Flying into Christchurch

Adventure

 

For overseas climbers flying into Christchurch and, here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your New Zealand climbing adventure.

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Check out the city, it's nice and has a real character about it.

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Buy the "South Island Rock" guide book. It's good for direction and offers a detailed map of the Castle Hill boulder fields (one of the worlds best bouldering areas only 45 minutes from Christchurch).

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Head to Lyttelton, its only 10-15 minutes drive from downtown Christchurch.
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The only hostel "Tunnel Vision Backpackers" is a cozy family run hostel with a nice deck and view with rooms starting at $18

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Port Hills climbing surround the town. Some crags are in walking distance - Lyttelton Hill.

Travel Arrangements

For anyone staying for more that a few weeks in New Zealand buying a car is a relatively cheap and popular travel option and usually easy to sell when you're ready to leave. If you're planning to visit the North Island during your visit, a car is almost essential, as many of the crags are not well served by public transport.

bulletYou probably want to stay away from the tourist operators and buses.
bulletStructures tours and busses tend to have inflexible schedules
bulletBusses and tours don't provide good access to climbing areas.
bulletOn tours you may well get stuck with partying 18-23 year olds and not get a chance to meet to many local and overseas climbers.
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If your planning to visit the North Island, purchase your ferry ticket well in advance. Prices can vary from $160 to over $300 (two people and a car) each way, a single traveller (personal ticket) costs about $65.

Best Climbing Areas

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Port Hills rock climbing area is located on the hills between Christchurch and Lyttelton.

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Castle Hill (world class bouldering), get your triceps ready for mantels and smearing; "hug it baby" There's plenty of camping around Castle Hill, but don't camp in the Castle Hill fields as most of it is private land or a reserve!

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Queenstown
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Careful of Queenstown, it can be both busy and expensive. 

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Considered by many as the "adventure capitol of the world",  there is much to see and do. Any adrenaline activity you want to do, Queenstown’s got it plus stuff you've never heard about. 

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The climbing is tops. World-class sport routes with some incredible scenery and easy access to long traditional wall frequently compared to Yosemite – Chinaman’s Bluff, Remarkables and Wye Creek. A new addition is Queenstown Hill. The only guide for the Hill is available in Queenstown Outdoor shop and is a couple pieces of photocopied paper guarded by the locals, so throw them a smile and act serious about your climbing!

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Wanaka 
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Wanaka is a smaller version of Queenstown and moves at a welcomed slower pace.

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You can only purchase the Wanaka guide in Wanaka. It's around $15 or $10 with the voucher in South Island Rock.)

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Beautiful views and heaps of sport climbing - primo!

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Paynes Ford
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Paynes is located near the top of the South Island and well worth a visit if you are travelling to (or from) the North Island.

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It's only camping ($4 a night), but offers running water, toilets and showers for a dollar. Everything is on the honour system, so be honourable!!!!

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Local guide books are around $8, and worth it! 

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The climbers set the atmosphere at the camp, so introduce yourself around and before you know it, you'll have a tight crew to climb with.

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Check out he Mussel Inn on the weekends. Good music and beer!

 

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Ó Copyright Steven Riddell 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003.