The 90° cliff faces of Point Perpedicular in NSW’s gorgeous Jervis Bay are home to dozens of crags and climbs. Although a little tricky to get to, with whales and waves splashing below, a day of climbing here is truly unique.
The Best Climbing Spot in Australia?
The sea cliffs of Point Perpendicular, on the Beecroft Peninsula, Jervis Bay, are a popular spot for many climbers from Sydney, Canberra, and in between.
It’s one of the most stunning locations to climb in Australia (in my honest opinion). 80 metre sandstone cliffs plunge straight down into the ocean, and waves crash gently below.
From May to November, Humpback, Southern Right, Minke and Pilot whales migrate along the coast to birth calves in the warmer waters, then head back down again. They often come close enough to the cliffs that you can see them breach or slap their awesome tails about. There are also dolphins and seals to look out for while you climb.
There are a few different areas for climbing, with a mix of sport and trad climbs. For most climbs you walk to the top of the cliff, so can set a top-rope on pretty much anything you like. Generally, the climbs involve rappelling down to a ledge (some are wider than others), and climbing back up.
My Favourite Climbs
Little Red Riding Hood Direct
Grade 17 / 30m / mixed trad climb (or, you know, chuck down a top rope)
An Instagram classic, this route follows an arete jutting out to sea. It’s in the Red Riding Hood area, right near the lighthouse.
Grade 17 / 20m / trad climb
A lovely little crack climb, with a hint of overhang, in the Tequila Sunrise area – slightly further along the cliffs from Fishos Hut (see below). This is also a great vantage point to get some photos of your mates on the VB Slab wall.
For more details on specific crags and routes, check out thecrag.com.
It’s Not All Climbing
You don’t have to climb to enjoy the whales – in fact, I usually take extra snacks to Point Perp so I have an excuse to stop climbing/belaying and chill out over a slow whale spotting lunch.
This is basically a natural cave in the side of the cliff, which has been augmented with windows to keep the wind and rain out, with a cosy table and chairs inside.
Presumably originally used by fishermen, it’s pretty cool to check out if you’re happy to do the easy scramble down, but take care! While the chances of slipping are low, the consequences would be high.
This lighthouse sits right on the headland of Point Perp. If you’re out here to climb, you’ll probably pass by it along the way. Definitely check it out when you need a break from the wall.
- Climbing gear, including a few bolt plates for anchors, and enough rope or slings to build top anchors.
- Sunscreen, sunnies and hat – there’s precious little shade to be had at the top of the cliffs.
- Water, snacks
- Camping gear if you plan to stay the weekend
- Snorkel and goggles
How To Get There
The crag can be a little confusing to get to. It’s inside the military-owned Beecroft Weapons Range, and the entrance on Lighthouse Road is controlled with a boom gate – but it’s open to the public on weekends and school holidays.
To access the main climbing areas, you either park at the lighthouse car park or stop at a track on Lighthouse Road, depending on where you’re headed. Walk-ins to the main areas are fairly short – under 20 minutes.
The Climb Point Perp website has good info about access to the crags, plus phone numbers to call and check opening days and times.
There are plenty of easy climbs for beginners. But setting up top anchors, (often on bolts a few metres back from the edge), abseiling down, and being able to set up a top belay, takes a few more rope skills than the average sport crag.