The Pilliga Sandstone region of the northwest slope of New South Wales has a natural vegetation cover of sclerophyllous relatively closed to open forests with a largely heathy understorey, and a warm, subhumid and continental climate. Pollen analysis of spring-fed deposits gives a vegetation history extending from at least 30,000 yr B.P. to the late Holocene. Tree pollen became scarce after about 25,000 yr B.P. and an assemblage dominated by Chenopodiaceae, Liguliflorae, Tubuliflorae, and probably Poaceae developed. No similar assemblage is known from present pollen rain studies carried out in Australia. However, it clearly represents a treeless open shrub-steppe formation and therefore an arid or semiarid environment. The site thus provides evidence of an eastward late Pleistocene extension of the arid zone in Australia, and is the first full-glacial vegetation record between 20° and 35° latitude in Australia. The present vegetation cover did not become reestablished until the beginning of the Holocene, which raises questions about the form in which Pilliga Sandstone vegetation survived full-glacial conditions.