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Summary

A small but fun sandstone cliff near Coffs Harbour, NSW. Most of the routes are in the 15-20 grade range.

© (tholmes)

Description

The 'Fun Parlour' is not a big cliff, being only 8 to 10 meters high. But the lines, cracks and walls are a lot of fun. The cliff is situated just out of 'Glenreagh', which is approximately half way (half an hour's drive) from Grafton and Coffs Harbour on the Orara Way.

Being a NW facing cliff summers are generally too hot for climbing at this crag, however winters days can be surprisingly warm and pleasant. After a hot day of climbing it is worth stopping at Middle Creek (500m towards Glenreagh) where a short hike leads to beautiful swimming holes.

© (tholmes)

Approach

About the middle of 'Glenreagh' Sherwood Creek Rd heads off across a bridge spanning the Orara river. Set your odometer to zero here. Follow this across the railway line, then hard left to Middle Creek (bridge at 5km). The parking for 'Fun Parlour' is a small, cleared, roadside area 500m past the bridge over Middle Creek on the Southern (right) side of the road (5.5km from turn off at Glenreagh). The crag is not visible from the road. The trail leaves the road about 10m up the hill from the parking lot. Follow a vague trail diagonally up and generally left for about 150m. When you reach the crag you are near the left hand side with the most obvious feature being the prominent, bolted roof Room With A View. Climbs are listed from left to right as you face the cliff.

© (tholmes)

Where to stay

The nearest bush camping is at a nearby climbing area called Wonderland. For all other levels of accomodation, it is about a 45 minute drive back into Coffs Harbour or Woolgoolga which offers everything from caravan parks and backpackers hostels to five star resorts.

© (tholmes)

Ethic inherited from Coffs Harbour

Climbing ethics in the Coffs Harbour area generally follow those of the rest of Australia. The sandstone often offers solid, natural protection which should be used instead of fixed protection where possible. Tape, ribbon, or something similar tied around a bolt or inserted in the route will indicate an incomplete route. Please respect these routes as projects until the marker is removed.

History

The Fun Parlour was founded by a Nymboida River Whitewater Rafting Guide, Larry Dixon some time in the early eighties. In the summer of 1984, during a moment of weakness, his brother Neil 'Dicko' Dixon agreed to see what climbing was all about and tied onto the end of the rope. They put up three routes that year, the best being Cold Tap (14), nearly melted in the process and then rushed back to the Golden Dog for some life-saving beers.

The following year, Dicko found that rock climbing interfered too much with his social life. As a result, another River Guide, Ian Allen, was talked into visiting the cliff. The result was two more new routes by Dixon, the best being Whip It (15).

The first wall route, Chicken Heroes (18) by Al Stephens from Armidale went up in 1986 along with 7 other crack routes.

The true potential of the Fun Parlour began to dawn on Dixon and Stephens in 1987 when they bolted the classic Funnel Web (16) by Dixon and Long Tall Texan (21) by Stephens. A total of eight new routes went up that year. Other visiting climbers that year were Richard Thomas (the long, tall Texan) and Mark Spence from Coffs Harbour.

The year of the Bosch, 1988, resulted in five beautiful routes, the best being the Ramones inspired Planet Earth (19) by Dixon and Quasimodo (18) by Stephens. Other visiting climbers involved int the first ascents were Graham Stewart from Armidale, Wade (Image Man) Fairly and Richard Falls from Tamworth.

1989 saw many visitors come and go and 16 superb routes being put up. Gavin (Coke) Dean, a climbing and abseiling instructor from Coffs got very serious about new routes and, with a variety of seconders, put up 12 new ones (nothing compared to what he did at Wonderland later), the best being The Raw (21) and the infamous, almost impossible for some, Rum and Coke (22). Other visitors during the winter were Niel Crabb and Mark Colyvan from Armidale, Karl Shultz from downtown Glenreagh and Davey and Tim Wood from Ulong.

In 1990 Larry Dixon became more involved in developing his Whitewater Rafting Business and temporarily retired from climbing. Dean, with Stephens and Wayne Anderson, at various times, were involved in 14 of the 15 new routes put up during the year. The best was Walt Disney's Picking Strawberries (23) by Dean (one of the hardest at Fun Parlour). Other climbers involved in the first ascents were Tim (Tadpole) Balla, Patrick Thompson, Toldy Thompson and Tim Loughlin.

In 1991, Gavin Dean discovered Wonderland which became the focus of attention for development. Since then, only a few routes have been added to the crag although it always seems to attract a few climbers every year, especially those who are looking for moderate routes.

© (tholmes)

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

Routes

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Grade Route
1
20 ** You Can't Touch This Sport 8m, 2

On a small buttress about 50m left of the main crag. Onto the wall and up through the right side of the roof. 2 bolts and a tree belay.

FA: W. Anderson, G. Dean, 1990

2
22 * Rum And Coke Sport 8m, 2

The first route on the main section of the cliff. A thin crack in a wall. Shoot up crack to horizontal break, then it's suddenly hard. 2 carrot bolt belay 2m back from cliff edge.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1989

3
19 * Deceiving Decisions Mixed 8m, 3

Start on the block below the right leaning crack. Up crack then wall with small iron hand holds, wires low down then 3 BR's to the top.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1989

4
18 Swingin' Oldies Sport 8m, 3

Just right of DECEIVING DECISIONS. Up short wall, thin moves to top, 3 carrot bolts.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1989

5
20 Cosmic Energy Sport 8m, 2

A blunt arete arete, 2 carrots and 2 carrot bolt belay.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens,, 1989

6
18 Fantasy And Fiction Sport 8m, 2

The short wall in an alcove, 1m right of COSMIC ENERGY. This moves up the short wall. 2 carrots and 1 bolt plus tree belay.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1989

7
19 Phantom Cockroaches Mixed 8m, 1

In the same alcove as FANTASY AND FICTION, 2m right. Don't use the block on the right hand side, you cheat! 1 bolt and a large cam.

FA: G. Dean, L. Dixon, Dave ?, 1989

8
16 Son Of A Beach Trad 8m

A funky looking crack left of the big overhang (ROOM WITH A VIEW), up crack and swing round small roof to your left, then to top.

FA: A. Stephens, L. Dixon, G Stewart, 1987

9
18 ** Room With A View Sport 8m, 4

The obvious roof just right of the approach trail. 4 BR's and a small cam down low. 2 BR's are next to each other at the start of the hard bit. Belay back on trees. Was originally graded 22 (in the days when climbing roofs was a new thing).

FA: A. Stephens, 1988

10
17 Shady Retreat Sport 8m, 3

Perfect on a hot sunny day. Up the wall just right of (and perpendicular to) ROOM WITH A VIEW. 3 bolts. Beautiful!

FA: G. Dean, T. Loughlin, P Thompson, 1989

11
17 Steamer Trad 8m

One of the first routes done here. A wide corner rack, bridge and jam.

FA: L. Dixon, N. (Dicko) Dixon, 1984

12
18 Quasimodo Sport 8m, 3

The black wall right of STEAMER.

FA: A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1988

13
23 ** Silver And Gold Sport 8m, 2

The golden wall with 2 pieces of silver, right of QUASIMODO. Technical and strenuous. In contrast to Room With A View (also by Stephens) which was downgraded, this route was originally graded 22 and is now considered by some to be closer to 24.

FA: A. Stephens, 1989

14
19 Ballroom Blitz Mixed 8m, 1

"Ready Steve, alright fellas, lets go......". The narrow wall 1m right of SILVER AND GOLD. Large Friend and 1 bolt. A little contrived, don't bridge off the right hand wall. Techno and streno. (Sorry Ralph!)

FA: A. Stephens, M. Colyvan, L. Dixon, N. Crabb, 1988

15
12 Cable Layer Trad 8m

The crack in the corner just right of BALLROOM BLITZ. Named after the feeling you get just after you put on your harness. Bridge and jam.

FA: L. Dixon, A. Stephens, 1988

16
19 * Planet Earth Mixed 8m, 2

A classic. The wall right of CABLE LAYER. Another Ramones inspired route. Large cam in cave and 2 bolts.

FA: L. Dixon, A. Stephens, 1988

17
16 Wasp Trad 8m

The next crack right of PLANET EARTH. A flared crack in a steep wall, hard jamming to top.

FA: L. Dixon, M. Spence, 1988

18
20 ** (Unknown 1) Sport 8m
19
17 Life's A Beach Trad 8m

A steep jam crack, better than it looks.

FA: A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1987

20
18 Sandy Sandshoes Sport 8m, 2

Great little short wall, out of the sun. Good small holds, pumpy. 2 bolts and a cam.

FA: G. Dean, L. Dixon, 1989

21
11 Like A Virgin Trad 8m

The corner right of SANDY SANDSHOES. Neil's first route! Up onto the step then bridge up corner.

FA: N. Crabb, A. Stephens, 1988

22
18 Powered By Bosch Sport 8m, 2

1.5 metres left of 'Chicken Heros'. Up easy slab to bolt with fixed hanger. An interesting sequence leads past this then pad on up to double bolt belay.

FA: D. Carter, A. Donoghue, 1994

23
18 Chicken Heroes Trad 8m

A juggy looking wall with poor pro up high. A large cam about half height, a 1/2 inch Hero loop over the chicken head and a small wire for pro.

FA: A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1986

24
16 Giblets Trad 8m

A crack with a cave near the top. The first rack right of CHICKEN HEROES. Hard start then easier climbing to top.

FA: L. Dixon, A. Stephens, R. Thomas, 1986

25
20 Obscure Route Mixed 8m, 1

Up trad crack and tend right to carrot bolt on arete.

FA: Unknown

26
20 Rags To Riches Sport 8m, 3

The wall right of GIBLETS. Up steepening wall. 3 bolts and trad belay. Superb.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1990

27
21 * Flat Batteries Sport 8m, 3

Totally excellent. A wall in a slight alcove right of RAGS TO RICHES. Up the wall with a bulge, 3 bolts to a 2 bolt belay. Nice one Wayne!

FA: W. Anderson, K. Bennett, G. Dean, 1990

28
20 * Light And Easy Sport 8m, 4

Not so easy if you're not light! Between FLAT BATTERIES and the "Shower Recess" (I think!). A steep wall with a thin crack near the top. 4 bolts to a 2 bolt belay. Just great!

FA: G. Dean, P. Thompson, T. Loughlin, T. Thompson, 1989

29
19 * Steamy Windows Sport 8m, 3

This route and the next half dozen are located around the "Shower Recess" (an obvious, square alcove).

5m left of the "Shower Recess". Tricky off the ground. Up through bulge past a bolt to an overhanging wall finish. 3 bolts and a 2 bolt belay.

FA: A. Stephens, G. Dean, 1990

30
17 Don't Drop The Soap Mixed 8m, 1

A couple of metres right of STEAMY WINDOWS. A little contrived but an excellent route if you keep over to the left. Steep and juggy to start, leading to a flake and easy finish. 1 bolt plus small trad gear to tree belay.

FA: L. Dixon, A. Stephens, 1990

31
10 Luke Warm Trad 8m

The left hand arete of the "Shower Recess". Up the arete then easily to top. A great beginners' route.

FA: L. Dixon, M. Spence, 1986

32
14 Cold Tap Trad 8m

The left hand corner of the "Shower Recess". Up the corner with jugs to tree belay. The first good route climbed at the Fun Parlour (and possibly all of the Coffs area).

FA: L. Dixon, N. (Dicko) Dixon, 1984

33
16 * Hot Tap Trad 8m

The right hand corner of the "Shower Recess" Short but much harder than it looks. Sustained.

FA: L. Dixon R. Thomas, A. Stephens, 1986

34
13 Just Add Water Mixed 8m, 1

The right arete of the "Shower Recess". Low angle arete with one bolt and trad gear. Cruise up and right on jugs to top to a double bolt belay.

FA: D. Carter, A. Donoghue, 1994

35
18 Where's My Burrito Mixed 8m, 1

The face 3m right of the 'Shower Recess'. Up to horizontal break (cam) then up steep wall past one or two bolts to a double bolt belay.

FA: D.Carter, A. Donoghue, 1994

36
22 Short And Sweet Mixed 8m, 2

The right side of the wall to the right of the "Shower Recess". Beautiful! Do it! Up bulging wall to top. 2 bolts.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1989

37
8 Snowman Trad 8m

One of the first routs at this cliff by the Dodgy Brothers. A fist sized crack in a short wall. Strait up. Right of SHORT AND SWEET.

FA: L. (Pieman) Dixon, N. (Dicko) Dixon, 1984

38
12 Confidence Trad 8m

A very short wall between SNOWMAN and WOMAN. Nice moves.

FA: G. Stewart A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1987

39
8 Woman Trad 8m

A waste of space. No .. not women .. just this route. A very short crack. More of a quick way to the top of the cliff.

FA: A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1986

40

One of the hardest routes at the crag. The obvious roof right of CONFIDENCE. A short steep wall, then muscle round the roof, then easier to tree belay. 2 bolts. It's great!

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1990

41
17 Lambada Mixed 8m, 2

2m right of WALT DISNEY'S PICKING STRAWBERRIES. A crack then wall. Small cams and 2 bolts. Be gentle on the footholds up high. Quite nice.

FA: A Stephens, G. Dean, 1990

42
22 Summer Sport 8m, 3

his route and the next two go up the wall with the large tree close to the wall. Technical, strenuous and it wanders around a little bit - don't bridge off the tree you cheat! Originally reported to have 3 or 4 bolts but may be missing the last one (?)

FA: A. Stephens, G. Dean, 1990

43
17 * Treeology Trad 10m

Right of SUMMER. A crack in a steep wall next to the big Blackbutt tree. Natural pro. Strenuous start, scary in the middle and a tricky finish. A lot of fun.

FA: A Stephens, L. Dixon, 1986

44
20 * Intreeg Mixed 10m, 2

Great fun. Superb moves. A couple of metres right of TREEOLOGY. Swing up the wall. 2 bolts and some natural pro.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1990

45
17 * The Golden Dog Trad 10m

An excellent climb, named after the friendly Glenreagh Pub. The Pub burnt down during winter 1991 but was rebuilt. The classic Golden Dog statue was added in 2011. A good long route. The left leaning, diagonal crack to the cave then up the wider crack to top. Tree belay.

FA: L. Dixon, A. Stephens, G. Stewart, 1987

46
21 * Long Tall Texan Mixed 10m, 2

Start as for THE GOLDEN DOG, into the cave then move right from the cave and up the steep wall past 2 bolts and trad gear. Strenuous and sustained. Tree belay.

FA: A. Stephens, G. Stewart, L. Dixon, 1987

47
15 Whip It Trad 8m

Whip it ... Whip it GOOD! This is good. The first crack on the next wall. A hand to fist crack, with crux near the top.

FA: L. Dixon, I. Allen, 1985

48
21 * The Raw Sport 10m, 4

One of the BEST on the cliff... A definite must do! A long, steep, slightly overhanging wall perpendicular to the main crag. Very sustained. 4 bolts. Originally had a double bolt belay but apparently someone has chopped them (?). Either rap off the dodgy tree or walk down.

FA: G. Dean, P. Thompson, 1989

49
17 And The Cooked Mixed 10m, 1

The wall/arete right of THE RAW. It'll keep you guessing. 1 bolt plus trad gear.

FA: W. Anderson, G. Dean, 1989

50
16 Sandman Trad 8m

The next corner right of AND THE COOKED. A corner with a jam crack near the top, bridging, layaways and jams, it's got it all.

FA: A. Stephens, W. (Image man) Fairly, R. Falls, L. Dixon, 1987

51
17 Funnel Web Sport 10m, 4

One of the best at this grade. The first bolted route at Fun Parlour and the Coffs area. Start at the arete next to SANDMAN. Clip the first two bolts then move onto the face, 2 more bolts and a steep little wall to finish.

FA: L Dixon, A. Stephens, 1987

52
14 Pus In Boots Trad 8m

This and the next route are on a short, orange section of the cliff with small roofs and caves. Imagine having pus in your boots! An overhanging arete then easy to top.

FA: T. (Tadpole) Balla, L. Dixon, 1989

53
15 Boot The Puss Trad 8m

2m right of PUS IN BOOTS. Up overhanging wall past crazy thread runner in roof, then cruise.

FA: L. Dixon, Davey, 1989

54
12 Shaky Trad 8m

The next corner right of BOOT THE PUSS. Every cliff needs a horrible climb. Up corner crack to cave, up wall to top.

FA: L. Dixon, I. Allen, 1985

55
14 Sandcastles Trad 8m

The original start on the right side of the arete is about 17. However, a better start is on the left side of the arete and is more in keeping with the grade of the rest of the climb - 14. Excellent value. Straight up the arete to top, natural pro.

FA: G Stewart. A. Stephens, L. Dixon, 1987

56
18 Bacon And Eggs Trad 8m

The next arete right of SAND CASTLES. All natural pro, take a full rack of small sizes. An intense arete that becomes an easier wall. 2 bolt belay. This one for the purist.

FA: G. Dean, W. Anderson, 1990

57
20 * Bubble And Squeak Mixed 8m, 2

The shaded wall right of BACON AND EGGS. One of the best on the cliff. Love it...Love it...Love it! Up the steep wall with horizontal breaks. 2 bolts and a cam to a 2 bolt belay.

FA: G. Dean, W. Anderson, 1990

58
21 Power And The Passion Sport 8m, 2

Left of these little wonders is a large boulder that is about to roll down to the road and squash your car. It is called the "Gazebo". The two routes on the eastern side are out of the sun in the afternoon. There's an abseil chain at the top.

'Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line...'. This goes up the northern end, the first line you come to. Forget the passion, it's all power on this one. 2 bolts. Belay off a bolt and chains. Technical and sustained.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1990

59
9 Gazebo Trad 8m

An access route. No pro. Better not to do it. On the easy side.

FA: G. Dean, 1990

60
19 Wedding Cake Island Sport 8m, 2

2m left of POWER AND THE PASSION, the middle of the wall. Straight up past 2 bolts to chains. Nice on a hot afternoon.

FA: G. Dean, A. Stephens, 1990

61
19 I Don't Mind Unknown 8m, 2

Named in honor of the great Bob Geldoff. The wall/arete on the far side of the Gazebo that steepens near the top. Avoid the heat of the afternoon. Great.

FA: A. Stephens, G Dean, 1990

62
19 delete Sport 2

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63
19 * delete Sport 2

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