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Tassie summer climbing guide 23-24

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 pilgramage for many. The long days and endless options chew you up and spit you out with pulpy hands and a full heart. Here's a few things to know for the 2023-24 season to manage your impact on these wild and wonderful places.


General stuff


Remember to always:

  • 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


For access advice, check out thesarvo or contact the Climbers Club of Tasmania (CCT) if you have specific questions.

For information on lessening your impact visit the Crag Care Tasmania website.


North Tassie

Image: Nick Hansen

Sisters Beach

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. Respect these closures, 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. Extra care should be taken to not impact these. Camping is definitely not allowed in this area.


Rocky Cape

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.


Marrawah

This cliff is still closed pending further cultural assessments.

Hillwood

Hillwood remains strictly closed. Stay tuned and visit the Climbers Club of Tasmania Facebook page or thesarvo for updates in 2024.


Fingal/Bare Rock

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. 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.

Flinders Island

Camping is currently closed at The Docks at Killekrankie. It is recommended to camp at Jude's place (03 6359 8464) at Killiecrankie Bay and drive 20 minutes to The Docks. Fires on Flinders Island are not permitted at any time.


Cataract Gorge

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.


South Tassie


Paradiso

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

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 and stick to the hard sand.

Sand River

The access road is full of wildlife so drive reasonably slowly (Tasmanian Devils have been included in recent road kill), and 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. 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 no dogs are allowed on the private land of Panopticon South.


The land owner of Panopticon South may 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.

Ross Quoin

This crag is closed due to access issues through private land.

West Tassie


Image: Alex Hartshorne

The Tyndalls

The Tyndalls is a sensitve 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 or 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. 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.


Other stuff!


Social media

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.

Poopin’

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. 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 bag and pack it out!

Critters

To look afterout wildlife 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.

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!


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