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Rats crag is a hidden away craglett at the top of Mt Ousley. All of the climbs are ringbolted and are short, steep and involve some powerful moves. More reminiscent of roped bouldering Rats is definately worth a visit if your in the area. (Source:

Access issues

The crag is located on the Illawarra Escarpment plateau, East of the Motorway, which for some time has been semi-tolerated for public access.

The area is full of well developed bike tracks and walking paths (e.g. to the popular Brokers Nose lookout).

Depending on which maps you use though the area may be classed as private property or part of the Metropolitan Special Area (catchment area). Be warned, be discrete!


Not the easiest crag to access, despite being next to a motorway. Primary vehicle access is driving the M1 Princes Motorway through Mount Ousley.

Heading South – Chance a park on the side of the M1 Princes Motorway underneath the Picton Road underpass (small shoulder area). The only next real parking spot is the car/truck stop 1km down the road.

Heading North – You can either park on the old closed Picton Road –> Princes Motorway offramp and walk across the Motorway (bad), or head off on Picton road to do a loop back and try parking in front of the works depot then walk across the overpass to join a trail (overpass has limited shoulder for walking – be careful!)

Another possible park for both headings is on the Picton Road offramp East of the Motorway, pull over to a small shoulder on the side West side and watch out for traffic!

Either way once you are on the East side of the Motorway proceed to walk up North along the side of the road for 250m where you will see the cliff extending East through the forest.

Ethic inherited from Wollongong

Retro-bolting of established trad routes is frowned upon. There has been some controversy in recent years about new routes being bolted above tourist tracks. Please don't do this.


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Plenty of good holds for a easy power boulder, but very exposed.

Pull up to reach the under side of the roof. Easy holds to progress but very hard on the hands with conglomerate type rough rock.

Jump on to the ledge for a fun bouldery move to pull your self up into a nice rest position, then easy onwards with more rest positions. Two chains for anchor.

Pull up the flake to reach the ledge on good holds then power along the traverse. Sustained and powerful.

Delicate moves to a nice pocket larger then the one on SMW then over the ledge to decent rails and pockets to the top ledge.

Possibly a harder first few moves then PB, delicate pulling to a less-than-stellar pocket then big reach to the ledge rails then onwards through more rails and pockets to the top ledge.

A pretty sustained and pumpy warm-up. Two chains for anchor.


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