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Elephant Rocks

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A popular site for limestone bouldering near Duntroon in North Otago. Elephant Rocks was first developed by Doug Carson and Murray Judge. It's often referred to as being a bit like Castle Hill minus a little bit of quality. There are over 300 problems with 80% of them being V3 or below, hence it is a paradise for social climbers looking to improve their skills. Some routes are bolted and provide enjoyable but often dirty short routes. Be careful of the brittle yellow limestone in places and don't climb route's that are wet as the holds may be more prone to break.
VE - No Hands Needed. (Ewbank 12ish)
VM - Hands maybe needed briefly. (Ewbank 14ish)
V0 - Route requires full use of the hands but is very easy. (Ewbank 16ish)
V1 - Route requires the climbing skills required for grade 17-18.
V2 - Route may have a difficult move more in keeping with grade 20.
V3 - Route is a sustained series of difficult moves more in keeping with grade 20.
V4 - Boulder problems for more intermediate level climbers who climb in the low 20's.
V5 - ???

North West
POINT (170.654325 -44.905374)
CA16 928 656

Located near Duntroon, between Oamaru and Omarama in Otago, the Elephant Rocks are fairly straightforward to find: from near Duntroon, take Livingston-Duntroon Road and follow the signposts until you get to the Elephant Rocks. Elephant Rocks is on private farmland. However access is open to the public and a toilet is now on site for visitors. The owners do not mind climbers, but they do ask you respect the livestock and do not add any further bolts. Climbing and the use of the bolts is at your own risk. Commercial climbers should climb by arrangement with the land owners.

Add Place Add Route


Type Name
Sector Map 1
Sector Map 2
Sector Map 3
Sector Map 4


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
85 8585, VM VM

Step up on the egg sized pocket.

  • P1
  • Hueco VM

83 8383, V0 V0

Easy slab steps and low level top out.

  • P1
  • Hueco V0


Some of the higher rocks have chain anchors on top and in some cases there are bolts without chains. Access to the top of most boulders is via low grade boulder problems or lead climbing on chains in the case of the boulder known as "The Elephant." Cattle graze in this area from time to time and it's advised to watch where you step. Irrigation outlets and prickles can surprise you when you least expect it and be aware some birds nest in some of the larger pockets.

Tue, 02/10/2012 - 23:58 Permalink
North Otago Alpine Club