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Paynes Ford

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Paynes Ford Rock Climbing 

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Location: -40.8387, 172.80119 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James23 on Aug 8, 2007
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Limestone sport crag with a good variety of routes, I think about 250. Some great overhangs, but mostly vertical with a few slabs. Most of the belays are somewhat shaded, but you have a wonderful view of the green countryside at the top. There is an additional cliff 15 minutes away with sunny, open routes directly across the road from the sea.

Also, check out Acid Test....a wicked inverted boulder problem over a glacial stream, on the opposite side of the road. First 15 ft is easy, but I was told there were only a handful of people who'd made it over the tip.

I'll add some more specifics once I find my travel journal, but feel free to edit, as my posting will never be even remotely complete.

Getting There 

North end of south island. Main access trail has numbered trails leading off of it, making finding routes super easy. There was a private climbers camp that was just a couple min walk from the crag.

Climbing Season

For the South Island area.

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Paynes Ford

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Paynes Ford:
Acid Test   V5 6C     Boulder   First Watering Hole
Good Bye Cream-Poofters   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Track 1
Temples of Stone   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Track 2
1080 and the Letter G   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Track 6
Rawhide   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Track 1
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Paynes Ford

Featured Route For Paynes Ford
Rock Climbing Photo: Grady is the gorilla i sent

Send a Gorilla 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13  Oceania : New Zealand : ... : Track 4
well protected, and you'll want it seeing as it's very pumpy...get yourself confident for the top there may be lots of falling. there are no hands rests available, use them....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Paynes Ford Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: bunkhouse at paynes' ford, mingling; ...
bunkhouse at paynes' ford, mingling; ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Payne's Ford Reserve sign in the car park. Hang do...
BETA PHOTO: Payne's Ford Reserve sign in the car park. Hang do...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jacob basically walking up a route on Bo Peep Slab
Jacob basically walking up a route on Bo Peep Slab
Rock Climbing Photo: Thomas getting past the crux on Crease Wall
Thomas getting past the crux on Crease Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam on Feeling Lucky Punk (25) at global
Adam on Feeling Lucky Punk (25) at global
Rock Climbing Photo: one of very few rules, the other involves campfire...
BETA PHOTO: one of very few rules, the other involves campfire...
Rock Climbing Photo: paynes' ford is for climbers!
paynes' ford is for climbers!
Rock Climbing Photo: This amusing sign shows the nature of the routes a...
This amusing sign shows the nature of the routes a...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the climbers campground a short walk from ...
BETA PHOTO: This is the climbers campground a short walk from ...

Comments on Paynes Ford Add Comment
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By brat
Dec 26, 2007
To get to Paynes Ford, let's assume you're starting in Nelson:

Follow signs to Richmond (I think you'll be on Hwy. 6, heading roughly west). When you get to Richmond, follow signs to Motueka. When you get to Mot, follow signs to Takaka. (If you must stop in Mot, there's a darling little independent theatre, I think it's called the Gecko or something like that.) You'll go up and over the Takaka Hill (bring water for your radiator if you car is so inclined). Driving time from Nelson is about 2 hours. Paynes Ford will be on the right, look for the DOC signs, about 3km before you get to Takaka. I would assume the roads have names or numbers, but it's much easier just to know what cities to head towards.

If you're taking a trip to Golden Bay, DON'T MISS THE MUSSEL INN! Such an awesome spot. And Golden Fries, the fish and chips van thing, is pretty awesome too.
By Chris JD
From: Golden, Co
Jan 11, 2008
I agree with the Golden Fries in Takaka - great place and reasonable prices.

The hangdog camp sells two guidebooks, a $10 and a $25 version. The $10 is good for a couple of day jaunt with good descriptions and hand drawn topos, but tops out about the NZ 24 (hard 5.11) grades. The $25 book is more complete with all the harder routes and photos.

As for Takaka hill - when NZ indicates a curvy road sign - they mean it! I think I counted about 230 turns in 20km over that hill.
By Tom Bowker
From: somewhere in the USA
Nov 18, 2008
Going around some of the curves at a whopping 18kph my tires were squealing!
By akforty7
From: seattle, wa
Apr 26, 2009
golden fries is closed on mondays!!! be aware of this, and that wholemeal closes real early (like 4pm!) and their food is amazing.

if you want a bowl (yes, bowl) of coffee, hit up dangerous kitchen...and there's pizza. real good kind, note that pizza in new zealand doesn't start with a marinara base...that's bbq sauce. uh-huh. real good, but different.

rest days are rad...but don't rest. but if you must, then try the 'art' of fishing for salmon at a salmon farm (short drive toward's town from hangdog). yeah, there's no skill involved, but fresh?

By HoseBeats
May 7, 2009
If your accustomed to using the YDS take the conversions to the Australian system with a grain of salt. The Kiwis are pretty good sandbaggers and the numbers don't always translate well. Watch out around the 19-24 grades, they can be stiff compared to the American equivalent.

Also, the climbing at Paynes can be quite pumpy and hard to get the onsight. Typically you search through a sea of crap looking for the best hold. It takes a week or maybe longer to really settle into the area, but once you do it can be really, really good.
By germsauce Epstein
Apr 10, 2011
Paynes, and the next-door Hang-Dog camp is heaven on earth. simply put. emerald green swimming holes, cliff jumps, Tasty eels to catch in the rivers, Tui's and all manner of other kind of native amazing birds singing from dawn to dusk, oh and the climbing. Get ready for SLIMPERS on beautiful grey limestone. belay among the tree-ferns as you tick off beautiful, artistic gymnastic and technical roots that range from fully overhang 50 feet of the deck (1080 and the letter g) to techy bulge and slab climbing (skiing of a convex slope comes to mind). If you get bored at paynes, head down to the sea-cliffs at Pohara with some other hangdoggers to climb single and double pitch classics over the Tasman sea. In town you'll find badass- homestyle-hippy cuisine and a cast of amazing characters you'll think your in a Tom Robbins Novel.
Don't miss out on drinking at the Muscle Inn, about 20 minutes out of town, one of NZ's older and best breweries, with great live music and parties.
ahh hangdog, Paynes Ford and Takaka town, how i miss thee!
By James Garrett
Jul 3, 2016
Agree with germsauce... I love this place and the Rock is high quality limestone!!:)
By John Dinh
Aug 22, 2017
Is the weather climbable in September on the south island? where are the best crags to avoid wet rock?

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