Rock climbing is great for health and fitness and team building, and of course, it’s a fun-filled activity for all ages. As the name suggests, Bouldering is climbing boulders with the freedom to go rope and harness free but at safer low wall heights. There is no shortage of rock climbing and bouldering gyms in Melbourne.
Believe it or not, there was a time when rock climbing-themed birthday parties stopped being cool. Bouldering was a concept familiar only to those who spent most of their time in the furthest corners of Yosemite, and as a result, the climbing gyms of Sydney and beyond were struggling.
Now that Free Solo has changed the game, everyone knows who Tommy Caldwell is, and everyone now knows that it’s a fantastic, functional way to get absolutely jacked, the sport is booming. And it has a super positive, communal vibe to boast.
Being the Australian capital for all things eco-friendly, slightly hippy-ish, sporty and enlightened, Melbourne is naturally booming as a haven for climbing enthusiasts. As a result, the city has one of the best climbing communities in Australia and the facilities to match – offering your choice of rock climbing, indoor bouldering, and even an outdoor wall located just a short drive from the CBD.
Where Can Kids Go Rock Climbing In Melbourne?
Where can kids go rock climbing in Melbourne? For kids, indoor rock climbing is a fun and active thing to do. So, we’ve put together this article to provide some great information. On, how your family can involve themselves further in the sport.
As well as some great places for the kids to go climbing in safety. So, in recent years, rock climbing has become more and more popular. Going from a recreational activity to an elite sport. Which will feature as an Olympic event at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. Moreover, this is mainly due to the large number of climbing centres that have opened up.
Thus, making it easily accessible for the whole family to go and give rock climbing a try. Also, not only does rock climbing improve strength and body control. But, in addition, it’s a complex, mind-challenging sport. All of these qualities are fantastic for kids. However, most importantly, it is a heap of fun! So, live in Melbourne and looking for rock climbing centres? Ones where your kids can go and give this amazing sport a try?
Gravity Worx in Pascoe Vale has up to 50 different rock climbing routes of varying difficulty. They have a mix of top rope (safety partnered), auto-belay (solo) and lead climbing (periodic clip-in harness) on offer. The 16 auto-belays are ideal for children, inexperienced climbers and those who don’t have a climbing partner, so don’t worry about rocking up solo. They also host regular climbing competitions, stretching and yoga classes and coordinate outdoor sessions.
Bayside Rock has something for every climber. Under 13s will love Climb Time, a child-friendly area that provides 25 fully automated climbing stations that don’t require parental supervision.
Designed by an Australian national climbing champion, their top ropes section has 50 climbs that are 10 to 12 metres high. Bayside also has a bouldering area for those who prefer a rope-free experience, with over 300 metres of courses and 100 problems in varying grades. They keep you closer to the ground at 4.5 metres in height. They also have a ropes course to explore – you can essentially spend all day here. Climbing shoes and chalk bags can be hired.
Northside Boulders Brunswick
Northside Boulders are the same team who own and operate Melbourne’s first dedicated bouldering gym, the Lactic Factory in Abbotsford. The walls here are up to 4.5 metres high and are angled from inclined slabs to horizontal roofs.
Northside also has food onsite to get climbers refuelled and refreshed to take on their next challenge. They’ve adopted the same signature furnishings and plants as their Abbotsford gym, and they play some wicked tunes to boot.
It’s hard to miss Hardrock‘s CBD location. Located above Swanston Street, this climbing venue offers floor-to-ceiling views of the street and its multiple intersections. For keen climbers, Hardrock offer 44 top rope walls, which are up to 16 metres high.
The venue also has four auto-belay walls, so you don’t have to bring a spotter as the automated cable system will catch climbers if they fall. For experienced climbers, the venue’s grade ranges from six to 30, so if you have one, bring your locking karabiner, and they can provide the climbing shoes.
The climbs are 11 years and over for punters, while younger climbers can engage in interactive rock climbing games. Hardrock also has a venue in Nunawading which also features a bouldering cave and 51 top rope walls up to 14 metres high.
Located in Brunswick, North Walls has the distinct honour of featuring climbing walls by Walltopia, an international wall-climbing manufacturer. These specially-made walls provide plenty of climbing routes for all levels.
Plus, for the severe climbers, they have lead tests during certain hours. North Walls has a strong sense of community, often hosting various workshops for avid climbers, including ones that are for women only. They also host competitions for climbers to test how many routes they can complete without taking a rest. If you aren’t gripping ropes, there is also a café on-site where you can recharge with freshly ground coffee.
Up Unlimited Moorabbin
Up Unlimited Moorabbin is a climbing gym concept that was originally brought over from New Zealand. Over 30 clip and climb challenges to try are available in a range of difficulties, which are all equipped with TruBlue auto-belay technology, which make it easy to climb without a climbing buddy.
There are even Speed Walls, which have timers to race climbers on parallel climbs. Once you’ve climbed the walls, there’s also a caving obstacle course of trying that includes over 85 metres of caving fun (including a ball pit!). Brave punters can even try their vertical drop side and Leap of Faith obstacle. Up Unlimited is open to all ages, with climbing prices starting at $12.50 per person.
Boasting over an acre of indoor aerial activities, Latitude offers a world of aerial entertainment for little kids and big kids alike. There are over 100 interconnected trampolines, a performance area, a giant airbag, dodgeball courts and basketball lanes in this indoor centre.
After you bounce, go for a round of climbing at Latitude’s rock-climbing walls or tackle the six-section sky-high obstacle course. There’s fun for the littlest bouncers, too, with Latitude’s dedicated Kids Zone, designed for kids aged 18 months to 5 years.
The Lactic Factory
Melbourne’s first dedicated bouldering gym, the Lactic Factory, features 3.8-metre high walls sloping at all angles, from a gentle ten-degree overhang to a brutal 60 degrees, all surrounded by excellent soft mats if you should put your faith in the wrong climbing hold.
When you’re not climbing, there’s plenty of nice spots to relax with food and drink options available. Basic climbing gear is available to buy, and you can also hire climbing shoes if you don’t have your own.
Cliffhanger Climbing Gym
The Cliffhanger Climbing Gym is Australia’s tallest indoor rock-climbing centre where everyone from children (ages 4+) to adults can scramble up rock faces and defy gravity to their heart’s content. The gym is part of the Westgate Entertainment Complex.
Rock climbing in Australia
The best places to go rock climbing in Australia are around Melbourne and Sydney in the southeast of Australia, around Brisbane in Queensland, Moonarie to the north of Adelaide, plus the island of Tasmania.
The Blue Mountains are the best place to go rock climbing near Sydney, which are located just to the west of the city. Here there is a combination of both sport climbing and trad rock climbing on sandstone rock.
The climbing area is large and provides everything from single pitch routes to long multi-pitch routes across all grades. A comprehensive guidebook for this area called “Blue Mountain Climbing” is available to buy from our shop.
Rock climbing around Brisbane in Queensland
11 major crags within a few hours’ drive of Brisbane offer some great and varied rock climbing. Nearly all the crags offer different rock types and angles, with both bolted and traditionally protected routes available.
The type and style of climbing varies from single pitch routes at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, which is located in the heart of Brisbane, to Mount Tibrogargan, which has long multi-pitch routes in the mountains that are up to 245m long.
The South East Queensland Climbing guidebook is the definitive guidebook for Queensland Frog Buttress is one of Australia’s best single-pitch trad climbing areas with nearly 400 routes. The cliff is around 500m wide and is made up of densely packed rhyolite columns up to 50m long.
Rock climbing on Tasmania Island
The large island of Tasmania located to the south of Melbourne is the home to some of Australia’s best and spectacular rock climbing. There is a great variety of climbing, such as the Dolerite crags at Launceston’s Cataract Gorge, granite sea cliff climbing at Freycinet, and conglomerate sport climbing at Adamsfield. In addition, there is easy access to climbing near the main cities of Hobart and Launceston, to remote alpine multi-pitch climbing on Frenchmans Cap and Mt Geryon.
The Climb Tasmania Guidebook is a selective guidebook covering over 850 of the best sport climbing and Trad rock climbing in Tasmania at 25 different crags.
Rock Climbing at Moonarie
Moonarie is a great adventure rock climbing destination and is one of Australia’s most spectacular crags. Moonarie is situated on the rim of Wilpena Pound, a bowl of layered quartzite sandstone rock in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, 450km north of Adelaide.
The climbing at Moonarie is all about trad with superb rock and loads of fantastic quality routes, with a good range of intermediate to challenging routes (F6a+ and above or UK HVS and above). The hard sandstone rock naturally accepts trad gear though some routes do have the odd bolt, plus there are a few sport routes.
Rock climbing around Melbourne
Mount Arapiles is located near the town of Natimuk in Victoria State, which is around 300km from Melbourne. Mount Arapiles is a spectacular island of hard quartzite rock and is often described as the best trad-climbing area in Australia. Few other areas can compete against Arapiles for the sheer quality, quantity and diversity of trad-climbing across all grades.
Mount Arapiles is a spectacular island of hard quartzite sandstone rock and is often described as Australia’s best traditional rock climbing area. This super hard sandstone rock is ideally suited to solid nut and cam placements.
The vast majority of the routes at Mount Arapiles, across all grades, are well protected using traditional gear. Though some routes are completely bolted, these are rare. Usually, bolts are used for a section of a route that cannot be naturally protected that, which n essence is still a trad route.
Though there are multi-pitch routes up to 150m long, the vast majority of the routes are single pitch. There are well over 1,200 routes at Mount Arapiles across a wide range of grades, ensuring there is something for everyone.
Mount Arapiles is located near the town of Natimuk, which is around 300km from Melbourne. The access to these routes is easy and relatively short, with a convenient campsite at the mountain’s base.
It is possible to climb all year round at Mount Arapiles though the spring (September to November), and in particular, the autumn (March to May) are the best times to climb. During the autumn, the weather is usually warm and dry, giving perfect climbing conditions. During the summer, when it is hot, there are plenty of shaded gullies to climb in, whilst during the winter is the wettest period.
Several guidebooks are available for Mount Arapiles, with the comprehensive guide simply called “Arapiles Selected Climbs”. “Arapiles 444” describes 444 of the best routes at Arapiles. Mount Arapiles is also featured in the guidebook describing Victoria’s best rock climbing venues, which is called “Sublime Climbs”.
Rock climbing at The Grampians
Grampians rock climbing guidebook through the Grampian is located very close to Mount Arapiles the situation and the character of the climbing are entirely different. The Grampians is a vast, mountainous and forested park, which is stunningly beautiful.
In fact, The Grampians is Australia’s largest rock climbing area, with over 6,000 routes that are spread out over a large area with some of the crags in remote locations. Whilst access to some peaks is easy and quick, some require lengthy approaches into the remote wilderness along rough dirt roads and faint walking tracks.
Here you will be rewarded with some excellent rock climbing that will give you captivating views and a chance to experience adventure climbing at its best.
The Grampians is a vast, mountainous and forested park, which is stunningly beautiful. The Grampian is the largest rock climbing area in Australia though it is spread out over a large area with some of the crags in remote locations.
Here many multi-pitch routes are providing some excellent adventure climbing. The majority of the routes are trad though there is the occasional bolt/peg where no other protection is possible. In addition, there are some sport routes though these tend to be in the higher grades.
The Grampians offers a wide range of rock climbing across all grades on sandstone rock. This varies from short hard sport routes to multi-pitch routes providing some great adventure climbing. The majority of the routes are traditionally protected with nuts and cams, though there is the occasional bolt where no other protection is possible.
However, there are still plenty of pure bolted sport routes, though these tend to be in the higher grades. The Grampians is also the best place to go bouldering in Australia. The sandstone formations provide a truly World-class bouldering location with problems from V0 to V12.
The Grampians are located between the towns of Halls Gap and Dunkeld just south of Horsham, approximately 300km from Melbourne. There many official campsites within the park, which generally provide toilets, picnic tables, and fireplaces, but often there will not be tap water. The best time to go rock climbing in the Grampians is during the late spring and early autumn, with the summer generally too hot.
A selective guidebook called “Grampians Climbing” details over 1,200 of the best routes across 61 different crags. The “Grampians Bouldering guidebook” details over 1,300 problems at 29 different crags. Alternatively, the Grampians are featured in the guidebook describing Victoria’sFor example, the best rock climbing venues, which is called “Sublime Climbs”.
Rock Climbing at Mount Buffalo
Sublime Climbs, the rock climbing guidebook for around Melbourne in Victoria Mount Buffalo National Park, is a granite plateau in northwest Victoria that is 1,500m above sea level and provides alpine-style climbing. The climbing here is split into two very distinct styles; a 300m deep gorge and slabs on top of the plateau.
The gorge gives long, steep, crack traditionally protected climbing, whilst the slabs provide delicate bolt protected sport routes. Rock climbing at Mount Buffalo is very much a seasonal affair, with the summer months from November to March is the best time to climb.
Mount Buffalo is a granite plateau in northwest Victoria that is 1,500m above sea level and provides alpine-style climbing. The climbing here is split into two very distinct styles; a 300m deep gorge and slabs on top of the plateau. The gorge gives long, steep, crack trad climbing, whilst the slabs provide delicate bolt protected sport routes.