Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
North Island

Select Area...
Blowhard Bush 
Coromandel 
King Country and Northern Taranaki 
Lake Taupo 
Mangorewa 
Mt Eden Quarry 
Mt. Maunganui 
Ti Point 
Titahi Bay 
Tongariro National Park 
Wharepapa South 

North Island  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: -37.0086, 174.7863 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 68,654
Administrators: Cameron Fraser, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan Kelly on Apr 2, 2009
Forecast:
Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Chance of Rain
64° | 52°
18° C | 11° C
Chance of Rain
64° | 55°
18° C | 13° C
Partly Cloudy
60° | 43°
16° C | 6° C
Clear
62° | 48°
17° C | 9° C
Partly Cloudy
62° | 55°
17° C | 13° C
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]

Description 

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 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.

Getting There 

Fly in through Auckland or Wellington. Can also fly directly to Rotorua from Australia in certain seasons.

Topos 

Your one stop guide to North Island rock climbing. Released September 2014. Can be purchased from <a href='https://alpineclub.org.nz/product/rock-deluxe-north' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >alpineclub.org.nz/product/rock...</a>
Your one stop guide to North Island rock climbing. Released September 2014. Can be purchased from alpineclub.org.nz/product/rock...


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.

Main Areas 

Whanganui Bay, Lake Taupo
View down Whekanui Wall on a surprisingly nice day in winter.
View down Whekanui Wall on a surprisingly nice day in winter.


Kawakawa Bay, Lake Taupo
Pitch 3 of Sidewinder, Miltipitch sport classic
Pitch 3 of Sidewinder, Miltipitch sport classic


Froggatt's Edge, Wharepapa South
Froggatt, a popular sport crag
Froggatt, a popular sport crag


Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve
Roof climbing at Mangaokewa
Roof climbing at Mangaokewa


Waipapa, Wharepapa South
Climber on the Classic "Arches"
Climber on the Classic "Arches"


Castle Rock, Coromandel
Castle Rock, Coromandel. Great multipitch sport climbing.
Castle Rock, Coromandel. Great multipitch sport climbing.


Tongariro National Park
Whakapapa Gorge, Tongariro National Park
Whakapapa Gorge, Tongariro National Park

Grade conversion 

New Zealand (along with Australia and South Africa) use the Ewbank grading system. See the grade conversion table below.
YDS-Ewbank grade conversion
YDS-Ewbank grade conversion

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.9 miles from here

220 Total Routes

['4 Stars',19],['3 Stars',48],['2 Stars',90],['1 Star',52],['Bomb',7]
['<=5.6',14],['5.7',23],['5.8',22],['5.9',35],['5.10',84],['5.11',29],['5.12',11],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',2],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Island:
High Hopes   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Kawakawa Bay : The Point
Tibia   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 3 pitches, 200'   Whanganui Bay : Whekenui Wall
Millennium Madness   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 90'   Main Cliff : Millenium Wall
The Arches   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 100'   Main Cliff : The Arch Area
Terror Incognito   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Froggatt's Edge : Main Wall
Monsterpiece Theatre   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 90'   Froggatt's Edge : Main Wall
Browse More Classics in North Island

Featured Route For North Island
Danny moving onto the final headwall on Terror Incognito

Terror Incognito 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  Oceania : New Zealand : ... : Main Wall
An absolute classic, one of the best in the park, and arguably one of the best sport routes in the general area. A big boulder move gets you onto the slab, step left to clip and move up the arête to the roof. Bypass the roof on the left and continue up the steepening headwall on fantastic holds. Seventy-five feet of continuous movement at the grade, I could see it argued to go a grade or two harder because of the consistency, but it’s not worth debating. A worthy tick if at your grade level,...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of North Island Slideshow Add Photo
Jo Frances on Gecko Groove
Jo Frances on Gecko Groove
Ti Point
Ti Point
Mt Maunganui beach, as seen from the crag.
Mt Maunganui beach, as seen from the crag.
Pakeho, Northern Taranaki
Pakeho, Northern Taranaki
New Zealand's answer to Thailand's famous beachside sport climbing:  excellent trad and sport routes on a secluded beach at Te Ananui on the East coast of the North Island.  That's me in the bottom lefthand corner of the photo.
New Zealand's answer to Thailand's famous beachsid...
River wall, Mangorewa Gorge
River wall, Mangorewa Gorge

Comments on North Island Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -