Plan your trip
NZAC publish and sell a range of print guides to New Zealand rock climbing areas. For the visiting climber, the select guides to each island are the best option. For the South Island check out Rock Deluxe, and for the North Island you have Rock Deluxe North. For the full range head to the rock guidebooks shop.
NZAC’s online route database, climbnz.org.nz, is a community-generated resource for climbing information. It covers thousands of routes, crags and areas, and is constantly being updated to provide up-to-date information.
Give it a try
NZAC run trips, meets and instruction courses across the country through local sections. A great way to meet new climbing partners and get outdoors on the rock is to check out what’s happening in your region.
New Zealand rock climbing areas
The following is a selection of some of the most popular and quality climbing areas in New Zealand.
Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island, is one of Aotearoa’s finest summer holiday destinations. Sunshine, slopers, swimming holes and hippies form the basis of an existential cosmic harmony in the Bay.
The main climbing area is Payne’s Ford, New Zealand’s premier limestone sport climbing destination.Read More
Castle Hill Basin
The South Island’s Castle Hill Basin, in Canterbury, is New Zealand’s showpiece bouldering area.
Thousands of limestone boulders lie in grassy alpine meadows across the basin. The climbing style is very unique—there is very little friction, and even less in the way of conventional hand or foot holds. To be successful at Castle Hill, you don’t pull on the slopers … you climb them.Read More
The Darran Mountains and Cleddau valley, near the famous Milford Sound in south-western New Zealand, contain the best rock in the country. The valley crags are steep sculpted bowls of perfect stone, and are suited well to hard sport climbing. The diorite walls above the snowline are generally coarser grained and slabby with few cracks—your classic Darrans multi-pitch route will include some healthy run-outs on both smears and edges.Read More
Central North Island
Lake Taupo has the North Island’s two best climbing areas: on the western side of the lake is Whanganui Bay, and to the north is Kawakawa Bay. Both offer a combination of sport and trad routes, on mostly vertical or less-than-vertical walls, aretes and corners. Whanganui Bay has a broader range of high-quality routes, while Kawakawa has more good routes in the lower end of the grade range.
Further north at Wharepapa South, in the Waikato, you’ll find a number of sport crags with bolted routes on rural crags. The rock can sometimes be sharp, and the routes short, but the dense concentration of amenably bolted climbs ensures this area’s remains enduringly popular.More Info Coming Soon