leaders like Myles Dunphy, Paddy Pallin and Allen Strom, it was protected in 1956. Since then, it has been an important place for researchers and students alike to record and learn about the incredible biodiversity of this area. The stone building at Barren Grounds picnic area - once known as The Lodge - was used for accommodation by researchers and honorary rangers.