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The Watagans are comprised of a number sandstone cliffs. West of the M1 (Newcastle to Sydney) Freeway, the area is mainly National Park though some sections are in State Forests or on private property. The rock is softer and has more conglomerate bands than Sydney or Blue Mountains sandstones, but if you stick to the worn classic you should enjoy.

Monkey Face is the main area. It is a good place for beginners and is easy to set top ropes. It is often used by the Scouts and the Newcastle University Mountaineering Club.


View historical timeline

Early climbing dates from the late 1950s and early 1960s at the Dora Pinnacles. Most climbing up to the early 1980s was club based, the most prominent being the Newcastle and Hunter Areas Scout Association, Newcastle University Mountaineering Club (NUMC), Avondale Bushwalking and Rockclimbing Club (ABARC) and the Newcastle Bushwalking Club (NBC).


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