Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve NSW

A long but flat walk in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve through heath and forest, with good views over the NSW South Coast from a couple of vantage points.

Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is situated at the southern end of the Illawarra Escarpment, inland from Kiama. There’s a few easy to moderate walking options that we’d done in the past (based on the Griffiths Track loop), but the route depicted here is a longish (19km) walk along the Kangaroo Ridge Trail, which continues to the edge of the escarpment for views over the NSW South Coast. The area is notable for its bird life, and contains a combination of heath and forest vegetation.

There’ll probably be people around on the Griffiths Track, but you should have the Kangaroo Ridge Trail pretty much to yourself.

Track Notes

Information on Barren Grounds can be found on the NPWS website.  There are maps at the car park so you don’t really need track notes. You start on the Griffiths Trail walking clockwise, then take a left turn onto the Kangaroo Ridge Trail, which eventually leads to the edge of the escarpment. (We turned around at the escarpment, although I think it’s possible to continue on to Drawing Room Rocks, which can also be visited on a much shorter but steeper walk from the bottom of the escarpment.)

You can return the way you came, or continue clockwise around the Griffiths Track back to the start.

The Scenery

Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
A rather dark creek.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Views towards the coast.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Sat near an ants nest at first to have lunch. Soon moved.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
We had lunch at the edge of the escarpment.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
The walk’s turnaround point was at the edge of the escarpment.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
The view from the turnaround point of the South Coast of NSW including Jervis Bay in the distance.
Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Views towards the coast from the Illawarra Lookout, looking north east. Some fairly lush farmland down there. Before white settlement there were extensive areas of rainforest, very little of which remains.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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