Rock climbing in Gariwerd

For more than 22,000 years, Gariwerd has been the living, hunting, gathering, cultivating, ceremonial, dreaming Country and territory for Traditional Owners.

The Traditional Owners of Gariwerd are represented by Barengi Gadjin, Eastern Maar, and Gunditj Mirring Aboriginal corporations. Together, they form a Strategic Partnership Committee.

All parts of Gariwerd have cultural meanings and associated values for Traditional Owners – the land, its waters, skies, the plants, and animals.

The landscape contains more than 500 registered Aboriginal places, with 277 located within parks and reserves managed by Parks Victoria. The region holds the richest concentration of Aboriginal rock art in Victoria and many other types of cultural heritage.

Released in 2021, Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners partnered to develop the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan to help maintain and restore this special place. Opportunities for recreation, including rock climbing, have been identified as part of this plan.

Rock climbing in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park has changed

Extensive assessments were carried out in partnership with Traditional Owners and climbing representatives to define appropriate rock climbing areas within Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park.

You can now climb at more than 100 designated rock climbing areas, including 13 bouldering areas. Climbing is not permitted beyond these areas.

Prepare for your climb

It is a climber's responsibility to do their research prior to visiting the park. To help you prepare, see:

Designated climbing areas (PDF) Climbing maps Rock climbing visitor guide (PDF)

Conditions for rock climbing in Gariwerd

  • Rock climbing can only occur in designated areas.
  • Rock climbers are responsible for assessing and accept the risk associated in undertaking the activity within these areas.
  • Climbers are requested to minimise the use of chalk and only use chalk coloured to match the rock surface.
  • Adhere to signs and notifications and do not enter closed areas.

Rock climbing permits

A rock climbing permit is under development that will be free and accessible online. Once established it will be mandatory for all rock climbers who wish to climb in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. Keep up to date on its progress by checking back at this webpage.

Further information

Visit Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap or call (03) 8427 2258 to speak to a Parks Victoria team member about changes to climbing in Gariwerd. The team can also assist with booking a campsite and other important park information. 

The park may have closures in place from natural events such as bushfire and floods or other park operations. Before visiting the park, please check for closures on the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park page or call into Brambuk.

Frequently asked questions

  • Where can I climb?

    You can climb at more than 100 designated rock climbing areas within Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, including 13 bouldering areas.

    View the list of designated climbing areas (PDF).

    Climbing is not permitted beyond these areas.

  • If the route I'd like to climb isn't listed within a designated climbing area, or anywhere on the Parks Victoria website, can I climb there?

    No, you can only climb at designated climbing areas (PDF).

  • Is Taipan Wall open to rock climbing?

    Yes, a section of it is. Taipan Wall was assessed and found to have cultural values. However, through discussions with Traditional Owners and the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network, alternate access points were agreed upon to allow access to the northern section of the wall. As a result, some climbs in the area have been rerouted and some are now closed. Please read Taipan Wall (Gunigalg) rock climbing information (PDF) before climbing at Taipan Wall.

  • Can I climb at Spurt Wall?

    No. Spurt Wall is not located within the Taipan Wall (Gunigalg) designated climbing area. Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners have conducted a preliminary archaeological survey of the Spurt Wall area and significant cultural values have been identified. Signage on the ground clearly delineates where climbing is or isn’t permitted.

  • Can I climb at Grey and Green Walls?

    Yes. However, this area must be accessed via ‘Central Buttress’. Do not access the Taipan Wall (Gunigalg area) designated climbing area from the Grey and Green Walls area. Refer to the Information Sheet (PDF) for further details.

  • Can I climb or go bouldering at Mountain Lion?

    We’re currently asking visitors to not access the area known as ‘Mountain Lion’. This is to avoid causing potential harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage that was rediscovered in December 2023. A full cultural heritage assessment will be undertaken in 2024 to inform how the site will be managed in the longer-term.

    See Mountain Lion FAQs update (PDF) for further information.

  • What is included in the Andersens West designated climbing area?

    The designated climbing area at Andersens West consists of the following boulders:

    • Bad Cliché Boulder
    • Bonnie Boulder
    • Bonsai Rooflet
    • Button Boulder
    • Clicke Arete
    • Clyde Boulder
    • Dali Boulder
    • Discovery Boulder
    • Golden Beauty
    • Honeycomb Boulder
    • Skittle Boulder
    • Sydney Highrise Boulder
    • The Scab
    • Vapid Boulder.
  • Will other sites be open to rock climbing in the future?

    The Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan (PDF) includes a list of climbing areas for review, that may be assessed to determine whether they are suitable for rock climbing in the future. Parks Victoria has identified funding for assessments of priority areas, and will work with Traditional Owners and climbing representatives through CVAC/Climb Victoria to identify these areas.

    There will be no further bouldering areas opened due to the high impacts of the activity and subsequent management required to mitigate impacts.

  • How will I know when other sites are open?

    The long-term approach for keeping visitors up to date will be through the rock climbing permit system. This will allow Parks Victoria to update all people who climb in Gariwerd about changes to climbing, including changes to conditions, new areas opening and potential closures. For now, visitors should reference the Parks Victoria website.

  • What external resources are available?

    Parks Victoria’s information should be your one source of truth. Guidebooks and online websites are useful tools; however, they might not have the updated status of the area you wish to climb. The information Parks Victoria has provided is the list of open areas, not specific routes. Within each area sits multiple, differently named climbs. Therefore, it is the visitor’s responsibility to ensure that the route they wish to climb sits within an open area.

  • Will there be signs to tell me where I can climb?

    Parks Victoria is prioritising the development and installation of on ground signage to inform climbers where climbing and bouldering are permitted. The Gariwerd landscape has more than 100 climbing areas, therefore climbers cannot rely on signage to indicate where they can climb. It is a climber’s responsibility to use the maps and list of climbing areas provided (listed at the bottom of this page).

  • Why does there need to be a permit for rock climbing?

    It is not uncommon for sports to require permits when there are conditions on that activity, fishing licences are an example. In the case of rock climbing in Gariwerd, it is important that all users understand the cultural significance of the landscape and the conditions in which they climb.

    The permit will be free and available to access online. There are still more logistics to work through and it could take up to a year before it is implemented. More details will be provided as the process is finalised.

  • Can I use and install fixed protections?

    Within designated climbing areas the use and installation of fixed protection (bolts) is permitted to enable climbing. Rock climbers are responsible for assessing and accept the risk associated in undertaking the activity within these areas.

    There are buffer areas within some designated climbing areas to protect cultural or environmental values. The use and installation of bolts is not permitted in these buffer areas.

    Parks Victoria encourages minimising the impacts of recreation and will continue working with the rock climbing community on state-wide guidance about appropriate use of fixed protection in parks.

  • Is Summerday Valley Licensed Tour Operator access only?

    Yes, to protect cultural values you can only climb with a Licensed Tour Operator (LTO) at Summer Day Valley. LTO permit conditions allow land managers to specify additional protections to ensure cultural values are monitored and protected. Search for an LTO by selecting your preferred park, activity or operator.

  • Are there any areas available for all abilities climbing?

    Yes, there is all abilities climbing in Summer Day Valley. However, this is a LTO only climbing area. We have taken on feedback about ensuring free access to all abilities climbing, and the plan includes a strategy to seek to establish all abilities climbing in other designated rock climbing areas.

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