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EXPLORE // Drawing Room Rocks

Jaw dropping views makes this glute-burning hike totally worth it!

by Dimity Hamilton



While technically not in the Illawarra, Drawing Room Rocks is just over the border in the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve [just over a 10 minute drive west of Gerringong and a few minutes from Berry]. It’s a challenging hike but pays you back for your efforts with some of the most amazing views you’ll see anywhere.

Like anywhere. Ever. 

For this reason alone it HAS to be included in our guide. Here’s what you need to know about this walk…..

Drawing Room Rocks


Family friendly
We’re saying no. It’s a tough walk and there are plenty of spots with steep drops that don’t have any fencing.  

Easily Accessible :: Sure is! Take Woodhill Mountain Road out of Berry then turn into Brogers Creek Road. From there, follow the signs to Drawing Room Rocks.

Dog friendly :: Sorry no doggos! It’s in a National Park, people.

Stairs :: Yes, yes and yes. This one is steeeeeeeeep!  

Length :: 3.8km return according to our GPS tracker but official length is 4.5km return. 

Time :: It took us 1hr 40min (official times say 2.5hrs) so we guess this just depends on your fitness level, although we don’t consider ourselves particularly fast or fit. 

Cost :: Free!


Before you take off….


Okay guys let’s just start out by saying this is an epic walk and everyone needs to give it a crack, but before you even leave the house you need to be prepared.




Check the weather

It’s tough,
steep and slippery. So best to head out in clear weather and definitely don’t attempt it in the wet.  

Second thing is parking – it’s tight and limited. We were so glad we left the big ute behind and opted to take our little “city” car instead. The way in is a single lane gravel road with basically no spots to turn around. At the start of the walk there is enough space for 4-5 cars. So I would try and do this on a weekday if you can manage it, otherwise you may have a bit more of a trek to get to the start of the walk. 

Last thing you need to be ready for is the mozzies. You may be thinking well no duh… of course there’s bugs in the bush. No honey, these mozzies are thick and fierce. Like a RuPaul drag race contestant, centre stage, mid death drop, kind of fierce. Aka…..load up on the repellent… okuuurrrrrr

Drawing Room Rocks near Berry


Getting there

Getting there is pretty simple

We just dropped “drawing room rocks” into the GPS and it took us exactly where we needed to be.

Once you’re on Brogers Creek Rd, you will see blue signs pointing you in the right direction.

Once you park the car, head towards the farm gate at the end of the road and just off to the right you will see the start of the walk. 


Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

Starting off on top

The views even from the start of the walk are crazy beautiful. You’re starting at an elevation of roughly 250m above sea level, so every little viewpoint is just in-cred-i-bubble.

Finding the narrow dirt track, we instantly start climbing. It’s a steady incline and 15 minutes in, we’re puffing and panting while trying not to slip on the damp leaf litter underfoot.

Most of the way up we’re surrounded by thick rainforest vegetation which is beautiful but the views are limited. But that’s all fine because our eyes are literally glued to the path in front of us. It’s rocky and bumpy with a few steps thrown in to preserve the integrity of the path. 

Drawing Room Rocks bushwalks near Berry NSW

Lookout Number #1

After 20 minutes heading straight up, our calves are burning. We’re red in the face and incredibly grateful for the little paths that start to shoot off the main track, leading us to some beautiful rock edges (no railings so watch out!) where the views open up and extend for miles and miles in every direction.

Why are we grateful? Because we finally found some flat ground! 

We take a path off to the left and sit for a couple of minutes, taking in the views all the way back up to the Highlands while giving our burning legs some time to CHILL…because we aren’t done climbing yet! 

Drawing Room Rocks Lookout

Just keep climbing just keep climbing

Back at the main path, the scrub is a bit more open, and the mozzies aren’t quite as mean.

Now we just keep heading up, up and up.

Its more steps now and even a few flat stretches (YAY!!!) as we traverse under some seriously impressive sandstone boulders. 

Drawing Room Rocks Hike


Cheeky off-shoots

Every now and then a little path will shoot off to the side where you know you’re guaranteed another
ridiculously amazing view out over the Illawarra and South Coast. 

Past all the really nice boulders (we know you read that in Donkey’s voice) there’s a little bit of a rock scramble, another reason not to do this in the wet, before hitting the thickest banksia forest we think we have ever seen.


Banksia Forest



The path is seriously washed out and there are roots literally EVERYWHERE so be careful, but it really feels like you’re an intrepid adventurer exploring a mythical land for the first time.

It’s seriously so so so cool. 


Drawing Room Rocks Banksias


Banksia Forest to the top


If we thought that winding our way through the banksia forest was magical, we don’t think anything prepared us for what happens when we pop out the other side.


Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalks with views

Views for days


Straight out of the forest and we’re faced with a big rock plateau with views out to the coast. We would just say, be very careful up here. There’s no railings and some seriously big drops off the cliff edge. 

Views from the lookout

Round to the right are the famous rock formations that you see in so many pictures
. They’re awesome to see and an even better spot to sit and admire the seriously insane views back up towards the Highlands and all the way out to the coast. We would literally sit here all day if we could! 

After a rest, some water and soaking up these epic views, its back down the way we came. Getting back to the car really only took about 30 minutes and it was ALL DOWNHILL, for which our calves were eternally grateful! Woohoo! 

Views from lookouts

This is a seriously cool hike with views that are second to none, and with it so conveniently located
near the Berry Donut Van, everyone should be giving this little walk a go! As long as you go in prepared and ready for the challenge, you are in for an absolute treat!

Dimity Hamilton

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