Getting started is easy
Find a gym
Search the indoor wall directory for a climbing facility near you.
Don’t forget your NZAC card, most of them give member discounts!
Invite your friends
You’ll most likely be learning to belay (control the ropes) each other so bring a friend or two if you can. Many gyms offer bouldering which is a popular rope-free version over mats.
Your local gym should be able to sort you out with all the gear and instruction you need to get started. Grab the big colourful blobs, pull up, grab the next one. Repeat until at the top. Easy.
Take it outside
Indoor climbing types
There are a few different climbing types offered at indoor wall in New Zealand:
One of the most common types of climbing on ropes, top-roping involves climbing a wall protected by a rope which passes through a top anchor point.
This involves a climber, and a belayer controlling the ropes. Most gyms provide the service of teaching you how to belay as part of their introduction to the facility, although age limits usually apply.
This is a system similar to top-roping, except an auto-belay device fixed at the top of the wall controls the line and lowers the climber automatically when it is lowered. Entire facilities devoted to this now exist and are very popular with children’s groups. The first such facility, Clip ‘n Climb in Christchurch is now a worldwide phenomenon.
Of all types of roped climbing, lead is held in the highest regard. The leader takes the rope with them, attaching it to anchor points on the wall. This makes for an experience liberated from the top rope and the temptation to use it to progress, and more exciting as you can potentially fall further before the rope catches you.
Indoor bouldering involves climbing to lower heights (usually less than four metres) with large mats below for protection. This style of climbing is very social, popular and the easiest to learn. Home bouldering walls abound, and some indoor facilities are now devoted to this type of climbing.