Tassie summer climbing guide
Everything you need to know about climbing on the south island this summer
Image: Simon Bischoff
Tassie is a wild and wonderful place to climb, especially in summer where long days and endless options chew up visiting climbers and spit them out with pulpy hands and full hearts. When you’re visiting Tassie’s wild crags this summer, there are a lot of useful things to know when it comes to managing your impacts, so we’ve compiled a handy (and updated) guide for the 2022-23 season to help you along the way.
Follow Leave No Trace principles, check out the climbing guides on Thesarvo for access advice, contact the Climbers Club of Tasmania (CCT) if you have specific access questions, and get general advice for lessening your impact on the Crag Care Tasmania website.
Still closed for now.
Temporary cultural heritage closures
Marrawah in the north-west, the North Cave at pinmatik/Rocky Cape and Dog Wall at Sisters Beach are still temporarily closed pending further cultural assessments (further detail outlined below). Respect these closures, they have been initiated by the Tasmanian climbing community. Learn more about how to protect cultural heritage around Tasmanian cliffs from our Code of Conduct. Boulderers in particular should keep in mind the advice around potential rock shelters.
There is currently no climbing allowed on the Dog Wall for cultural heritage reasons, please also avoid standing, walking or hanging out under the wall. Shell middens are spread throughout the area and represent living spaces occupied over thousands of years, extra care should be taken to not impact these. Camping is definitely not allowed in this area.
This area is of great spiritual significance to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, please respect the historic and spiritual values it represents. Climbs in the area of North Cave are currently closed because of the significant heritage value of the cave. The old descent gully should also be avoided for this reason. Climbs on Zorro wall are open and descent from the cliff can be made by abseil on fixed slings to the right of Zorro.
Access to Bare Rock is via local climber Andy Martin and his partner Alannah’s property. Please respect their privacy and the following requests:
Bare Rock campground (on Andy’s property) is closed until Easter, as is the toilet, to alleviate pressure on the area. Free camping and toilets are located nearby in Fingal town centre.
The road to Andy’s is not council maintained, and is paid for by local property owners, including Andy. Please drive slowly to minimise your impact, and contribute $10/car to help maintain the road. An honesty box is located at the campsite. Car-pooling is encouraged.
Please shoot Andy a text to let him know you’re coming (0418 883 418) and don’t show up after dark.
When turning off the Mt Brown track towards the Paradiso cliff, please walk on the rocks as much as possible, and avoid walking on any muddy areas - this contributes to track erosion which is becoming more evident.
Also camping is really tricky on the Tasman Peninsula, public campgrounds are available at Fortescue Bay if you want a stick around a few days. It is busy so try book in advance if you can.
Mad Monkeys and Monkeys Bum
The access instructions to these crags have changed so that the tracks no longer cross private land. Check Thesarvo here and here for details.
Cloudy Bay, Bruny Island
Access to the Cloudy Bay campsite and cliffs is along the Cloudy Bay beach. To avoid impacting the threatened hooded plovers and other resident shorebirds that nest in the soft sand, time your trip to drive at low tide on the hard sand.
Please don’t camp at or near the carpark – there is no toilet and things are getting out of hand. There is camping and a toilet nearby at the Ye Old Buckland Inn in Buckland. You just have to buy a beer from the pub or donate $5 to camp.
This crag is closed due to access issues through private land.
Access advice for the Tyndalls has changed in consultation with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service to prevent new tracks from forming across the plateau. Visit Thesarvo for more details.
Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
This is a huge area stretching from south-west Tassie up past Cradle Mountain in the north and includes crags like Federation Peak, Frenchmans Cap and Mt Anne (more info here). Flying drones is not allowed in the area or any National Park in Tasmania without a permit. These places are remote and wild - check the weather and plan appropriately.
A free registration system has been put in place for several overnight/multi-day hikes in Tasmania, including Frenchman’s Cap and Federation Peak, to help protect our most remote and sensitive areas. A separate permit for climbers is available for Frenchman’s Cap, which will allow you to stay for six nights rather than just the four nights available to walkers. Visit this page for further info about the climbers’ permit and the Parks Tasmania website for more details about other permits.
Mount Lyell bouldering area
Exercise caution when pulling on or off the Lyell Highway to park. This is an alpine area so follow all leave no trace principles, when possible toilet before or after climbing. If you can’t, follow the poopin guidelines below. Please look after the native plants like the King Billy pines and other native Tasmanian trees. As this area is still being developed some hold cleaning is required but avoid enlarging holds.
Parks have noticed many non-climbers starting to use climbers’ tracks and climbing areas, placing extra pressure on the environment. Please think carefully before posting to social media and tagging your location, particularly in wilderness areas.
Many Tasmanian crags are located in sensitive and wild places. Always try to poop before you leave home. If you’ve really gotta go at the crag, dig a deep hole (20 cm) and pack your TP out in double zippys or whatever makes you comfy. Always carry a trowel and ziplocks so you won’t be caught out. For rocky or alpine areas (the Boneyard, Paradiso, Star Factory, Tyndalls, Acropolis etc.), bring a poo tube / container and pack your poop out!
We have some super special and pretty unique wildlife on our little island, many of which are night owls (figuratively speaking). Slow down by at least 20km/hr if driving between dusk and dawn (or avoid driving at these times all together). Just this little change has been shown to have a big impact on reducing roadkill rates.
Stay safe and informed about access and local weather conditions. Gerry's climbing guide and thesarvo are both good places to start when it comes to access and route info.
Have fun out there!