Climbing to dizzying heights and finding the next route is all part of the fun for Stephanie who shares her top picks of epic crags for rock climbing in Tasmania.

Climbing Rocks in Tasmania

Even though I’ve been living in a van and have the freedom to be anywhere, I’ve spent the majority of my time in Iutruwita / Tasmania over the last three years. As a lover of the outdoors it has so many reasons to be my favourite place in Australia. One of these reasons is its amazing rock climbing scene: a tight-knit community, a wide range of climbing styles and disciplines, and a variety of rock types. When it comes to climbing, Tassie has it all!

As I make new friends around Australia and across the world, I’m often asked what areas I consider must-see (or in this case must-climb) across Tasmania. In some ways this is a tricky question as it’s an entire state with a bounty of mountains and coastline, but I’ve definitely developed some strong favourites that I’m always keen to share.

The below crags (translation: climbing areas) work well as a part of a road trip along the East Coast, starting with an arrival by ferry into Devonport or by plane into Launceston. They cover a captivating range of climbing styles and rock types, and include some of the most beautiful and scenic places you may ever climb! Some areas contain bolted sports routes only, others remain solely for trad climbing, and some areas will require you to have knowledge of rappelling.

Make sure to climb within your abilities and stay safe. Let’s go rock climbing Tasmania!

Crags? Trad climbing? Brush up on climbing lingo with our guide to rock climbing slang.


1. Cataract Gorge

Location: Launceston
Grades: 10-30

Cataract Gorge is right in the middle of Launceston city, has over 900 routes, and boasts some amazing views to accompany your climbing. Take your time to learn where each crag in the area is and study the approach – climbs can be a little tricky to locate! With grades starting from 10 all the way up to 30, the climbing is on dolerite which is an abrasive rock with plenty of fun cracks and steep faces.

Some of my highlights are Feltham Buttress for a quick play on some easier routes and Right Man Buttress which is great for testing your crack climbing skills. Duck Reach is a favourite among the locals and there are also plenty of boulders ready to be tackled.

Read more: Bouldering for Beginners


2. Sand River

Location: Buckland
Grades: 10-30

Sand River is a sports climbers paradise, with over 300 routes and approaches ranging from around 5 to 30 minutes. If you’re searching for some lower grades there are great areas here like Panopticon, but there are also plenty of climbs in the medium to hard grades to push yourself. In total, there are routes from grade 10 – 30 here.

Camp out the back of Ye Olde Buckland Inn between sending days. This campground has a toilet and you can get a hot meal or a post-send bevvy from the inn.


3. Paradiso

Location: Mount Brown
Grades: 12-29

While high ocean swells nearly washed my friends and I away on our autumn 2021 visit to Paradiso, it’ll always be an area I recommend due to its great range of grades and fun featured rock.

Aim for a day with low humidity to minimise ‘the spooge’ and keep a close eye on the weather and the swell! Located on the Tasman Peninsula, the 30-45 minute walk to the crag is wonderfully scenic, starting on a well-maintained track along the Mount Brown hiking trail. The sea cliffs and ocean views will take your breath away, and you can see the iconic stacks of Cape Raoul across the bay.

Grades start at 12 for the access climb and reach the high 20s on the main overhanging wall. There are a few accommodation and camping options in the small nearby towns to choose from.

Read more: Tips For Hand & Skin Care for Rock Climbing


4. The Moai

Location: Tasman Peninsula
Grades: 18-24

In terms of grade and approach, The Moai is the most accessible of the iconic Tasmanian sea stacks. Don’t let that fool you though – it’s still a huge day full of adventure! It’s important to do your research to find out what it takes to get to the climbs and back to the campsite, even better if you can tap into local knowledge or be accompanied by someone who has climbed The Moai before. The best place to stay is at the Fortescue Bay camping area, from which it’s about a 7km hike to the cliff top above The Moai.

A day trip to The Moai can reward you with stunning sunrise and sunset views (again, it’s a big day!), exciting exposed climbing above crashing waves, and the chance to see wildlife including dolphins and seals. A rappel of epic proportions will take you to the base of The Moai, then there are four routes to choose from that’ll take you to the top, ranging from grades 18 – 24.


5. Whitewater Wall

Location: Freycinet Peninsula
Grades: 10-19

Whitewater Wall is the place I probably talk about the most to anyone who’ll listen. It’s my favourite place in Tasmania – probably my favourite place in all of Australia! Located in Freycinet National Park, this stunning crag is positioned directly below the Whitewater Wall campsite, which is the perfect place to stay for maximum sending. There’s a drop toilet but no bins so make sure that you can take all rubbish out with you and leave no trace.

Scrambling to the bottom of the main wall is a bit of an adventure in itself, then you’re treated to world-class sea cliff climbing on granite. Apline (Grade 12) is an iconic climb that traverses the wall and is a must-do!

The grades on Whitewater Wall itself start from 10 and finish at 19, however if you’re looking for something more challenging, the other crags accessible from the campsite are also amazing and worth a look if you have the time. If you’re a keen climber there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Harlequin Buttress or the exposed route Beowulf.


Essential Gear For Rock Climbing in Tasmania

  • Access to The Crag Website or the amazing Climb Tasmania book
  • You’ll need a car to visit most of these destinations – one with good clearance will guarantee a much shorter approach time
  • Clothing suitable for all possible weather outcomes, even if you’re visiting in summer. Tassie is a wild place!
  • Both sports climbing and trad climbing gear. Some routes are quite long so you’ll need an appropriate rope length too
  • A PLB is a great idea when climbing in remote locations such as these, as phone service is minimal at many crags in Tasmania
  • Have a read over the Crag Care Tasmania website to learn about ethics, closures, and more
  • Plenty of stoke – get ready to send!

Tips For Rock Climbing in Tasmania

The travel times between some of these locations are fairly short, meaning that the order in which you visit them can be changed based on weather, conditions or scenic detours. Rest days can easily be added to your road trip to allow time to experience more of the spoils that Tasmania has to offer, from wild spaces to beaches to interesting towns.

There are so many other great climbing areas (and some average ones that can still be worth a visit) across Tasmania so be sure to also do your own research when planning a trip. I also highly recommend a visit to Beta Park in Launceston – it’s a fantastic bouldering gym but also a great place to meet some locals and gather knowledge and insight for your journey. Happy sending!

Read more: How To Prepare For (And Recover From) Your Weekend Send


Header image by @mitchmalone
Table of contents image by @stephanie_malone_travels