Rock climber at the waipapa dam

Today we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about rock climbing Auckland.

Both indoor and outdoor climbing areas.

(In Fact)

This article comes to us from the first hand experience of a New Zealand resident and many hours of painstaking research.

Rest assured, you’ve found the internet’s definitive guide to rock climbing Auckland!

In this article you will find:

Where is Auckland and Why You Should Rock Climb There

auckland skyline with clouds and a sunset

Located on the North Island of New Zealand, Auckland is where one third of the population of New Zealand (more than 1.5 million) live. It’s the country’s most populated city.

New Zealand’s major boast is not having any predators or other animals that are deadly or venomous so you can be sure that snakes, spiders or bears are not a worry when you head out to climb.  

In addition to the great outdoors, there are a couple of larger gyms within the city offering a variety of bouldering (Northern Rocks) and lead climbing (Extreme Edge, Vertical Adventures) as well as a couple of smaller ones outside of the immediate area.

Review Of Auckland Indoor Climbing Gyms

While Auckland is not the most prominent on the indoor climbing scene, there are still good options available to train both within the city limits and closer to the outer suburbs if you’re looking to see what rock climbing Auckland style has to offer.

Extreme Edge Panmure

climbers at extreme edge climbing gym auckland
Image Source: Extreme Edge

This is potentially the largest climbing gym in the city offering a variety of lead, top rope and bouldering along with a kids clip and climb area. 

It’s a large gym inside a warehouse and it feels very spacious. 

They sell snacks and beverages and also for purchase are the climbing gear basics: shoes, ropes, belay devices, chalk, etc. 

It does get impossibly hot in the summer (they are currently upgrading their roof to solve this issue) and then ridiculously cold in winter, so don’t forget your beanie. 

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates!

This gym is an oldie but a goodie. Although not flashy or new, it has everything you need to train and climb. 

A major plus is the variety of grades tailored to complete beginners all the way through to experienced climbers as well as a variety of terrain from slab to roof options.

There are a couple of hang boards on offer, as well as a campus board, a moon board and a bouldering area with a couple of free weights/plates for training. 

If you are a top rope or a lead climber, chances are, you are probably climbing or have climbed at Pedge (Panmure Extreme Edge for short). Most of the rock climbing Auckland community can be found there unless they are switching it up with Northern Rocks. 

Location: 40 Morrin Road, St Johns, Auckland

Website: Extreme Edge

Hours:

Monday to Friday 10am – 10pm

Saturday & Sunday 9am – 9pm

Northern Rocks

Women seen climbing at northern rocks gym auckland
Image Source: Northern Rocks

Auckland’s newest bouldering gym that opened recently (2019) with a great selection of routes, training classes, yoga classes, tension board, campus boards and a training area.

Located on the North Shore, Northern Rocks has hands down the best indoor bouldering in the city.

It’s a great large space for climbing with a wide variety of slab, roof and easy to hard problems that are reset frequently enough that you don’t get bored but still have the time to finish your project.

There is also coffee and wifi available so the gym is perfect if you have to do a bit of work or study in between training.

The gym hosts competitions, giveaways and other events to keep the local Auckland rock climbing community engaged.

Website: Northern Rocks

Hours

Monday to Friday 12pm – 10pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am – 8pm

Location: 111 Diana Dr, Glenfield, Auckland

Join their Facebook group here 

Vertical Adventures

logo vertical adventures auckland

Similar in their set up to Extreme Edge, but located out in western side of the city, this gym has a variety of lead options with over 65 routes, climbing training, classes and more. 

They have recently rebranded their name from Extreme Edge Glen Eden to Vertical Adventures so you will still find references to their old name online here and there. 

This gym is very popular with the climbing community in the immediate area and worth checking out if you’re nearby.  

Website: Vertical Adventures

Location: 5 Waikaukau Road, Glen Eden

Hours

Weekdays: 10.00 am – 10.00 pm

Weekends: 9.00 am – 9.00 pm

Birkenhead Outdoor Leisure Centre

Birkenhead indoor climbing centre auckalnd
Image Source: Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre

This centre has a combination of various activities such as swimming, climbing, and also a traditional gym. There is a bouldering area, top rope 10m wall and 15m lead wall with space for 10 climbers at a time and up to 50 different routes.

Website: Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre

Centre hours

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6am–9pm

Tuesday and Thursday, 6am–10pm

Weekends, 9am–7pm

Red Hill Community Centre

Senior citizen top roping
Image Source: NZ Alpine Club

Located further south out of the city, this community centre has a pretty small set up, with 8 top ropes and climbs ranging from grade 11 to grade 24. 

Rock Climbing currently only happens on Tuesdays from 6.30pm – 8pm and costs $5 per session including a harness. Rock climbing shoes are available to rent.

Website: Red Hill Community Centre

Location: 163 Dominion Road, Papakura

When To Climb Outdoors In Rainey Auckland

AUCKLAND SEND TEMPS

Good news is Auckland has a relatively mild climate.

It never snows and rarely goes down to zero degrees in winter, which means when it’s not wet you can climb virtually all year round. 

It does get colder the further south of Auckland you go but NZ weather can shift and change very rapidly and can be very localized. 

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates!

It’s a good idea to check the forecast for the particular area of climbing you’re planning on going to, since a lot of outdoor climbing is usually a bit of a drive away

In the summer, it does get hot and humid (around 20 – 25°C) on perfect sun glaring days so if there is no shade you are definitely better off climbing before the afternoon.

Essentially, if it’s dry, you can climb!

Outdoor Auckland Rock Climbing Areas

Maungarei Springs – Located In Auckland’s Suburbs

The maungarei springs climbing area
Image Source: Maungarei Springs Climbing Crag Facebook group

Less than 5 minute drive from the above listed Extreme Edge, this is a great outdoor climbing area located right in Auckland city in the Stonefields suburb. 

The basalt quarry is located on the lake with a mixture of sport and trad routes. The area is controlled by Auckland City Council and no dogs are allowed.

It is a quarry so you will find it a bit chossy but it’s as close to outdoor climbing in the city as you’ll get. 

It’s really easy to get to and it’s only a 5 minute drive from the above mentioned Extreme Edge. So if the weather turns or you’re not feeling it you can always divert your efforts indoors or to the nearby Speight’s bar. 

Location: Manguraei stone fields crags

Barbarich Drive, Mount Wellington, Auckland

You can find the description of climbs here

Join the Facebook Maungarei Springs Climbing Crag Facebook group here.

Ti Point: The Nearest Crag To The City

climbers on the middle of their routes

This is the closest crag outside of Auckland city, which makes it perfect for a day trip.

The trip is around 1.5 hours or 90km away, just past Matakana, and is located right on the ocean. 

If you are lucky you might see the seals hanging out on the rocks!

The approach is about a 30 minute walk through a flat scenic coastal track. The beginning of the climbing areas gives way to a rocky section or some native bush, depending which wall you are going to.

The crag has a good variety of trad and sport routes with a lot of the area newly rebolted.

Check out the guide with access tips and route descriptions here.

Wharepapa South

shawthing rock with boulders and downed tree in the foreground

This is an area that harbours 4 climbing crags in a very close proximity to one another. These crags are a bit further out of Auckland, approximately 2.5 hours, but still makes for a good day trip or an awesome weekend trip. 

If you are down in the area, check out Bryce’s climbing shop on the way to the crag to find a great selection of climbing gear. 

The crags listed are located on private land so please follow the rules outlined in the guides and  request access/permission where necessary. As always, be respectful to the climbing areas.

https://www.rockclimb.co.nz/

https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/1187452

Froggatt Edge

A group of climbers at the froggatt crag

This crag is located on private farmland and you will need to sign into the visitor book at the entrance. 

Please make sure you leave all the gates as you found them and don’t block gate access when parking. On detailed access, please see the summary here.

The crag offers sharp (real sharp) pocketed volcanic rock with an awesome variety of climbing areas and easy crag access. You can park your car in front of the main cliff and walk 2 minutes to the base of the rock. 

Other walls do require walking, but 5 minutes at most. There is a lot of face climbing or slightly overhung routes ranging from quite short, up to 25m. 

There is a drinking water tap and two long drop toilets available, so don’t forget your toilet paper.

Here is the PDF to route descriptions

Location: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/12476041

Castle Rock Adventures

castle rock crag near auckland

This crag is located on private land and there is a fee of $10 per person per day to climb. You can purchase the day pass here or, alternatively, pay at the payment slot provided in the sign in area of the carpark. 

There are a variety of heights from 6m to 25m and grades from 12 to 26.

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

I have personally not climbed at this crag just yet because, you guessed it, why pay $10 if you can drive 10 more minutes and get the exact same rock but for free! 

In saying that I have heard good things about this crag so it’s definitely worth checking out. It is used by Castle Rock Adventures for commercial purposes so there might be a chance of large groups being instructed on any given day. 

 Route descriptions can be found here.

Location: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/12476017

Sheridan Hills

climbers at the sheridan hills crag

Located on private land, this crag offers sport routes up to 30m tall with a good variety of grades.

I would call Sheridan a brother/sister crag to Froggatt since it’s the same style and rock type but has less routes. 

The climbing is located in the middle of the farmland and you can see the rock walls from the side of the road. Just take a pretty short walk through the grass field and you’re there. 

If you haven’t been here before it might take a little while to figure out which wall is what since they are a bit scattered. 

For Biosecurity reasons before entering this property permission must be obtained from the landowner 027 527 1744 NO EXCEPTIONS. Please see other access issues listed here.

Here is the PDF to the guide with route descriptions.

Location: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/12476065

Waipapa Dam

Rock climber at the waipapa dam

About a 25 minutes drive from Wharepapa South School. When you get to the area you will park next to a dam before walking into the forest up to the climbing area. 

This crag is notoriously sandbagged so be ready for some hard technical climbing.  There is a mix of sport and trad climbs and you will most likely need a wire brush as a lot of climbs overgrow quickly and need a clean.

The guide can be found here.

Location: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/11874505

Pakeho

Climbers at the Pakeho crag

This crag is located on private land and you are required to request access before visiting the area by emailing [email protected]

The crag offers beautiful limestone plates with a variety of easy to moderate climbing. 

Routes can be chossy places so do watch out for loose rock.

The crag is perfect for beginners as it offers lots of low grades as well as a learning practice wall. 

The guide to area can be found here.

Location: https://www.thecrag.com/climbing/new-zealand/waikato/area/2078670879

And last thing, if you’re heading to Auckland to climb from outside the country make to purchase travel insurance for New Zealand to protect you against illness, injury, and lost equipment.

This is a super important thing to have on hand. I use and recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance and you can get your custom quote here:

There you have it. 

The internet’s definitive guide of rock climbing Auckland. 

Did you find it useful?

Is so, share it with your friends and help get the word out about the climbing Auckland has to offer!

Further reading:Rock Climbing Sydney – The Internet’s Definitive Guide (Updated)” and “Rock Climbing Margalef: The Remarkably Brilliant Guide [2020]” 

 

Published by Kat Gerasimenko

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