The town of Te Kuiti is 1hr south of Hamilton on State Highway 3. From Te
Kuiti, head south on State Highway 30 (by the large statue of a sheep shearer)
towards Taupo for 2km. After cresting the first big hill, the turn-off is located on
the left-hand side and is sign posted "Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve" with both
a large wooden sign and a small yellow sign on the opposite side of the road. If
you are coming up highway 30 from the direction of Taupo, do not be confused
and drive down Mangaokewa Road as that this does not lead to the cliff at all.
After turning into the reserve, drive down the hill to the carpark/camping area.
The best access to the crag is by crossing the swing bridge and following the
track to the right. Within 5 meters, there is a smaller track which cuts left up the
hill. Take this left for only a few meters until a "climber track" appears on the
right (marked with two piles of stones). This track treads up the hill diagonally
to the right and will bring you directly up to the Colosseum.
Dos, Don'ts and Disclaimers
This crag is located on council land so it is not necessary to obtain permission
to climbing. The area is frequented by multiple user groups, so please be
respectful of everyone else's reasons for being there so we don't botch our
access. Project Manu has spent a lot of time getting the reserve to the state it
is in now, including operating a trapping project from August through until
November each year.
To avoid the possible closure of the crag:
Pack out everything you pack in. This ESPECIALLY applies to all food material,
including apple cores and banana peels because we do not want to encourage
vermin at the crag.
1. Leave Rata vines alone. It takes years for them to grow and it adds to the
beauty of the cliff.
2. Leave live stalactites alone. If "stals" are grey and fuzzy, they are still
growing and we would prefer them to STAY growing. Please take this into
consideration if you are planning to put up a new line near one. It is better
to leave them alone if you have ANY doubt.
3. Don't disturb any existing trail markers, bait stations, traps etc. These
belong to Project Manu.
4. If you are developing, trundle "unsafe" blocks EARLY in the morning.
Experience has already shown that big blocks can and DO roll all the way
down the hill and no one likes being bombed with boulders from above! It is
imperitive that blocks are not moved when people could be walking along
the river track below.
5. NOTHING left on the crag is booty! There are many projects that have
draws left on them, plenty of fixed lines on "soon to be" projects, and a
number of the routes have been equipt with permanent draws for
EVERYONE'S convenience. Anyone caught stealing kit from the crag will
be subject to being hung by their toenails from the viaduct!!
6. Development is restricted to the currently developed areas, from the far
left end of the "Parking Lot Wall" all the way to the "Bat Cave," but no
Lastly, this is rock climbing folks. While the people involved in developing the
crag to-date have endeavored to make the climbing experience here as safe as
possible, rocks can still fall off, bolts can still fail, belayers can still "oops,"
ropes can get cut on sharp edges, etc. The long and the short of it is be careful
out there. The developers of this crag, the author and distributer of this guide,
the council that own the reserve, the Manu group that maintain it and/or anyone
else involved with the reserve take no responsibility for accidents that occur
there. No fixed gear is guaranteed. You are there at your own risk.