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The most loved and known, easily accessible quality crag in the land.


Heading towards Arapiles for some legendary climbing and starting to see it clearly for the first time, you will not have been alone if you feel a little disappointed. For taken from a distance Arapiles looks like a pile of choss.

It is the closer inspection that yields a glimpse of the true magic of Arapiles. For this is when Arapiles reveals itself. The beautiful rich golden and gray sandstone, hard and solid. The labyrinth of small gullies and hidden faces, the technical and varied climbing.

Added to this is that the true heart of Australian climbing resides at Arapiles and in particular the campground we call The Pines.

One of the greatest qualities Arapiles has, is its appeal to climbers of all abilities. It must be one of the few crags in the world which offers incredible quality routes at all grades.

The rock quality is such that even the easiest routes involve good rock and beautifully formed holds, a rarity at most crags. In the 'Experienced' range (approx grades 19-24) Arapiles is particularly blessed. It is only from grade 25 upwards that bolts start to kick in. Again the routes that are 25+ are incredibly good.

Climbing at Arapiles is a mixture of superb rock and technical moves on often steep and spectacular ground. Arapiles is the ideal place to become a more proficient trad climber. Arapiles is also very accessible, there are over 2000 routes all within easy walking distance.

One of the greatest things about Arapiles, which draw so many people to it apart from climbing, is the social scene. At popular times of the year the Pines campground can be very crowded, which some people may not like, but it is a good thing, because the atmosphere it creates is very social and friendly. You can turn up without a climbing partner, and be almost guaranteed to meet someone to climb with. It is great for meeting fantastic people from all over the globe.

There is so much more to say on this crag, Australia's premier crag, but that waits for you to discover it.

Emergency Locations : A large number of Arapiles locations are registered with Emergency services and have been entered in TheCrag. If you need Emergency Services, dial 000 (triple-zero). You will first be asked "Police, Fire or Ambulance?". After responding you will be connected to the required service. The next question will ask for your location. Give the Emergency Location listed in TheCrag for your cliff. This is the minimum information Emergency Services require to get going. Then you can give more details of the accident, climb etc.

Access issues

Bird Nesting September-December Raptors usually nest on the following climbs in Spring : Cassandra, Eurydice, Harlequin Cracks, Revelations. Nesting usually finishes mid-December. There may or may not be signs in place at these times. Please keep 50m clear of these climbs if there appears to be nesting activity.

State Park


300km west of Melbourne.

Driving is your best bet. Public Transport is available- catch the train to Ballarat, bus to Horsham. From Horsham it is easy to hitch a lift or take a feeder bus that runs daily out to Arapiles.

Where to stay

The Pines Campground is situated at the base of Arapiles, with water and toilets. Suitable for long and short term camping. Campsites must be booked online at or phone 13 1963.

More luxurious accommodation can be found in Natimuk i.e. Backpackers or Bed and Breakfast establishments. There is a campground at Lake Natimuk which has showers. Showers are also available at the Natimuk Pub for $5.


Mount Arapiles is first and foremost a trad climbing area. The few sport climbs tend to be in the higher grades where no natural pro is available.

Bolting, particularly retro-bolting, is discouraged and should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with the local climbers, first ascensionists, etc. Inappropriately placed bolts have been chopped.

Do not chip the rock.

Look after the park.

  • Stick to the paths.

  • Don't disturb the wildlife.

  • Routes near peregrine falcon nesting sites are closed in the spring.

  • Minimise the impact of your camping (fuel stoves not fires, take your rubbish with you, etc).

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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