Kura Tāwhiti is the most popular area in Castle Hill Basin, for climbers and also for tourists.
For bouldering visit http://castlehillbasin.co.nz – but be aware that the rock polishes quickly with intensive use and without careful cleaning before and after climbing. There is good advice on looking after the rock at castlehillbasin.co.nz but also consider visiting some of the less frequented parts of the Basin.
The much smaller number of roped climbs are described here. Most were bolted and climbed in the 1980s and 1990s and have rarely been climbed since. These climbs would need a good wash at a minimum to be climbable and generally have 12mm coach head bolts with no hangers. There is some agreement that many of the roped climbs should be dis-established, leaving only the best routes safely equipped. With that exception, bolting is not allowed. Please do not place any new bolts.
A few climbs require trad gear – however beneath the hard external patina the rock is extremely soft so this is discouraged. Trad gear is likely to damage the rock and unlikely to hold a fall.
Kura Tāwhiti is approximately 100km from Christchurch towards the West Coast on State Highway 73.
It is a conservation area managed by the Department of Conservation: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/kura-tawhiti-conservation-area/
Please help protect the area’s cultural and natural values by following the code of conduct:
- Please stay on the access track – the paddocks are private property
- Please use the provided toilet facilities
- Refrain from digging holes or disturbing the ground surface – wāhi tapu (sacred places) are here
- Avoid trampling on endangered plants - use open spaces between rock outcrops rather than the bases of rock faces
- Respect fenced areas
- Take all rubbish away with you
- Please do not mark the surface of the rocks
- Consider others in the area
- Please follow the NZAC climbing code of conduct