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Kawakawa Bay

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Bluff, The 
Cracks Wall 
Odyssey Wall 
Point, The 

Kawakawa Bay Rock Climbing 

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Location: -38.6619, 175.86571 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Cameron Fraser, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Corona on Jun 27, 2011
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View down The Point and Odyssey wall, from Sidewin...


Kawakawa Bay is probably the best crag in the North Island featuring a good range of sport, trad and mixed routes that will appeal to climbers of all levels. If you don’t find something that appeals to you here, you’re probably in the wrong sport! At the eastern end of the bay stands a number or rhyolite cliffs towering over the lake's blue waters. Most routes are 1-3 pitches, although some are longer. The Bay still has many lines added to it every year, and there is no doubt that this will continue for years to come as only a fraction of the possible routes here have been established. Good rock quality and a large number of easy trad routes makes this a great place to learn to climb on gear.

There is a small grassy campsite on the shore of the bay that is free to use. It has basic facilities like a long drop toilet and a newly constructed shelter. Be sure to hang your food in trees (prussic cord is great for this) unless you want rats to eat it for you. They have been known to chew their way through tents and packs to get to food, you have been warned! At times you will be the only people in the campsite, giving it a wilderness feel, at other times there are dozens of boats parked in the bay and mountain bikers/ hikers galore (by New Zealand standards anyway).

Definitely worth a visit.

Rock Climbing Photo: The Bluff, Kawakawa Bay
The Bluff, Kawakawa Bay

Rock Climbing Photo: Odyssey wall, Kawakawa Bay
Odyssey wall, Kawakawa Bay

Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3 belay ledge, Sidewinder
Pitch 3 belay ledge, Sidewinder

Getting There 

The Kawakawa Bay Walkway starts from Nisbet terrace in Kinloch. The walk takes around 2 hours staring from the western side of Whangamata bay then following the peninsula out and over to Kawakwawa bay. Water taxis can also be chartered from Kinloch if you don't want to walk in. They cost arround $80 for 4 people. Another option is to kayak in from Kinloch which is also much quicker than walking.


Guidebook Rock Deluxe North features a good seletion of the climbs at Kawakawa, but for a more comprehensive list refer to

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.7 miles from here

40 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',16],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Kawakawa Bay

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Kawakawa Bay:
High Hopes   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   The Point
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Kawakawa Bay

Featured Route For Kawakawa Bay
Rock Climbing Photo: Captain Caveman by night. Starting up pitch 3.

Captain Caveman 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  Oceania : New Zealand : ... : The Bluff
A former trad death route now a bolted classic for the masses.Pitch 1Head up the face into the massive open cavePitch 2Follow the bolts up the chimney in the back of the cave. Step left into a small window to bolted anchorsPitch 3Step out of the small window and follow the bolts up the corner. Top out through steep section on great holds....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Kawakawa Bay Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Stunning views of the bay from the top of the bluf...
Stunning views of the bay from the top of the bluf...

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