Waipu Caves

(8 routes)

The outcrops tucked away in the hills behind Waipu have potential to develop into a pretty decent climbing area, but unfortunately most of the areas that have been developed are on private land where access is currently forbidden.
Cavers and climbers, including Phil Giles, had been visiting the area during the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn’t until Alan Hill made a determined effort in the early 1990s that a number of routes were climbed and recorded. Hamish Pirie and Steve Wylie did more in early 1996.
Climbing notes
The rock is limestone, and usually has solid natural pro placements. New routes would likely require bolting. In summer the valley gets pretty hot, so take plenty of water.
Most of the routes described here are on the "Cave Wall".
Most of the routes here are pretty mossy but should improve with traffic. There are more lines to be climbed but will likely require bolting and cleaning.
All routes have natural pro and tree belays.

Type: 
Crag
Access: 

The cave entrance area is in a Whangarei District Council-adminstered reserve. From Whangarei, head south on State Highway 1 for about 12 km, then take Springfield Road. Follow this for about 22 km till the Waipu Caves Road junction is reached. Turn left and follow for about 8 km eventually winding down a hill into a broad valley. Look for a reserve sign on your left , marking the access to the main cave. Alternately, from Waipu, take Shoemaker Road for 15 min, turning left into Waipu Caves Road.

Lat/Lon: 
-35.937820240000, 174.346525500000
NZMS260: 
Q07 321 839
Topo50: 
AX30 215 221
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Edit link
Zeus 14 10m
0
wire representing trad
The route starts at the next sizeable outcrop some 15m to the left . Climb to a small overhang below the tree with protruding flake (what!?). Move right to gain a ledge, and finish by the right-hand tree.
Alan Hill, Andrew Mumford 1991
Catacombe 16 10m
0
wire representing trad
A metre to the left is an open corner with a thin crack. Climb this, then move left to finish up a waterworn groove.
Alan Hill, Stuart Smith 1991
Bungle In The Jungle 17 12m
0
wire representing trad
Start by the partly-fallen tree to the left , and climb the pocketed wall, tending slightly left to finish.
Alan Hill, Stuart Smith 1991
Mudslime Slim 14 10m
0
wire representing trad
To the left the wall degenerates to a tree-lined slope before outcropping again. Start 2m to the left of the second tree growing at the foot of the cliff . Climb to a sharp edge and large hole, then up a groove.
Possum Groove 12 12m
0
wire representing trad
Up behind the flake, move right to a tree, then continue up behind this.
Troglodyte Wall 16 15m
0
wire representing trad
Climb the bulge just left of Murphy then past a sapling to the top.
Alan Hill, Stuart Smith 1991
Murphy 13 13m
0
wire representing trad
Start at the right-hand side of the cave entrance, from the earthy ledge behind the tree. Climb the bulge, move slightly right then up through small overhangs to the top.
Pluto 14 12m
0
wire representing trad
On the "Wet Entrance Wall" Th e stream disappears underground about 50m south-east of the cave dry entrance. Start on the far bank. Climb past two parallel cracks to a bulge. Move right over the bulge and direct to the top. Natural pro, tree belay.
Alan Hill, Andrew Mumford 1991
Attribution: 
By Paul Hersey

Comments

The land that many of the cliffs are on, the "Waipu Cave Estate" is currently up for sale as 12 lots. An interesting opportunity when it comes to access.

I remember going on a scout trip to a more hidden cave called Schweppes. I was wondering if you knew anything else about as it was one of my favorite experiences.