Kawakawa Bay is perfect for climbers who enjoy long moderate routes, on gear or on bolts. Amongst native bush, elevated above the northern shore of Lake Taupō are dozens of rhyolite cliffs offering single and multipitch climbs. When you're not clim bing, there's great camping and swimming to be had. It all adds up to a very compelling proposition!
You will need a full rack of cams and wires plus doubleups or hexes if you have them, and 14 quickdraws. Trad gear abbreviations are
SCD = Small Cams. Smaller than 1 Friend.
CD = Full set of Camming devices, size 1 to 4 Friend or equal
W = A full set of wires.
Hex = A set of Hex’s.
In August 2007 Steven King, John Pellew and co, rebolted Kawakawa Bay.
Over 120 bolts where replaced with Stainless Steel glue in’s (M10 x 100 St St threaded rod & St St Hangers). www.freeclimb.co.nz helped support this “positive climbing action” by donated all threaded rod. I personally would like to thank Stephen King for his efforts in pioneering, developing and rebolting Kawakawa, great effort, fantastic crag. Thanks Cliff.
Kawakawa Bay is on the northern shore of Lake Taupō 5km west of Kinloch. Walking access is via the Kawakawa Bay Walkway. To reach the start of the walkway, drive to Kinloch and at the first roundabout after turning onto Kinloch Road, turn right onto Island Drive. Stay on Island Drive until you reach a cul-de-sac with parking. From the carpark, walk on the grass towards the beach. On the right, a rough track leads down to the beach and the start of the Kawakawa Bay Walkway. The walk takes around 1½ – 2 hours.
Despite its name, the track is also a mountain bike track. Please give way to walkers. It takes around 45 minutes to bike the track.
Many prefer to avoid the walk or bike (beautiful as the track is) and travel to and from Kawakawa Bay from Kinloch by boat or kayak. This allows people to take just about anything you might want to the crag.