North Island, New Zealand
The North Island of New Zealand for some reason hides in the shadow of its larger brother to the south when it comes to rock climbing. Despite warmer weather and less crowds, not to mention a dense strip of established climbing areas (several thousand routes within an hour drive), I have yet to hear anyone refer to North Island climbing save the handful of people I met while climbing there.
It may not have the expansive peaks, nor world famous bouldering of the south, but when it comes to cragging there’s enough rock here to keep you busy for months, if not years. There are bits of rock all over the island here or there, but the main accumulation of established climbable rock is located in the central region of the island (Wharepapa South and Lake Taupo areas). A good percentage of this rock is volvanic, a vestige of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in earth’s history. The rock, ignimbrite, can vary considerably from worthless choss to pocketed sport climbing to “fully-welded” – a denser formation with smooth cracks capable of holding sound gear. The rock at Lake Taupo, ground zero, is a purer Rhyolite; it’s denser that the rhyolitic ignimbrite round in Wharepapa South.
One of the best features of North Island climbing is the great variety of rock types and climbing styles all within close proximity to each other. For example at Waipapa there is delicate slab and crack climbing on welded ignimbrite, and just around the corner at Mangaokewa there is steep and powerful sport climbing on limestone. There is beautiful scenery in the North Island around most of the climbing areas, from the turquoise waters of Lake Taupo to the rolling planes of the Waikato, and lush native forest abounds. Be sure to check out Kawakawa bay (Lake Taupo) for some of the Islands best cragging.
Fly in through Auckland or Wellington. Can also fly directly to Rotorua from Australia in certain seasons.
Another resource for Topos is the local website www.freeclimb.co.nz
. It has free downloadable and printible PDF's covering most of the crags. It is generally comprehensive but can sometimes be out of date for crags that are either being devloped, or smaller older crags that have been abandoned.
The website climbnz.org.nz
has recently become alot more comprehensive, and now contains alot of information about climbing routes in the North Island, especially for alpine style areas.
Weather station 0.9 miles from here
218 Total Routes
['4 Stars',19],['3 Stars',47],['2 Stars',89],['1 Star',52],['Bomb',7]
Browse More Classics in North Island
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Island:
Featured Route For North Island
Sex Panther 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Oceania
: New Zealand
: ... : The Bluff
A KawaKawa classic. First pitch sport, second pitch Trad. Stunning views from the topCan also be climbed as one pitch (recommended)Pitch 1All sport, move left after second/third bolt. Pitch 2All trad baby. Weave up the face as you follow the crack. Crux is well protected finger crack mantle half way up. Once you reach the anchor ledge you can rap down, however another option is to traverse right underneath the roof (with an additional bolt) which allows you to get on top of the bluff for stunni...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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