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Long Beach, Wharewerawera


Work is underway to make a comprehensive Ōtepoti Dunedin climbing guidebook. The first stage took place over 2023 covering Long Beach (Wharewerawera), Māpoutahi and Doctors Point (Ōtama Kaipapa), and the project is set to continue through 2024 with the inclusion of additional areas and information. This first stage, 'Mystery Cliffs' is not available for purchase. Instead, Riley Smith and the team behind the project kindly decided to release some of the pages that cover the major areas at Long Beach so that climbers are better equipped for the summer season. Please remember that although great effort was made, the information may not be correct. Do not replace your own judgement and common sense with the information in these PDFs.
*one final note from Riley - The PDFs are snippets of the 170 page guidebook that are intended for A5 ring binding (printed as landscape A4), you'll have to wait for the full guidebook next year to see the rest and other areas. Any concerns, questions, comments, fixes; please email me at For more info on the guidebook:

Visit this link for Hi-Res PDF Downloads of selected areas:

The main period of route development at Long Beach was in the early 1980s, when the adventure ethic was pre-eminent, and many routes from this era are sparsely bolted by today’s standards. Considerable ability, ingenuity and experience is needed to protect many climbs adequately using natural pro – sportclimbers beware! The easy cracks of the Pinnacle often offer only adequate protection in often friable rock.
You’ll need a comprehensive rack of CDs (including the smallest sizes) and wires (don’t forget the RPs). Double bolt belays service all Main Cliff climbs, and most of the Pinnacle.
To add to your recreational enjoyment, expect some long run-outs, friable, lichenous and sandy holds, loose blocks and great moves, occasionally even great climbs. In keeping with the sportclimbing revolution, later developed climbs are mostly well bolted. Chalk up, take a deep breath, check your runners and go for it!
Rock climbing is an inherently dangerous activity that always carries an element of risk. Dunedin crags are riskier that most. Without singling out any particular crag or sector, serious rock fall has occurred unexpectedly in the most unlikely places but no more so that at Long Beach. Most of the main cliff walls have bands of unstable rock that regularly shed missiles during high winds and following rainfall. Make wearing a helmet habitual and be aware that rock fall can occur on access and descent tracks. Your safety is entirely your responsibility. Only you can assess your ability to climb any particular route and its suitability for climbing.

5 min
POINT (170.6432456 -45.7487554)
CE17 167 312

From Dunedin, drive to Port Chalmers (12 km). Immediately after the 50 km speed limit sign, turn left up the hill for 300m (signposted to Purakaunui and Long Beach), then right to climb the hill past Scott’s Memorial. Follow the Purakaunui road and turn off right at 22 km to descend to the Long Beach township. Turn left at the domain, drive past the public toilets (there are no toilet facilities in the crag area) and park at the far end of the cricket field. Walk along the track for a couple of minutes; look to your left 30m before reaching the beach and you’ll see a large detached block with a compact, rectangular face. This is the Dragon’s Lair. Manhattan and Southern Walls are accessed up and behind this block. Areas and climbs are described from left to right.

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This place appears in
Dave Brash. Plus the following people supplied route information and/or read drafts: Calum Hudson, Steve Carr, Murray Judge, Marcus Thomas, Kevin Donoghue, Mike Simpson, Andy MacDonald, Simon Cox, Al Mark, Andy Milne, Bob Cunninghame and Laurie Kennedy.