Majestic mountains, jagged cliffs and vertical granite slabs, the beautiful country of Australia is a climbers dream with amazing climbing locations in just about every state. With such a diverse landscape, adventure seekers will enjoy the challenging routes of some of the country’s most difficult climbs while beginners can build confidence on some of the less intimidating routes. If you’ve ever wanted to climb by the ocean or stand awestruck as you look out over endless mountains, Australia is the place for you and here we feature 8 amazing spots to get you inspired.
8. Wilpena Pound (SA)
North of Adelaide lies the Flinders Ranges National Park, home to Wilpena Pound which is a natural amphitheatre of mountains and arguably the most popular climbing destination in South Australia. Popular climbs include St. Mary’s peak and Moonarie which is a remote 2km long stretch of cliff in the heart of the ranges. While not considered as difficult as Mt. Arapiles (mentioned later on), this one is still for more advanced climbers. Best time to visit: spring and autumn for optimal temperatures.
7. Magnetic Island (QLD)
Magnetic Island lies just off the coast of Townsville in Northern Queensland. Surrounded by crashing ocean waves in the many bays around the island, you can climb on the many boulders and rock formations that create this beautiful island. You might even come across some of the many rock wallabies native to the island while making your ascent. Magnetic Island offers climbs of varying skill levels so it’s suitable for most. Best time to visit: winter months of June-Aug seem most popular
6. Umbrawarra (NT)
If you’re interested in experiencing the rugged wild terrain of the Northern Territories, then head to Umbrawarra Gorge. This spot may be significantly smaller than others in this list but the majestic red sandstone faces and gorgeous surroundings make this the best spot to climb in the NT. Umbrawarra is considered an intermediate climbing difficulty and offers about 30 different routes. The beautiful secluded creek location makes this spot a must visit for climbers. When to go: the winter dry season, unless you’re prepared to suffer the intense heat of the top end.
5. Booroomba (ACT)
While the top spots to climb in Australia are anything but close to the Australian Capital Territory, you can still find good climbing around the capital. Enter Booroomba Rocks, located in Namadgi National Park in the southern end of the ACT. This outcrop of large granite rocks is most noted for its great slab climbing. Once at the top you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the hills and valleys of the area. There are many climbing routes here so all skill levels can give it a go. Best time to go: Spring or autumn, but summer is usually good as well.
4. Glass House Mountains (QLD)
On the beautiful and infamous Sunshine Coast in Queensland lies the Glass House Mountains. A magnificent grouping of hills perfect for climbing of all difficulty levels. The highest of the mountains extends over 1,800 ft above sea level. Climbing access to Mount Beerwah is usually restricted with certain routes closed for safety but Mount Tibrogargan is open for climbers and offers spectacular views as the hulking mass sits looking out to sea. When you should go: this is generally a year round climbing spot but consider that temperatures and humidity can soar during summer.
3. Blue Mountains (NSW)
The Blue Mountains are New South Wales premier climbing destination and located only about 60 miles west of Sydney, they’re also easy to get to. This climbing haven is a huge sandstone plateau which has been eroded by rivers creating a massive network of varying climbing styles and difficulties. When to go: the reasonably temperate climate makes this location suitable for year-round climbing but if climbing in the winter, stay in the sun and in the summer, seek shade.
2. The Grampians (VIC)
This world class climbing destination is one of the best and most diverse spots in the country. It’s vast size of about 645 sq miles provides thousands of routes that range all skill levels from beginner to pro. The superb quality of climbing here is only topped by the breathtaking scenery including waterfalls, flora and fauna, and of course panoramic views. Looking like massive rock waves from a distance, this is one destination you don’t want to miss. Best time to go: Spring offers the optimal temperatures as winter and summer bring unpredictable extremes.
1. Mt. Arapiles (VIC)
Mt. Arapiles is truly a climbing mecca being widely considered the best destination in all of Australia and one of the best in the world. Its home to thousands of routes, most for experienced/pro climbers only and at one point had the hardest route in the world called “Punks in the Gym”. Located in Western Victoria, at the top you’ll have spectacular views of the remote Victorian outback. Enthusiasts who’ve made the pilgrimage to climb this rock are given special respect as it tops the bucket lists of many climbers. Best time to go: this is a year round destination but take note to avoid holidays as it’s understandably a very busy spot.