Almost a good little crag, Karitane rock features crack lines on well featured, good quality, idiosyncratic basalt (Marcus calls it ‘volcanic limestone?!’), and a fine 15m pinnacle with hard face and crack climbing on its front face, and chimney climbs rising from within the bowels of the cliff behind it. The downside? Facing south to southeast, and exposed to moisture-laden winds off the sea, the outcrop sports luxuriant growths of moss and lichen. The climbs are mostly short and many are broken up by large ledges. A great place to visit on a hot summer’s day.
Marcus Thomas ‘discovered’ the outcrop during a risk management course in 1996, and returned with Kevin Donoghue and Joe Arts to climb many of the cracks, buttresses and aretes. Surprisingly they left alone the choice front face of the pinnacle except for the fine arete (Perfect Sound Forever) and it was left to Dave Brash and Mike Simpson to put up climbs on this great piece of rock.
There is potential for further routes here but it would be a shame to lose the beautiful hanging fern and moss gardens on the cliffs – this is why some areas have been left alone.
From Dunedin, follow the main road north for 22.5 km, turning off 3 km past Waitati into the Coast Road. Drive through Seacliff (stop off and visit the site of the former mental asylum described in Janet Frame’s autobiography), and exactly 9 km from the turn-off, park at an obvious carpark. If you reach the Karitane viewpoint, you’ve gone 1.km too far. The outcrop is visible on the hill-side above the road, surrounded by a stand of native bush; it’s 5 minutes walk uphill through farmland to the base of the pinnacle.
'The farmers, Mr and Mrs O'Connell, ph 465 7402, are happy for people to visit 'Big Rock' as long as they are contacted beforehand.
The usual care on farmland applies:
Please leave the gates as you find them, and stay away from stock.'
|Perfect Sound Forever
|Jenny’s Health Cuts
|Losing or Cruising?
|Solid Gold Hell