The Kangaroo Point cliffs are one of Brisbane’s iconic sights. But to climbers they’re ‘KP’ an epic crag with city views.
- Access great climbing just 5 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD
- Brisbane’s skyline and river make a unique climbing backdrop
- Lights on the crag mean you can climb day or night
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
If you’ve ever visited or lived in Brisbane, you’ve likely wandered riverside by the base of the Kangaroo Point cliffs. From the top of the jagged cliffs, the city skyline features as a spectacular backdrop against the Brisbane River.
You can work up a sweat on the popular but gruelling Kangaroo Point stairs built into the rock, or test out your outdoor climbing skills without leaving the city.
Fun fact! The Kangaroo Point cliffs are made of volcanic rock that was mined by convicts. The quarried rock was used for construction projects in the then developing city of Brisbane in the 1800s.
This turned the cliffs into an urban outdoor climbing paradise decades later.
There are hundreds of single pitch sport, mixed and trad climbing routes along the length of the 20-metre high Kangaroo Point cliffs.
Many of the climbs are bolted and fitted with rings at the top. There are also bollards installed for setting top ropes.
The cliffs extend across a large area, with the most popular and accessible climbs spread across the Left Main Wall and Right Main Wall. There are also some climbs located at KP North, situated left of the stairs, however these are less visited.
The KP cliffs offer up a variety of climbs for lead and top rope climbers. However, many climbs are more difficult than their grade might indicate. Caution is needed if it’s your first time here, until you get a feel for the rock and figure out the sequences for climbs.
Grades start in the single digits. Most of the popular climbs exist in the 16 to 20 grade range.
If you’re new to Kangaroo Point, great moderate climbs on top rope to get a feel for the rock are That Boy Needs Therapy (14), Bombadil (17), Halva (16) and Dysentery (17).
Competent, experienced climbers also have a great deal of choice, including classics such as Punks in the Gin (24) and Cucumber Castle (23).
A Helping Hand
A helmet is a must when climbing here with falling rocks common, as well as debris after heavy rain. The cliffs can be especially sandy after rain, so even a brush comes in handy.
The downside of KP is that the cliffs feature many ledges and the rock’s more slippery than you might expect, especially in humid conditions – care is needed if lead climbing. If you’re unsure of your ability, especially as you get used to the slippery KP rock, you can set up a top rope from the top of the cliff to lessen the danger of any dangerous ledge falls.
Many of the climbs also have high first bolts! A stickclip is very handy at this crag.
The cliffs face northwest, so the best time to go climbing at the cliffs, particularly in the summer months, is between 6am and 11am before the sun hits the cliffs, and after 5pm.
Lights illuminate the cliffs after dark and are turned on around sunset.
Climbs are marked by letters at the base of most climbs. The South East Queensland Climbing Guidebook is a handy reference to the climbs at Kangaroo Point, and other crags around the region.
- Minimum 40m length of rope
- Climbing shoes
- Climbing partner
- Headlamp (for night climbing)
- Chalk and chalk bag
- Personal Anchor System (PAS) and quickdraws for lead climbing
- Belay device
- Self-rescue equipment (e.g. prusiks)
Read more: How To Choose Beginner Rock Climbing Gear
How To Get There
The beauty of the Kangaroo Point cliffs is their accessibility. You can simply walk 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD or a take a 5 minute drive and go outdoor climbing!
The Kangaroo Point cliffs are located off Lower River Terrace next to the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point.
Parking is available on Lower River Terrace or above the cliffs on Main Street. Parking spaces aren’t metered but they do have a 4-hour time limit.
Intermediate to advanced
You’ll need to be a competent and experienced climber to lead climb here due to the risk of ground and ledge falls. Intermediate climbers can start out here on top rope with an experienced climbing partner.