Wellingtonʻs answer to the Port Hills in Christchurch – except that the rock is sandstone, there are just three established crags and none of them is that good. That said, you can have a lot of fun poking around the tops and climbing the odd route. And the 360º view of Wellington is fantastic.
Access: Walk up to the transmitter tower from Khandallah Swimming Pool (in Khandallah Park at the end of Woodmancote Road). From there, follow the Northern Walkway track south (heading towards Crofton Downs), down to a slight saddle. ML3 can be seen on your right, Punk Rock is just over the ridge beyond, and the Slide is in the valley beyond the obvious red dome of rock.
ML3 is the red, jagged-looking rock in the gully running west from the saddle below the transmitter.
Access: It’s best to approach from above to avoid the impenetrable scrub below.
An understated little crag, tucked away where you least expect it and with views to boot. There are 15 climbs in the easy-to-mid-grade range, all climbed by Charlie Creese in the early 1980s. Two steel stakes at the top of the crag, eight metres back, act as belays.
Better than it sounds, apparently. The first three routes share a single bolt belay; for Charlie’s Other Route use the pine tree.
Access: The Slide is best reached from Punk Rock: walk south-west to the next ridge and down the sheep trails until you can see the Slide in a gully on your left.
A little crag with some pleasant easy routes. A nice spot on a summer's evening. Rock is similar to that on Punk Rock and ML3. History is uncertain. Mike Peat (re)discovered this spot in 2007, and developed it with Tom Wilson. The amount of loose material removed at that time suggested that previous climbing had been unlikely. However it's possible this could be one of the "worthless crags" originally described in Jon Rosemergy's 1995 Wellington Rock guidebook. Corrections welcome. Tom put up "Kevin 07" and Mike did the rest. Mike's route names tbc.
Access: From the top of Vasanta Avenue, Ngaio, walk up the streamway. The route takes you up one small waterfall, and then to the base of a larger and impassable waterfall. At this point cut up the bank on the true right to bypass the waterfall. The crag is a few minutes further on, just past the tree line.