Bouldering spots in Sydney you say? Don’t you have to go to mountains to climb the good stuff? A lot of people don’t know about the quality of outdoor bouldering within Sydney itself. These are some of our favourite crags to climb around the city.
1. The Frontline
No. of routes: 247
Closest suburb: North Rocks
An all time favourite crag amongst climbers here in Sydney. It’s the biggest area with hundreds of problems ranging from V0-V11. There’s something for everyone with some great beginner problems to make that transition from plastic to rock a little gentler.
2. Lindfield Rocks
No. of routes: 198
Closest suburb: East Lindfield
This crag is a classic beginners spot with tonnes of easy straightforward problems. There are some super classic climbs to get the adrenaline pumping, however some of these problems stray into highball bouldering territory, so please be careful and don’t push your limits. If you’re unsure about the top out then go and check it out before you find yourself high up, tired, shaky and regretting all of your life decisions.
3. Queens Park
No. of routes: 44
Closest suburb: Waverly
A very conveniently located crag in the Eastern Suburbs, offering some great low climbs with good landing, to some spicier high problems. Its locale means it’s an easy stop off before going to the beach, or for a quick after work session. The view from the wall provides a fantastic vantage point for stunning Sydney sunsets, that makes your outdoor climbing session all the more special.
Notes: please be watchful and respectful of pedestrians and cyclists as the majority of the climbs go over a footpath.
Note: Some crags in Waverley are known to be home to Aboriginal Rock art and should not be climbed. If you see evidence of rock art you should stop climbing and get in touch with the Aboriginal Heritage Office.
4. Sissy Crag
No. of routes: 143
Closest suburb: Forestville
This spot is definitely not for sissies. It’s one of the oldest, steepest and meanest crags in Sydney. With over a hundred problems in a variety of styles, Sissy was the place to get strong before the advent of quality bouldering gyms in Sydney. Whilst this is a spectacular spot, I’d only recommend Sissy if you’ve been crushing overhangs at the gym and have some previous outdoor experience.
No. of routes: 35
Closest suburb: Killarney Heights
A dark, damp and dirty crag flush with brilliantly hard and steep bouldering. Whilst the rock might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, water views and natural surroundings more than make up for it.
With the easiest climbs starting at V5, it can be a little tricky to find your feet at Crumbly; nevertheless, it remains a must-do for stronger climbers. If you do climb V5/6, don’t hesitate to hop onto some of the classic V8s here as you may find you can work it.
What To Bring
- Climbing shoes
- Crash pad (the more the merrier)
What if I don’t have a crash pad? Ask one of your local gyms if they have one for hire (e.g. 9Degrees Alexandria).
A lot of the spots are accessible by public transport; although it does take a little while and you’ll definitely receive some strange looks with the pad you’re carrying.
All approaches and information regarding locations can be found on The Crag along with all the climbs and grading.
A lot of outdoor bouldering spots are situated near/on walking tracks so plenty of non-climbers visit these places. A lot of these spots have been around longer than you have been alive and there have been closures so please take care. Here are some must-dos for your trip to the crag…
- Please respect local residents when parking, most crags require you to park outside people’s houses, so keep the volume to a minimum and spend as little time here as possible.
- Your chalk is your responsibility, brush your tick marks off and clean up any split chalk as best you can.
- Bring a plastic bag, please bring any rubbish back home with you and pick up any other items left behind by others.
- Music is both awesome and the worst. Please keep your volume to a minimum and turn it off if there are other people nearby. Sorry, but not everyone likes your music.
- Don’t climb just after the rain; Sandstone loses most of its strength when wet so let it dry out before you snap off a hold.
- Never, under any circumstances, chip out a new hold.
Whilst bouldering is an extremely accessible part of climbing, it still has inherent risks. It’s just you and the wall with no rope. Sometimes there’s a fair distance between you and the unforgiving ground beneath you. Please take proper care when outdoor bouldering and try to gain some knowledge from people at your local gym and learn how to spot safely.
Check out our guide to rock climbing slang: Word Beta // Rock Climbing Slang And How To Use It