Skip to main content


Part of

This large volcanic plug has the oldest recorded climb in Northland. Try climbing Slab Route in mountaineering boots with an old rope and next to no pro — just as Peter Clement and George Carr did in 1962. A few climbs were put up in the 1960s and 1970s, usually following obvious cracks or ledges, but the area was virtually forgotten through the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Green Eggs and Ham, put up in 1993 by Paul Hersey and Hugh Nicholson was probably the first route for about 15 years, and generated a growing enthusiasm for what some consider is the best northern climbing area beyond the Mt Eden Quarry. During the mid 1990s interest in the area accelerated, with a mixture of new sport routes and multipitch classics. Of all the climbers who have spent time at Mangaraho, John Maine probably has the closest affinity. He treats it witha respect it deserves — and occasionally demands when you’re three pitches up and unsure which way to go!
Climbing notes
This is a big chunk of rock, and it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with a few landmarks that may help with route-finding before jumping onto the North Face.
Look for the obvious cave on the Cave Route at the right hand end of a large tree covered ledge halfway up the eastern end of the North Face. Confused?
When you spot the cave, a small grassy ledge immediately on its right is the belay point for the end of the second pitch of Green Eggs and Ham.
Further right and down is the large left-leaning crack of The Dihedral.
From the carpark you should also be able to see the freestanding altar-shaped boulder at the northern end of the face.
Route finding abilities are a definite advantage on the North Face, as there is not always a line of bolts to follow. In contrast, the Trinity Slabs area is generally straightforward and a useful introduction. The West Ridge is another popular warm-up route.
The plug is about 120m high, and the rock is generally sound. There are, however, a number of flaky patches, usually close to the ground. Some routes are bolted, but others require a full range of natural pro. There is a mixture of climbs; while some of the older routes are now overgrown andobsolete, others have stood the test of time to be viewed as classics. If tackling a long North Face route, be prepared to be on the climb for over three hours (the first ascent of Green Eggs and Ham took six hours). There is no water nearby, but camping is sometimes allowed by the local landowner. Ask at the house on the left as you turn onto the gravel road.
A final warning: Beware the Mangaraho Possum. On more than one occasion climbers have had to bail from prospective routes due to furry requests from manic marsupials.

POINT (173.976081 -36.021241)
AY29 879 133

From Auckland take State Highway One north to Brynderwyn (about 110 km), then turn left on Provincial Highway 12 through Maungaturoto and Ruawai. From Ruawai stay on the road to Dargaville until Tokatoka crag can be seen on your right, directly behind the pub. To find Mangaraho carry on along the main road for another 5 km to the Mititai turn-off. Take this for 10 km up to the base of Mangaraho, turning off onto a gravel road when nearest the plug.
Alternately, from Whangarei drive to Dargaville, then turn left onto Provincial Highway 12 towards Maungaturoto. Follow this for 15 km to the Mititai turn-off.
Both Mangaraho and Tokatoka are large volcanic plugs, easily spotted from the main road. When reaching the Mangaraho carpark, the North Face is directly in front of you.

Add Place Add Route


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
1 West Ridge 14 60m
Flake Fake 16 30m
Step It 15 35m
Curly Top 17 30m
Superfly 16 30m
2 Force 10 20 35m
3 Slab Route 12 115m
The Dihedral 18 40m 2
5 Akuna Matata 19 45m
4 Getting to Solar Selew 22 90m 3
6 Green Eggs and Ham 20 109m 3
7 The Cave Route 17 70m
8 Winge–En–Yank 20 35m
9 Roam 17 55m 10
10 Zorne’s Lemon 16 45m 10
11 Full Moon Fantasy 22,A1 40m 5
12 Slipper 18 20m 1
13 Trinity Slabs 16 50m
17 The Mummy 20m
14 The Mad Turk 16 40m 3
15 Saracen 22 25m 2
16 Strummer 15 20m
18 Sodom and Begorrah 13 80m
19 The Chimney Route 14 40m
By Paul Hersey