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Drawing Room Rocks: This Is An Epic Sunrise Walk (2024)

Drawing Room Rocks: This Is An Epic Sunrise Walk (2024)

​​​​​The Drawing Room Rocks are a collection of amazingly shaped sandstone formations in the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, near Berry. By doing the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk (AKA the Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track), you’ll find these astonishing rocks, which are located at an awesome lookout. From this viewpoint, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Illawarra escarpment, Kangaroo Valley and Didthul Mountain.

What better way to enjoy Drawing Room Rocks, near Berry, than by exploring it during a glorious sunrise? By completing the Drawing Room Rocks Buskwalk nice and early, you’ll arrive at the main lookout where the rocks are located, in time for a beautiful sunrise. So set the alarm clock early, pack a head torch and get pumped for a magical sunrise walk to the Drawing Room Rocks!

Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk and Lookout Sunrise Information

The Drawing Rooms Rocks are located on the South Coast of New South Wales, just outside of the town of Berry in the Shoalhaven area. Indeed, the Drawing Rooms Rocks are an amazing natural attraction. Over time, weathering has worked its magic, creating these natural flat table tops and chairs made out of rock!

Dan enjoys the views from the Drawing Room Rocks Lookout. Dan stands on one of the sandstone table tops and looks over the luscious valley floor. The sky is mostly cloudy.

So, you’ve decided to smash out the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk for sunrise – you’ve made a wise decision! Walking to the summit of a trail to watch sunrise is an exhilarating and thrilling experience, no matter which trail it is. Certainly, completing the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk for sunrise is a surefire way of getting maximum enjoyment from this hiking adventure.

Thankfully, in terms of sunrise walks, the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk, near Berry, is a fairly easy one. The Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track is straightforward and easy to navigate. Plus, it’s only around 2.5km to the Drawing Room Rocks Lookout. So, you won’t be doing too much hiking in the dark. Of course, hiking in the dark is much slower. You’ll need to factor that in, as well as your usual hiking speed to figure out what time to set off. By speed hiking, Beck and I managed to get to the top in around 30 minutes.

The Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track (Route) Stats

Type

Out and Back

Distance

4.5km

Approximate Walk Time

Certainly, the main question we get asked about this walk is ‘How long is the Drawing Room Rocks Walk?’ It usually takes around 1.5–2 hours.

Accumulated Elevation Gain

350 metres

Difficulty Rating (The Warning Sign at the Trailhead)

Personally, we’ve rated the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk as easy. Although, the track itself has been rated a Grade 4 track of moderate difficulty. If you read the warning sign at the start of the Drawing Rooms Rocks Walking Track, you’ll think it’s going to be a fairly challenging and treacherous walk. As mentioned though, we think the trial is actually quite easy and simple to follow. Certainly, don’t let the sign scare you away! Albeit, the trail can be physically demanding as it’s fairly steep in parts.

Of course, if you’re doing the sunrise walk, you’ll be navigating in the dark. So just to be on the safe side, it may be best to download an online map before you set out.

Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk Sign and Walking Track Warning Sign

Trailhead (Start/End Point)

There’s a small parking area on the side of the unsealed track leading to the trailhead. This unsealed road is a short off-branch track from Brogers Creek Road.

Parking for the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk

Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk Trail Description

In the trail description below, we’ll talk about the main highlights and key points of the Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track. Our description below reflects the fact that Beck and I did the walk as a sunrise expedition. Of course, we think you should do the Drawing Rooms Rocks Bushwalk as a sunrise trip too. To get a sense of what that would be like, read on!

The captivating tables and chairs that make up the Drawing Room Rocks. Table top sandstone formations cover the flat cliff face summit with sweeping valley views in the distance and a cloudy sky.

Starting at the Trailhead

With your head torch switched on, the trailhead is well signposted and easy to find.

SIDE NOTE: To make sure we made it to the lookout in time for sunrise, we didn’t bother taking photos on the way up. So we’ve taken these photos of the trailhead on the way back down (hence the well-lit photos).

Through the Forest & A Steep Final Stretch to the Lookout

In the darkness, you won’t be able to appreciate the lovely flowers and quaint bushland around you. But the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk is an out and back affair. So you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the trail, surrounds and other viewpoints, on your return leg.

At times, the Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track is physically demanding given the steepness of the trail. But luckily, even in the dark, the trail is easy to follow as it’s a well-worn path. However, like with most bushwalks, the terrain can be uneven with leaf litter, rocks and tree roots. So take care when hiking in the dark and make sure your head torch is cranked up to full capacity.

Drawing Room Rocks

The Drawing Room Rocks are absolutely phenomenal! Following the final steep section of the Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track, the trail flattens out and begins winding its way through dense bushland, quickly leading you to the incredible Drawing Room Rocks. By this time, and gradually throughout your ascent, you’ll notice the darkness clearing considerably. With sunrise approaching, you should be able to admire the Drawing Room Rocks without your head torch on when you arrive at the lookout.

The naturally carved sandstone formations are precariously positioned on the edge of the escarpment. In a fairly dense area, an array of table-top shaped rocks elegantly protrude from the otherwise flat cliff-top lookout. It’s like nature has set out the table and chairs for you to enjoy a breakfast picnic if that’s what you’ve packed.

Dan and Beck stand next to the Drawing Room Rocks

Sunrise at Drawing Room Rocks

With the sensational Drawing Room Rocks at your feet, all there is to do is relax and wait for the sun to rise. Unfortunately, our sunrise walk was met with thick cloud cover. But honestly speaking, don’t let an overcast morning put you off! It’s possible that all of a sudden, out of the darkness, the combination of the sun and clouds can throw off some wicked colours. For us, the horizon transitioned from a dreary grey mist to a bright orange glow in a matter of seconds.

Once you have experienced the epic sunrise, you’ll have even better views of the surrounding landscape. Beneath you is Kangaroo Valley, full of enticing green spaces. In the distance, you’ll see bush-covered mountains and escarpment. It’s such a mind-blowing setting to enjoy the sunrise. We can imagine on a less overcast day, that golden hour would be even more spectacular.

Be warned, like many Australian bush trails, you’ll be copping plenty of cobwebs to the face if you’re the first to tackle the trail for the day. We find wearing a hat and blindly waving a stick or trekking pole in front of us can be helpful to avoid eating too many spiders! Beck is terrified of spiders, so this often (well, always) results in me leading the way on any Australian sunrise walk. Let’s hope you choose to do this sunrise hike with a brave hiking buddy that’ll take a few cobwebs for the team!

The sun rise causes the a strip of clouds on the horizon to turn orange. The sky is otherwise overcast and below the valley is faded by early morning mist.

The Walk Back Down: Exploring Wildflowers and Wildlife

After enjoying the awesome sunrise at the Drawing Room Rocks, near Berry, it’s time to make the return journey. Although this time, hopefully with the sun shining, you’ll get more of a taste of the Drawing Room Rocks Walking Track. Almost immediately, you’ll notice alternate spots along the escarpment offering slightly different views of the surrounding landscape. Plus, if you’ve timed your visit in Spring, you’ll see an abundance of wildflowers with many varieties of colours.

With less foot traffic during the early hours, you may even catch a glimpse of a lyrebird! Luckily, we managed to see a couple frolicking in the leaf litter. They’re typically quite shy, so you’ll have to tread lightly to get a proper look!

Golden Hour at an Unnamed Lookout and Gerroa Lookout

On the return leg, there are some other lesser-known lookouts to check out. By making it up to Drawing Room Rocks for sunrise, you’ll still have golden hour to enjoy on the way back down. There are a few side trails, or, essentially bush bashes leading to lookout spots, but your views are somewhat impeded by the bush.

The two main lookouts include an unnamed lookout and the Gerroa Lookout. On your return, you’ll find the unnamed lookout via a short side trail to your right, which provides great west-pointing views over the valley. Also, keep an eye out for an opening of a side trail, to your left, that leads to a lookout over Gerroa. It’s a genuine side trail, briefly leading away from the main trail, that steers you to a fairly decent lookout. The entrance of the side trail is about 750 metres from the trailhead.

Beck stands on a rock looking over a vast valley. The sky is orange from golden hour in the morning.

Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk Recap

Well done, you’ve conquered the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk for sunrise. It’s hard to beat the feeling of watching a sunrise from a stunning natural setting like the Drawing Room Rocks. Of course, a sunrise walk is always a worthwhile and memorable experience, regardless of whether you have the perfect weather conditions. You know what they say, you have to be in it to win it!

We hope this guide has inspired you to walk up to the Drawing Room Rocks for sunrise. For more information on nearby accommodation, useful hiking gear and bonus tips for this walk, please continue below.

Beck and Dan at the Drawing Room Rocks

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

Things to Know Before Doing the Walk

In the next section, we’ll cover essential things to know before doing the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk.

Getting to Drawing Room Rocks

If you’re attempting this sunrise hike from Sydney, you’ll need to set off around 3am (or maybe earlier depending on where you’re based and what time of year it is). Admittedly, finding parking for the Drawing Room Rocks was a little tricky in the dark. Of course, being half asleep didn’t do us any favours.

Follow Woodhill Mountain Road and then Brogers Creek Road northwards, away from Berry. Then, make sure to keep an eye out for a narrow and unsealed road to your right. Although, it’s easier said than done in the dark. We accidentally went down an unsealed road too early, which ended up being someone’s driveway – oops!

Direction for accessing the trailhead

By following the unsealed road, you’ll quickly find a small parking area. There’s really only enough room for a few cars. But, if you’re here for sunrise, you should have it to yourself! Use Google Maps for extra help.

Car Hire

DiscoverCars.com

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

Is the Walk Family Friendly?

Although we have rated the walk as easy, this walk is not suitable for children.

Is the Walk Dog Friendly?

Taking place in the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, pets aren’t permitted in the area.

Nearby Camping Options

There are plenty of camping options around the nearby Southern Highlands. The Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area is a serene and peaceful campground where you might even spot a wombat! If you’re keen to rough it a bit more, consider the Carrington Falls Campground.

Accommodation

If you’re not in the mood for camping, use Booking.com to find yourself accommodation in Berry. Why not stay at The Drawing Rooms of Berry? Staying at this highly-rated luxury bed and breakfast, near the town of Berry, would be the ideal base for doing the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk for sunrise.

Getting to Sydney

Flights: of course, you’ll need to fly to Sydney to do this trip from abroad. If you’re travelling to Sydney from overseas, use Skyscanner to search for the cheapest flights. When flying abroad, we always get the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search.

Booking Flights

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is our go-to website for booking flights. If you’re looking to find the cheapest flights, we recommend getting the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. It allows you to scan all airlines and platforms to find the cheapest airfares.

To find out more about booking the cheapest flights, read our Skyscanner review.

Packing Suggestions For the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Things to Do Nearby

Are you keen on exploring more of the area? Have a look at our Best Things to Do in Kiama Guide. In this guide, we’ll talk about other Berry walks, or at least other walks near Berry, such as the Sand Track Loop Walk in Seven Mile Beach. For information about other Kangaroo Valley walks, read our guides about the Gerringong Falls Walking Track, Belmore Falls, Fitzroy Falls and Carrington Falls.

Otherwise, read about the 23 Best Waterfalls in the Southern Highlands.

Bonus Tips

  • Give yourself plenty of time for sunrise: you don’t want to be madly rushing for sunrise. Give yourself plenty of time in case the hike takes longer than you think.
  • Wear long sleeves: there can be all sorts of creepy crawlies out in the bush at night, so be prepared with long sleeves and some insect repellent.
  • Explore Berry afterwards: there’s plenty in the way of shops and cafes in the beautiful town of Berry. So, there’ll be plenty of options for brekkie and coffee in Berry after doing the Drawing Room Rocks Bushwalk.
  • You need permission to fly your drone in NSW National Parks (NPWS): please send an application form to NPWS to ask for permission to fly your drone at the Drawing Room Rocks.

What did you think of this guide? Please leave us a comment below. We’d love your feedback.

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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