The nature reserve is located on the western foothills of the Southern Tablelands and alpine mountains of NSW on the margins of the south-western slopes. Immediately to the west of the nature reserve lies an undulating plain 200 to 300 metres above sea level. The landscape rises abruptly to over 750 metres at Mount Ulandra within the nature reserve. The highest peak in Australia, Mount Kosciusko (2228 metres) is only 180 kilometres to the south-south-east.
Ulandra Nature Reserve was dedicated in 1981 to protect a number of stands of Cootamundra wattle (Acacia Baileyana) and black cypress pine (Callitris endlicheri) which are typical of this part of NSW.