Rubus australis is a vigorous and very thorny evergreen climber. The juvenile, oval, toothed leaves are 0.4–1.2 in (1–3 cm) long, and are arranged into three, four or five parts. The adult, oval, toothed leaves are 1.2–2 in (3–5 cm) long, and are also arranged into three, four or five parts. The white flowers are in branched groups, spring; followed by small orange yellow berries.
Rubus australis is found throughout the forests of New Zealand, especially in swampy sites. It is called swamp lawyer.