Barren Grounds Nature Reserve: has an area of 1532 hectares (3784 acres) and is situated 110 kilometres south of Sydney in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is a heath-land plateau that is home to a bewildering range of native plants. There are three other habitats within the Reserve: woodland, tall forest and temperate rainforest. The tall forest and temperate rainforest are in protected valleys below the plateau.
In spring the plateau becomes a blaze of colour. “Barren Grounds” is an unfortunate name for this botanically rich area.
The range of plant species supports approximately 180 bird species including the rare Eastern Bristlebird and the rarely seen Ground Parrot. The presence of these two species was a major reason for the dedication of the Reserve. “Barren Grounds” has always been a popular bird watching area. Birds Australia has a Nature study Centre near the Reserve entrance.
The Reserve is traversed by a number of walking trails. The Griffith Trail is an eight kilometre loop and leads to the Illawarra Lookout where there is a breath-taking view of the coastal plain.
The Stone Bridge is an interesting natural feature on the Griffith Trail. A creek flows under a rocky outcrop (see image).
We visited “Barren Grounds” in winter so missed out on the spring floral extravaganza although Banksia paludosa plants were plentiful and in flower. Eastern Bristlebirds were observed feeding along a section of the trail and in the same area we saw a flock of Beautiful Firetail Finches.
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is worth a visit at any time of the year but in spring the area vibrates with colour when the wildflowers bloom.
The entrance is 12 kilometres east of Robertson off the Jamberoo Mountain Road.