About the Big Scrub

© Iain Stych

The “Big Scrub” was once the largest lowland subtropical rainforest in Australia: it covered 75,000 ha in the hinterland of Byron Bay, until cleared by European settlers. Today, only 1% of this once mighty rainforest remains.

The Big Scrub primarily occurs on rich, basalt-derived soils on the southern flank of the Wollumbin (Mt Warning) caldera. It descended from the ancient Gondwana rainforests and species that trace their lineages back 180 million years, as well as species that migrated from Asia millennia ago.

Home to the richest terrestrial biodiversity in NSW – the third richest in Australia – it’s an ancient, complex ecosystem of immense ecological and cultural value.


© Rous County Council | Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy


Visiting the Remnants

Many of the remnants are on private land or not open to the public – they are fragile ecosystems that should only be accessed via managed trails. The best remnants to visit are:


  • Booyong Flora Reserve: covers an area of 16 hectares and was declared protected in 1931. It is located 2.5km south-west of Nashua.
  • Victoria Park Nature Reserve: covers an area of 17 hectares and was declared a protected area in 1975. It is located on Victoria Park Road off Dalwood Road in Alstonville.
  • Minyon Falls Nature Reserve: covers an area of 112 hectares and was declared a protected area in 1979. The Minyon Falls Nature Reserve is located on Minyon Falls Road, 20 km west of Byron Bay.
  • Big Scrub Flora Reserve: covers an area of 196 hectares and was declared a protected area in 1976. The Big Scrub Flora Reserve is located on Gibbergunyah Range Road near Rocky Creek Dam.
  • Boomerang Falls Flora Reserve: covers an area of 9 hectares in Whian Whian State Conservation Park. It is located 20 minutes drive from Minyon falls. 

A Journey Through Time

We also publish, in association with Rous County Council, a beautiful book titled The Big Scrub Rainforest: A Journey Through Time.


Heroes of the Big Scrub

Heroes of the Big Scrub is an inspiring story of the long-term, landscape-scale restoration effort behind the Big Scrub’s ongoing recovery, published and created by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators. The video showcases the many people who have dedicated much of their life’s work to enabling substantial recovery of this unique Australian rainforest.