Castle Hill




Described as one of New Zealand's finest rock climbing and bouldering locations, it's also one of the most accessible. About one hours drive from Christchurch, Castle Hill actually features five areas with around 250 climbs and well over 1000 boulder problems.

The quality of the Limestone and the ability to climb virtually all year make the Castle Hill climbing area very popular through the year. I still recall a fine day spent at Castle Hill climbing on the superb Limestone, with snow on the ground and having to take off my shirt because I was getting too hot. 

The climbing areas are:

bulletWuthering Heights
bulletLime Quarry Scarp
bulletDark Castle
bulletQuantum Field

Spittle Hill

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Photo by Florian Baffie


From Christchurch travel for about 100km on State Highway 73 to Author's Pass and then a further 10km past Porter's Pass. Park on the left near the trees and be sure not to block the gate.

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Photos by Kelly Cudworth

Climbing Areas

bulletCliff Heights - up to about 10m
bulletRock Type - limestone
bulletProtection - Natural & Fixed (Bolts)
bulletGuide Book - South Island Rock

Dark Castle

North of the Rambandit Valley is the Dark castle area. The climb "Angel of Pain" (31) is a the hardest route in the area and reported to have only been climbed once, check it out.

bulletRoutes - over 70
bulletGrades - 10 to 31 

Quantum Field

Located to the north/west side of the Woolly Valley, this area has a well earned reputation as great area and features some of the longer routes. The area also sports a very large number of boulder problems.

bulletRoutes - about 110 climbs plus over 1,000 boulder problems
bulletGrades - 13 to 29 and V1 to V10
bulletGuide Book - South Island Rock & Quantum Field

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Photo by Florian Baffie

Spittle Hill

A popular spot and the first area you encounter as you enter Castle Hill Basin climbing area.

bulletRoutes - over 70
bulletGrades - 13 to 28 and V3 to V9


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