Manawatu Gorge




The Manawatu Gorge rock climbing area is located about 20 minutes drive east of Palmerston North. Over the past year 15 to 20 new climbs have been put up on a bluff just above the "White Horse" rapid. Many thanks to Scott Woods for the time they have put in. 

The rock is generally of good quality, although it is a little soft near the top. Climbing ranges from easy scrambles up chunky rock to thin face-moves on small features. Not really many cracks or any pockets.

bullet Routes - 15
bulletGrades - 12 to 28
bulletCliff Heights - 
bulletRock Type - Basalt
bulletProtection - Bolted with double bolt chain belay
bulletGuide Book - Not Available


Access is easiest from the Palmerston North side as this avoids a U-turn on the busy road. Drive through the gorge for about 5 minutes and stop in one of the many pull-over bays on the left.  The correct one is quite small distinguished by having a metal barrier separating the east end from the road. Walk further east along the road for about 5 minutes (this can be dangerous so try to pick when the trucks aren't coming). Descend a steep dirty path to the prominent bluff just above the White Horse rapid. Use the lower off bolts at the top of the each bluff to reach the belay stations at a semi-ledge a few feet from the water (depending on flow). It is an interesting feeling climbing so close to running water.


The two climbs that are accessed from the most westward set of bolts on the northern face are nice climbing:

bulletThe westward route is a grade 15 crack and involves delicate face moves and a fun hand crack.
bulletFrom the west on the north face the climbs are 15, 18,21,14,14,16, 18,19,20 then ledge 1m above river.
bulletThe more eastward route is about 21 an has thin face moves, topping out at the same point as the above climb.
bulletOn the west face their is a 12 and a 27 to 29 which hasn't been done yet.
bulletThere are more climbs are on the other side of the river but these have to be finished first.  

Remember your helmet !



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