So you want to go bouldering in Sydney? Don’t you have to go to the mountains to climb the good stuff? A lot of people don’t know about the quality outdoor crags and indoor climbing gyms within Sydney itself. These are some of our favourite crags to climb and bouldering gyms around Sydney.

Top 5 Outdoor Bouldering Crags in Sydney:

1. The Frontline
2. Lindfield Rocks
3. Queens Park
4. Sissy Crag
5. Crumbly

 

Top 4 Indoor Bouldering Gyms in Sydney:

1. 9 Degrees Bouldering Gyms
2. Nomad Bouldering Gym
3. Blochaus Bouldering Gym
4. Skywood Bouldering Gym

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

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Whether you’ve never tried bouldering before or are a legend at the crag there’s a place to boulder for climbers of all skill levels in Sydney. Let’s hook in!

Bouldering Safety

Whilst bouldering is an extremely accessible form of rock climbing, it still has inherent risks. It’s just you and the wall with no rope, and sometimes there’s a fair distance between you and the unforgiving ground below.

Please take proper care when bouldering, whether outdoors or at the climbing gym. Ask the employees at your local climbing gym for tips and learn how to spot safely.

Looking for a Sydney indoor climbing gym? We’ve got you: Best Rock Climbing Gyms in Sydney

Outdoor Bouldering Crags in Sydney

 

1. The Frontline

No. of routes: 247
Location: North Rocks
Skill level: Routes range from V0-V11: appropriate for intermediate, experienced, and expert climbers 
Approach: The approach is around 5-10 mins down a gentle track

 

Aron Hailey, rock climbing bouldering Sydney NSW Frontline climbing

 

The Frontline is an all-time favourite crag amongst climbers in Sydney. It’s the biggest area with hundreds of problems ranging from V0-V11. There’s something for everyone of all skill levels, with some great beginner problems to make that transition from plastic to rock a little gentler.

These climbs are generally west and south-facing so they receive plenty of afternoon sun. This crag’s perfect for cold winter afternoons and hot summer mornings, just be warned, these climbs can get very hot in summer.

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Aron Hailey, rock climbing bouldering Sydney NSW Frontline climbing@aronhailey

 

2. Lindfield Rocks

No. of routes: 198
Location: East Lindfield
Skill level: Routes range from VB-V10: appropriate for beginner, intermediate and experienced climbers 
Approach: The approach is just under 5 mins down a gentle track

For those looking to begin outdoor bouldering in Sydney, Linfield Rocks is a classic beginners‘ spot with tonnes of easy straightforward problems. It’s a great spot to transition from bouldering gyms into some outdoor climbing.

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.

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3. Queens Park

No. of routes: 62
Location: Waverly
Skill level: Routes range from V0-V11: appropriate for intermediate, experienced, and expert climbers 
Approach: The approach is just under 5 mins down a gentle track with 2 hour parking nearby

Please note: The majority of the climbing space goes over a footpath so be watchful and respectful of pedestrians and cyclists

Queens Parks is 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.

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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.

Read more: Sacred Aboriginal Sites to Avoid Climbing

 

 

4. Sissy Crag

No. of routes: 143
Location: Forestville
Skill level: Routes range from V0-V12: appropriate for experienced and expert climbers 
Approach: The approach is just under 5 mins down a gentle track

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 bouldering Sydney.

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5. Crumbly

No. of routes: 35
Location: Killarney Heights
Skill level: Routes range from V3-V15: appropriate for experienced and expert climbers 
Approach: The approach is just under 5 mins along a rather steep track

Crumbly is 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 can climb V5/6, don’t hesitate to hop onto some of the classic V8s here as you may find you can work it.

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Indoor Bouldering Gyms in Sydney

 

1. 9 Degrees Bouldering Gyms

Locations: Alexandria, Lane Cove, Waterloo and Parramatta
Cost: $20 casual entry
Opening hours: Changes between gyms

9 Degrees is the dominant face of bouldering gyms in Sydney, with gyms in four locations around the city (Waterloo just opened!).

Their climbing gyms are all about building community and creating a welcoming space, so everyone is able to access bouldering and have a rad time every time they climb.

The name comes from the nine degrees of difficulty there are to the different climbs throughout the gyms.

 

Photo thanks to 9 Degrees

 

2. Nomad Bouldering Gym

Location: Annandale
Cost: $20 for one day unlimited access
Opening hours: 6am – 10pm weekdays / 8am – 9:30pm weekends

With 980 square metres of climbing surface and 1.6km in wall length, Nomad Bouldering Gym is the largest bouldering gym in the southern hemisphere.

There are some seriously epic bouldering facilities at this gym – the largest bouldering arch in the southern hemisphere, a 7.5 metre overhang and a 90 square metre suspended space boulder.

If you’ve never climbed before, Nomad Bouldering Gym has a bunch of beginner classes you can take to get handsy.

Read more: Word Beta // Rock Climbing Slang And How To Use It

 

3. Blochaus Bouldering Gym

Location: Marrickville
Cost: $20 day pass
Opening hours: M: 6am-10pm T: 10am-11am W: 6am-11pm T: 10am-11pm F: 6am-10pm S&S: 9am-10pm

Blochaus has gyms in both Melbourne and Canberra and just recently opened their Sydney edition in Marrickville.

You’ll never get bored at this bouldering gym. They’ve got an entire setting crew dedicated to cleaning and resetting two sectors of the gym every Tuesday and Thursday. That’s a whole new gym to climb every six weeks! Absolute insanity.

They’ve got coffee and treats onsite, so you can stay energised and climb all day long.

The main features of the gym include a 40º woodie, an eight-metre padded slackline and a 12×12 adjustable kilter board. Noice.

Blochaus also put a strong emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility in their gyms and to climbing in general. Their website has a great guide of how to be an LGBTQ+ ally which they partnered with Climbing QTs to create. That’s what we like to see!

 

A New BlocHaus Bouldering Gym is Coming to Sydney!, photo supplied by BlocHaus, climbing gym, woman

Photo thanks to Blochaus

 

4. Skywood Bouldering Gym

Location: Freshwater
Cost: $24 single entry
Opening hours: M,W&T: 9am-10pm, T&F: 2pm-10pm, S&S: 9am-9pm

Skywood is another new addition to the bouldering scene, and is now the one and only dedicated bouldering gym on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Owned by world cup climber and national level route-setter, Yossi Sundakov-Krumins, this gym offers top quality routes and holds just a short walk from Freshwater Beach. Location is prime for a post-climb cool off!

Read more: The Many Faces Of Rock Climbing

Bouldering Sydney FAQs

What’s the difference between rock climbing and bouldering?

The main difference between rock climbing and bouldering is that when rock climbing you use ropes and a harness, but when you’re bouldering, it’s just you and the wall.

This is different to free soloing which is rock climbing without a rope, harness, and other protective gear (do not try this at home!). Bouldering always happens much closer to the ground, with climbers only ascending a few metres up the wall, so a fall is less likely to cause harm. When bouldering at a bouldering gym compared to a climbing gym, the crash mats are much bigger and softer.

There are also different kinds of rock climbing, including lead climbing and top rope climbing.

What gear do I need to bring?

If you’re keen to hit the outdoor bouldering routes, you’ll need to bring your own equipment!

  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk
  • Crash pad (the more the merrier)
  • Skin
  • Friends

Don’t have a crash pad? Ask your local climbing gym if they have one for hire (e.g. 9 Degrees Alexandria).

How much does it cost to start bouldering?

On average a single session at a boulder gym costs about $20, but if you’re thinking of heading there on a regular basis, it’s worth looking into a membership.

For beginners, it’s a good idea to start your bouldering journey at a bouldering gym – there are different skill levels clearly marked on the walls, and you don’t have to worry about buying a crash mat, plus you can rent the necessary equipment there and get tips from the staff.

Is there crag etiquette?

A lot of outdoor bouldering spots are situated near or on walking tracks, so plenty of people who aren’t there climbing walls visit these places too.

These spots have been around longer than you’ve 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 on the street 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 – take any rubbish back home with you and pick up any other items left behind by others
  • Music is both awesome and the worst – 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 go climbing walls just after 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

 

What the hell are these climbers saying?

Confused at the crag about the language being spat around? Check out our guide to rock climbing slang: Word Beta // Rock Climbing Slang And How To Use It