Are you coming down to the south island this summer? Here's what you should know.
Image: Amelia Caddy
The tassie summer climbing trip is an annual pilgrimage for many. There's long days and endless options that chew you up and spit you out with pulpy hands and full hearts. Here's a few things good to know for the 2023-24 season to manage your impact on these wild and wonderful places.
Remember to always:
Follow Leave No Trace principles
Respect access requirements on private land - access is a privilege, not a right
Respect cultural heritage closures
Avoid any cliffs with nesting birds
Stick to designated paths and campgrounds
Follow basic climbing etiquette
For information on lessening your impact visit the Crag Care Tasmania website.
Image: Nick Hansen
There is currently no climbing allowed on Dog Wall for cultural heritage reasons, please also avoid standing, walking or hanging out under the wall. Respect these and other cultural heritage closures, as they have been initiated by the Tasmanian climbing community. Shell middens are spread throughout the area and represent living spaces occupied over thousands of years and 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 descend by abseiling on fixed slings to the right of Zorro.
This cliff is still closed pending further cultural assessments.
Hillwood remains strictly closed. Stay tuned and visit the Climbers Club of Tasmania Facebook page or thesarvo for opening updates in 2024.
Access to Bare Rock is via local climbers Andy and Alannah’s property. Please respect their privacy and the following requests:
Please shoot Andy a text to let him know you’re coming (04 1888 3418) and don’t show up after dark.
Bare Rock campground (on Andy and Alannah’s property) is closed from November 1st until April 15th, to alleviate pressure on the area. This closure includes the composting toilets onsite and removal of the fixed abseil line. 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. To minimise your impact please drive slowly and contribute $10/car to help maintain the road. An honesty box is located at the campsite and car-pooling is encouraged.
Camping is currently closed at The Docks at Killiecrankie. Options include camping at Jude's place (03 6359 8464) at Killiecrankie Bay, at North East River (20 min drive to the Docks) or Allports (30 min drive). Fires on Flinders Island are not permitted at any time.
The 'Shady Side' of Cataract Gorge is closed until early 2024 due to the potential collapse of a retaining wall on private land above the track.
There is a peregrine falcon nest at Vamp Buttress at Duck Reach. Please avoid climbing in close proximity to this cliff until the chicks have fledged - likely sometime in December. There have also been birds on Pubic Flash in past seasons so keep an eye out.
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. Camping is tricky on the Tasman Peninsula, but public campgrounds are available at Fortescue Bay. It is often busy so book in advance if you can.
Mad Monkeys and Monkeys Bum
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 and stick to the hard sand.
The access road is full of wildlife, so drive slowly (Tasmanian Devils have been seen in recent road kill), and make sure you slow down further when passing the farmer's white house (to minimise dust). Please don’t camp at or near the carpark (this includes lighting fires) – 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. Parts of Sand River are dog friendly. However, please keep dogs under effective control, and note no dogs are allowed on the private land of Panopticon South.
The land owner of Panopticon South may sometimes be undertaking controlled burns. Do not call the fire brigade in these instances, or contact the landowner (who wishes to be left alone). All communications are to go through the Climbers Club of Tasmania. Also note that there have been nesting birds at Panopticon in recent years. Please be aware of nesting behaviour and leave the area if the birds become agitated.
This crag is closed due to access issues through private land.
The Tyndalls is a sensitive alpine area that has become more popular in recent years. To maintain water quality, poo outside of the camp/cave drainage or better yet take a poo tube/wag bags and pack it out!
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. 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 Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service 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. 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 works for you. 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 / wag bags and pack your poop out!
We have some super special and pretty unique wildlife. To look after them slow down by at least 20km/hr if driving between dusk and dawn. Just this little change has been shown to have a big impact on reducing roadkill rates.
Thanks for reading and have fun out there!