Fetched from ClimbNZ on Jan 10th, 2018

Showing all routes 18 routes total Time 25–40 min 525 m

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

Sports - 17 routes - avg. grade 18 0 - 16 17 - 21 22 - 25
Trad - 1 route - avg. grade 17 17 - 21

  • Just off the 309 Road
  • Huge potential – world class quality
  • Long routes
  • Fab views
  • All sport climbing
  • Hip and thigh toning approach!

Castle Rock has nice long bolted climbing on beautifully solid rock, but before hurling yourself into this take more care than I would – serious trouble here is easy to come by. The first time I climbed at Castle Rock my climbing partner and I behaved like complete cowboys, excitedly rapping off any bolts we saw at the tops of the cliffs. That was one of the many top anchors to non-existent climbs at Castle Rock that we rapped down. We also rapped down a traversing line, the top pitch of an unfinished 5-pitch climb, and couldn't pull the ropes down... oops... blah, blah, blah.... my point being... it was fun... just be prepared for something different from anywhere else in the North Island. A big hug and rainbow coloured flowers to all the developers of Castle Rock – it's a steep walk to take a drill, etc – you're awesome!

New routes

New developers please use only stainless steel hardware for new routes. Please try to hide your bolts and consider where your route starts and tops out. Climbers have already added significantly to the erosion at the tops. It's also good practice to keep low profile.


To date all the routes except 1 are bolted, and you will need about 15 quick draws minimum to attempt most routes. It is strongly advised that you take two 60 metre ropes, these are big cliffs and a lot of the abseil are over 50m. Don’t forget to tie knots in the ends of your ropes, and extend your runners..


From Thames:

The 309 Road (yes, 309 is the name of the road) is about 3km south of Coromandel Township. Drive north from Thames for about an hour and turn right at the 309 Road and the sign to the Waiau Waterworks, (3km before Coromandel). When you see the Waiau Waterworks, take the next left on CASTLE ROCK ROAD. Drive 3km or so up the Castle Rock forestry road to the top. Just after the road curls off to the right, you can park on the right side of the road. You'll be able to see the rock from here The walking track is a little overgrown at the start. Go into the bush, at the big corner, and take the little track going straight up to the summit – not the long overgrown road curling off to the right. Go up the walking track in the native bush. At the top of the saddle there's a fork in the track. Kookmeyer and Budda Wall is on the left outcrop, the Quiet Earth Wall and the main lookout is to the right. The lookout on the right buttress also gives you a great view of the Budda Wall.

Attribution: www.freeclimb.co.nz. Hosted by Cliff Ellery, Written by Rachael Mayne.

Showing all routes 10 routes total Time 30min

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps

Sports - 9 routes - avg. grade 18 0 - 16 17 - 21 22 - 25
Trad - 1 route - avg. grade 17 17 - 21

NOTES:  The next climbs are all just under 30 meters, so bring the right rope/s!  If it has been raining in the last 3 days some climbs on this wall may still be dripping wet  In Summer this wall is cool till about 12/1pm, Winter it's lovely after midday.  These climbs can be climbed ground up, unlike many of the other routes at Castle Rock  Routes Described from right to left as you walk down the hill.

Access: Heading up the main track 30m below the saddle is a cairn on the left. This marks the “climbers track” round the left of the pinnacles outcrop to the Kookmeyer valley. If you don’t get lost you should come out at the top of a step gully with the Kookmeyer wall on your right. The first climb you come to is an open project of unknown grade. Alternatively 2 raps will get you in from the top. To get to the top continue up the main track to the saddle. Take the left track round to the top of the Kookmeyer and Budda pinnacle. You can rap down “Wind/Left Dancer”, “Te Punga” or “Sleeping Boys”, they are all 2 raps to base even on twin 60m ropes!

Grade 17
50m Start at the big corner 5m left of "Sleeping Boy Catches No Fish". Climb up the slab until you reach the bottom of the big corner, place gear, then pull through the crux to get into the corner. Follow the corner crack up for 10m until the crack closes off then move right 4m to a #1 cam placement. This is going be your last solid piece for a while. Climb slab, (tri cams, small cams in pockets and wires in slots, #3 cam in corner higher up). Once at the big roof traverse right under the roof then up to the belay of "Sleeping Boy”.
Sleeping boy catches no fish
Grade 18, 21, 16
30 Bolt
1. 50m The climb is found around the corner about 10M to the left of Kookmeyers. Getting through the bush to it can be 'interesting'. Slab climb, fantastic varied climbing a real star line. The crux is getting off the ground. 16 Draws and extend the middle ones were the climb dog legs. Finishes on a large ledge with 2 possible options. Climb the “Links Effect at grade 18 or continue up the steep little corner at grade 21.
2. 15m Start just left of the belay, climbing the ramp and ledge system that leads to the large corner. Climb the corner and right face, then move left above the 4th bolt (crux). Traverse under the roof on to the left arête. Easy climbing to DBC belay
3. 25m A fantastic finish to a fantastic line, climbs the left face and arête. A difficult start sequence then pull through the over-hanging block and blast up the head wall. DBC belay. From the belay a quick scramble to the top (best stay on belay for this one). Original climb as a separate line with an abseil approach.
The Links Effect
Grade 18, 18, 18
25 Bolt
1. 50m Climb “Sleeping Boy catches no fish.
2. 35m From the belay of “Sleeping boy” move out right clip 2 bolts then boldly drop over the edge into the over hung corner, follow the ramp up and right past 5 more bolts till you come to the end of the roof ( 2nd Pitch of Wind dancer) Pull over the lip (crux) then follow the line of bolts right to the belay of “Top Pitch”.
3. 15m From the ledge climb the face on bulges, harder than it looks 4 bolts
Te Punga
Grade 24, 23, 21
33 Bolt
1. 30m My favourite and great on a winter afternoon or summer morning. Just right of the main arete at the bottom of the hill. Fantastic - A hard start followed by a techniques lesson right to the very finish. Very photogenic too. 14 bolts 1 pitch 25 meters. Personally, I cheat clip (aid climb) the second bolt to avoid hitting the rock close by on the ground.
2. 40m Climb easy ground up the overhanging corner. Move onto the left wall and climb the crack and grove to the belay ledge of “Sleeping Boys”. Traverse right as for “The Links Effect” onto the ramp then climb the over-hanging head wall on the left. Climb past 4 bokts on head wall, crux between 3rd and 4th. Belay on large ledge system (Triple bolt belay). You may opt to break the pitch in two, to cut down on rope drag, recommended
3. 15m Move right then blast through the roof moving back left up the steep ground above, Try the no feet hang with 75m of air, Outrageous. Easier finish to Triple bolt belay. All 3 pitch’s combined to make an endurance workout like no other.
Grade 21, 24
8 Bolt
1. 30m A fine line. Go up the left veering ramp and look for the bolts on the left. Don’t use a quick-draw on the third bolt as it makes the rope catch on a rock and creates serious drag later on and extending doesn't help. This climb should be called scorpian as it has a sting in the tail.
2. 30m Closed Project direct up through 2 roofs system.
Left Foot Dancer
Grade 21
12 Bolt
30m An alternative finish to the 2nd Pitch of “Wind Dancer”. Climb the 2nd pitch of Wind Dancer to the 2nd roof. Pull up onto the roof but keep traversing left until you can rock onto the sloping ledge, climb face and groove above to DBC belay. If you are not careful rope drag can be excessive so extend extend extend or break into 2 pitch’s (recommended). 8 Bolts of Wind Dancer + 4 on left Foot. 60m Abseil to ground.
Top Pitch
Grade 18
4 Bolt
15m From the ledge climb the face on bulges, hared than it look 4 bolts (see Links Effect).
Wilbur's Cousin
Grade 19
16 Bolt
Shares first 4/5 bolts with Wilbur and then veers left. Bring a long draw to extend 3rd - 5th bolts and bolt 10 and 11. A phenomenal route, just a few problems with rope drag if you don't extend draws - the bolts are in the best places for the most solid rock. Bring about 14-16 draws.
Nice Touch Wilbur
Grade 18
16 Bolt
27m Superb, only it is often dripping many days after rain. Bring 16 draws. Up and right after 4th bolt, extend 4th and 7th quickdraws to avoid drag later on.
Open Project
Grade 0
3 Bolt
10m Short 10M face with 3 bolts, but not lots of holds.

Showing all routes 4 routes total

Marker Crags map | Google maps | Topo maps


On the same buttress as kookmeyer but facing north. About 10 meters up on the path at a little rocky step, look right and you'll see a rap station. This is the top of Ganesh. There's an extra bolt on the left bank to help give you strength to get to the rap station if you don't fancy leaning out. It's a 70 odd metre drop if you slip. All climbs have rap stations of 2 or more rings.

Access: To get to Kookmeyers take the main track to the summit, at the point the main track meets the saddle between the two rock outcrops. Take the left fork. Follow rough truck along ridge, as you approach the summit, the Budda Wall is on your right Kooymeyer is on the left and the Northern face is out front.

Grade 17
15 Bolt
50m A bulgy slab a style quite unique to castle rock., Can be done as one long pitch or broken in the middle by rigging a belay up on two bolts. Abseil into double bolt belay, pull you ropes and enjoy, about 15 bolts (count them on the way down).
Reclining Budda
Grade 22, 19, 19
1. 25m Climb up slab to roof then climb through roof and climb head wall to belay.
2. 30m Tending right climb slab to DBC belay.
3. 20m Looks can be deceiving, difficult moves off the belay ledge then up through small roof to the DBC belay.
Slinky Malinky
Grade 19, 21, 19
24 Bolt
1. 20m A slab climbers dream. Clip the bolt then traverse out right then up to the 2nd bolt all on small holds (crux). Steady slab climbing up the wall get you to the triple bolt belay.
2. 40m A steep powerful start sequence up to the 3rd bolt (crux) is followed by 35m of delightful, thought provoking slab climbing. Double bolt belay
3. 20m Another steep start off the belay ledge gets you on the head wall. Climb the wall and right arte to the bushy ledge just below the belay. Move right around the corner and scramble up the wall to the belay.
McBirney-Gillman Direct
Grade 15
Ken's route up the spike
Grade 14
Near the car-park, you can see it from the car-park, the pillar. It's got an interesting approach I hear. Close, but not so close. I also hear it's about grade 10-14 and a few bolts. Any more information you'll just have to bash off to find the thing.

Showing all routes 3 routes total Time 30min 300 m

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Castlerock qe topo


Access: Access to the Base From the car park stay on via right and stay on the old formed road (over-grown) down and to the east of castle rock. 500m on from a large slip look for a cairn and a rough but well marked climber’s track up the hill. This will get you to the left hand end of the Quiet Earth wall, Quiet Earth is 30m further right and ANZAC parade a further 40m up the hill. Access to the Top The track top of “Quiet Earth” wall is straight forward. To get to the top follow the public track to the look out. 5m from the top cut right and walk along the ridge. Drop down the first rock ridge/outcrop and climb over the second past an assortment of bolts. Just past this point tucked over the lip (and just out of sight) is the belay of ANZAC Parade. Abseils. You can rap down Anzac Parade in 3 raps. Alternatively locate the rap station 5m further along the ridge down a small gully. Extend the rope 5m to the edge then a 60m rap gets you to top of 2nd pitch of ANZAC another 60m will get you to the base. Quite Earth At the very end of the ridge is the belay of QE. From the belay lower off to the lip to a DB rap station. A 60m abseil gets you to the half height abseil station on a small busy ledge. (middle of pitch 3). From here a rope stretching 60m abseil gets you to the ground.

Attribution: Cliff Ellery - Freeclimb.co.nz

Quiet Earth
Grade 22, 20, 19, 22, 19
58 Bolt
1. 25m Delicate smeary climbing. The crux is moving past the 3rd bolt. A clue, stay right. How can I put it, stand up on nothing then pull up on nothing, then stand on nothing and slap for big hold. The rock can weep a bit at the 4th bolt, but it is still climbable when wet. Move left then up wall before crossing back right. A great pitch.
2. 30m From the belay continue up ramp then up the large left facing corner. From the top of the corner climb groove through the steep head wall. Steep and exposed!!! Belay at triple bolt belay at top of head wall, It’s out there.
3. 30m Climb the short head wall tending left past 3 bolts to a DBC belay. This is the half height belay station. Clip the belay then move back right, the easy slab just gets steeper and steeper until it’s an over-hanging wall. Powerful climbing on big holds. DB belay on ramp above.
4. 20m Climb the low angle face out right of the belay then straight up vertical face to small roof. Move right and pull through roof at V (crux). Clip the bolt then up to DBC belay.
5. 20m It’s not over yet. A hard couple of moves off the belay ledge (crux). Clipping the 1st bolt off the belay is not only in, but advised. Once past the second bolt it’s a blast up the steep wall blast, on enormous holds. An amazing location with plenty of air below your boots. Finish up easy ground, past abseil station, to belay on top of Castle Rock. Well done!
The Naughty Climb
Grade 18, 16, 21, 16
47 Bolt
1. 20m Aid up the busy gully for about 8m on bolt ladder until you can get onto the wall. Once on the wall, a few steep moves get you onto easy ground and pleasant climbing to a DBC belay. A great pitch, and don’t let the Aid put you off, it’s just an easy way to get out of the bush and onto the wall.
2. 45m From the belay move right, and then, once above the belay, cross back left and climb through the roof (crux). Continue up the wall tending right. Move right around onto low angle wall then through one last steep section before you move left onto belay ledge and DB belay. Long pitch, great location.
3. 25m Climb the groove directly above belay past 3 bolts, then move left onto wall. From here sustained technical climbing leads up past 3 bolts and gets you to a sloping ledge under a roof. Move left onto the face, move up past 2 bolts, then traverse right 5m before climbing up groove and onto big ledge system. Move 5m left to the DBC belay.
4. 20m A pleasant little pitch to finish on, steep rock with big holds - Tends left all the way to the top. Finishes at same Belay as Quiet Earth.
ANZAC Parade
Grade 20, 17, 20, 17
40 Bolt
1. 25m From the ground climb the slab to the right of the bush filled gully. Pick your way delicately up the wall. Move left at the 6th bolt, up low angle ramp then through steep ground above. Sling tree, then pull up on tree to belay stance.
2. 30m From the belay step left onto the main cliff and climb up steep bulgey ground to the small roof. Pull through the roof then continue up steep easy ground tending right to the DBC belay.
3. 40m From the belay, easy steep ground leads up to the groove through the roof. Clip the chain extended bolt, then get established in the groove above (crux). Then with your heart in your mouth climb the groove, clip the bolt at the top then move right. Another technical move gets you onto the ramp above, Climb the ramp tending right to the big party ledge. DBC Belay.
4. 30m Climb the face to the roof and phallic knob, pull on it and onto the face, out left (A cheap double entre but you will all remember the move). Climb the face to ledge then up step bulgy ground to top. The last move up onto the belay ledge is the crux. Stay left until you can grab the top lip.