Rock Climbing in Tasmania
Tasmania is home to what for many is seen as the ultimate climb in Australia - The Totem Pole - one of the most spectacular pieces of rock on the planet. It is a free-standing dolerite pillar spearing straight out of the water in a gloomy chasm infested with sharks and subject to volatile swell patterns. It is over sixty metres tall, but only about four metres wide at the base. It sways in the wind and shudders with the crash of every wave. The prospect this piece of rock presents the climber is uncompromising and chilling. It demands you take at handful of bravery pills, as the challenge of the climb is psychological as much as technical.
Related websites: The best rock climbing sites in Northern Tasmania | Comprehensive guide to the top climbing sites of Tasmania | Australian climbing links
The Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania's south-east corner finishes in a spectacular sweep of vertical cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in Australia. The rock is Jurassic dolerite, the remains of a drowned escarpment, with kilometres of unclimbed columns, stacks, chasms and great walls rising abruptly from the deep ocean waters. Well-worn phrases such as "awesome coastal scenery, once seen, never forgotten", "one of the world's most fearful sea cliffs", "the scariest cliff in the known universe", "no equal anywhere in the southern hemisphere" ... are all absolutely true of this place.
Cape Raoul climbs | Cape Pillar climbs | Fortescue Bay & Cape Hauy climbs (including The Candlestick and the Totem Pole) | Tasman Peninsula climbs
Wilderness sport climbing! Adamsfield is a collection of conglomerate boulders sitting on top of a small range that overlooks pristine lakes and forests. The climbs vary from gently overhung faces to steep roofs and are from 5 to 15m long. Adamsfield is a relatively new addition to the Tasmanian climbing scene, the first routes were established in 1994. All routes are sport routes and most of them are graded 20 to 29.
The City of Hobart is defined by Mt Wellington. Standing 1270 metres high, it forms a stunning backdrop to the city while the spectacular vista from the top encompassing the surrounding islands and estuaries is truly world class. The summit may be a short drive from the city centre but is a world removed, a true mountain environment complete with unpredictable weather, stunted sub-alpine flora, and a complex of buttresses, outcrops, screes and gullies. Situated directly below the summit at an altitude of 1000m is the largest and most conspicuous crag on the mountain, the Organ Pipes. Visible further to the right and tucked beneath the subsidiary peak of Mt. Arthur, is the boutique crag of Lost World.
More ... | other Mt. Wellington climbs
Launceston has more quality rock within 90 minutes drive of the city than most other major cities in Australia. With over 1800 routes at 12 venues all reachable in 90 minutes drive or less, it certainly makes for a great climbing holiday. The Northern Tasmanian landscape provides an astonishing variety of climbing experiences, all within a relatively small geographical area. In central Launceston there are 850 routes in Cataract Gorge and further upstream. In the North Esk river just 10 minutes from town is 300 routes in another spectacular gorge.
The climbing on the peninsula varies from the less accessible routes on the Hazards (a spectacular 300m high, pink granite dome) to the more popular, shorter (usually single pitch), steeper, well protected climbs found closer to Coles Bay. Grades vary from 5 to 28. If you get sick of climbing you can always swim, bushwalk or kayak around the peninsula.
The cliffs of Ben Lomond provide arguably some of the best climbing in Tasmania. Being near one of Tasmania's premier skiing resorts (if there is such a thing), climbing is only possible during the summer months. For those inclined, winter climbing would certainly provide new problems - don't forget the ice screws! At an elevation of at least 1300m, the crags are very high (by Australian standards). Even in summer weather changes will occur very quickly, so don't forget your warm gear or be prepared to shiver. On warm summers afternoons though, this place is complete bliss.
Ben Lomond climbs
It's a long walk to reach this one, but well worth it. Located 100km NW of Hobart in the Franklin-Gordon National Park, it is on some of the country's longest adventure routes. Be ready for a 25km walk in on a well-posted track.