Our Climbs are Known Worldwide
The South Canterbury region of New Zealand has a worldwide reputation for great climbing and abseiling. Limestone and volcanic basalt (bluestone) are the predominant rock types, resulting in landscapes full of cliffs and crags, glacial river valleys and volcanic hill formations - great for accessible and warm climbing!
Climbs, Grades & Access
Climb grades in the region are generally in the moderate to experienced climb range (from 16 to 20+). While most climbs are easily accessible, many are on private land where access must be pre-arranged - check with our Visitor Centre team for details of local guides who can arrange access for climbs on private farmland. Access is generally restricted or prohibited in the lambing season of July-September.
Within an easy drive from other popular climbing destinations such as Mount Cook National Park NZ, South Canterbury climbs can be a good alternative for days when weather in the Mount Cook and Mackenzie areas are not suitable for high mountain climbs. "Down country" subalpine cliff sites and river valley climbing options include Hanging Rock, approximately half an hour's drive from Timaru, with a number of well known limestone climbs, most of them in the low to mid 20s range.
Climbs Close to Timaru
Closer to Timaru, basalt crags at Mount Horrible and Spur Road offer excellent short crack climbs (16-23), with Raincliff and Beautiful Valley also popular climbing destinations. The Rangitata Valley, home to some of New Zealand's best white water rafting and kayaking and famous Lord of the Rings movie locations, also offers several good climbs for the more experienced climber - talk to the Timaru or Geraldine i-SITE staff about local guides who can assist you.
Browse our listings to find out more about South Island climbing and abseiling options.
Gear & Guides
Local safety approved climbing guides can also supply all climbing gear and provide package options. including other activities such as mountain-biking, kayaking or hiking.
South Canterbury accommodation options
Central South Island Regional Highlights