rock climbing


There is no shortage of rocks and cliffs in Australia. The whole country is a climber’s paradise, with gorges, mountains, ravines, and cliffs. There is something for every climbing ability from gentle routes for beginners, to the near vertical granite faces, overlooking sheer drops and jaw dropping views for seasoned climbers in search of a real rush. Here are my favourite climbing spots.


Mt. Arapiles is jam packed with climbing routes. The whole area plays host to around 2,000 separate routes, so you really are spoilt for choice. It is a pretty small mountain so there is no need to travel for long between routes. You can easily move onto a new route whenever you feel like it. The view isn’t too bad either, from the vantage point of Mt. Arapiles you can see across the Victorian outback to Mitre Lake.

Mt. Arapiles is better suited for experienced climbers. As for beginners, nearby Mitre Rock has plenty of more manageable routes for those getting started. This area is teeming with climbers during the Easter period, so unless you have the patience of a climbing saint, I would avoid the area during holidays. We went in the summer and despite the high temperatures, there were plenty of routes that have enough cover to stay in the shade, and it was possible to climb all day by moving to a route with more shade.

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Over 100km long and 45km wide, the Grampians offer some of the most diverse climbing in Australia. The area caters for climbers of all abilities. The vivid colours of the orange and red quartzite give way to darker sandstone hues to offer nature’s very own fireworks display. Go in spring or autumn for the best conditions.

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Wilpena Pound is tucked away in the Flinders Ranges National Park, just north of Adelaide. The mountain formation creates a kind of amphitheatre shape and there are climbing routes all around the range. The routes are still quite advanced at Wilpena Pound, not as advanced as Mt. Arapiles, but unlike Mt. Arapiles, there are not as many easier routes nearby.

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The Australian Capital Territory is littered with giant slabs of granite, making the whole region appear as though it was intentionally designed to appeal to climbers. Booroomba is one such granite slab, with unrivalled views over the Australian Capital Territory, as far as Canberra and offers plenty of beginner, intermediate and advanced routes. In terms of diversity, you can’t do much better than Booroomba, making it a great destination for a group of mixed abilities. It is not a good idea to take on Booroomba in the summer months because the granite slabs offer little protection from the sun.

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Reaching up to the sky for 1500m, Mt. Buffalo is not for the feint hearted. The terrain is challenging, with sheer rock faces and terrifying drops. But for those who are experienced and brave enough to take on the challenge, Mt. Buffalo rewards them for their bravery with staggering views over north-western Victoria. It is best to take on Mt. Buffalo in the summer, the cooler months can bring snow to the region and close the routes.

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Oli Ward
Oli Ward

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.