The best place to go rock climbing near Sydney is in the Blue Mountains that are located approximately 100km to the west of the city. This stunning mountain range is effectively a huge plateau surrounded on all sides by sandstone cliffs. Here there is an almost endless diversity of crags and climbing styles from single pitch sport crags to long multi-pitch trad routes.
The most popular area is around Blackheath and Mount Victoria, which offers the highest concentration of quality climbing in the Blue Mountains. Blackheath is the centre of the main climbing hub and has an array of coffee shops and bakeries that provides a very civilized start to the climbing day.
The sandstone here is not always suited to trad climbing, so the ethic is mixed climbing on traditional gear and bolts. As a rule the easier climbing is mostly trad, the intermediate climbing is a mixture of trad and sport, whilst the harder climbing is mainly sport.
When is the best time to climb? Rock climbing in the Blue Mountains is possible throughout the year though the best time seasons are spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May). In the winter (June to August) you will need to climb in the sun and in the summer (December-February) you will need to climb in the shade.
The most comprehensive guidebook is called Blue Mountains Climbing, which covers the full range of climbing from single pitch sport routes to long multi-pitch traditional routes. It covers 38 different climbing areas and nearly 2,700 routes across a wide range of grades from Australian 14 to 28 (UK, VS 4c to E6 6b; or French 4 to 7c+). Buy this guidebook from our shop.
The Blue Mountains selected sport climbs guidebook describes over 500 mainly single routes across 11 of the best sport crags in the Blue Mountains. Buy this guidebook from our shop.
How to get there? The Blue Mountains is about an hour and a half’s drive from Sydney. There is a train line that runs right across the top of the Blue Mountains plateau stopping at many stations such as Blackheath, which are in very close proximity to the crags. There is also a bus service from Sydney. Most of the crags are within easy driving distance of each other, and in some cases easy walking distance.Where to stay? Blackheath has a BMCC operated campground which offers security and showers and is in the centre of the main climbing hub. Katoomba has plenty of hostels, and bed and breakfast type places.