History of rock climbing in New Zealand

New Zealand is renowned as one of the best alpine climbing locations in the world! Kā Tiritiri-o- te-Moana or the Southern Alps is the range of mountains that runs the length of the south island and provided the basis for this reputation!  Climbers come from around the world to ascend the peaks of Kā Tiritiri-o- te-Moana and climb in the river valleys below the mountains!

Kā Tiritiri-o- te-Moana provides the impressive backdrop around Wanaka. Over the years as climbers have moved to the area they have focused their attention on the rock walls and buttresses of the Matukituki Valley as a way to climb in bad weather when access to the mountains is not possible and also to train and improve their skills. Rock climbing in Wanaka started in 1970 and ever since the local climbing community has worked extremely hard to develop a climbing area that provides quality rock climbing
routes for all climbing ability’s.

The climbing in Wanaka has grown with the popularity and accessibility of the sport and now has the largest concentration of sport climbing routes in New Zealand! Close to 1000 rock climbs can be accessed within a 30 minute drive
from Wanaka.
The climbing in Wanaka lends itself towards single pitch sport climbs that are generally face climbs but Wanaka also boasts a selection of Multi-pitch climbs as well as traditional crack climbs for those climbers seeking some additional adventure!

A standard day for Wanaka local climbers involves heading out to the Matukituki, enjoying some athletic face climbing and when its warm the Motatapu River provides climbers a refreshing respite from the rock. While climbing it’s easy to enjoy views of lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps in every direction.

If you see some locals out at the crag, stop and have a chat,they love to talk about climbing in the amazing venue they have created! They may even invite you along to the next Wanaka Rock Climbing Club working do to help out with crag development...but only if you’re lucky!

Rock climbing in Wanaka, New Zealand is truly is a perfect way to experience and train for the mountain environment that New Zealand is famous for! Wanaka’s Rock Climbing is one of the activity’s that makes the area so fantastic and the community so great to be a part of.