Located predominantly on Darug and Gundagurra Country. Massive amounts of rock, easy access, high quality routes, a beautiful location, what more could you want?


Driving up into the Blue Mountains is like entering a fortress, for once you are up in them, you are on a plateau surrounded on all sides by cliffs. It is in this almost suburban bush surrounding, that some of Australia's best climbing resides. From big adventurous walls, to smaller single pitch sport climbs, to fantastic trad climbing, the Blueys has a bit of it all. All this comes amidst the smoky blue green vistas of the Blueys, which on a good day are so peaceful you will never want to leave.

The Blue Mountains are a unique destination offering a very civilised climbing experience, courtesy of places like Katoomba and Blackheath, that sport a healthy cafe culture. The mornings can begin with a coffee in Blackheath and a visit to the bakery. The day can then be spent thrashing yourself on some of the countless sport routes, or scaring yourself silly on some sandy trad horror show. The evening can then culminate in Katoomba with a nice café meal and possibly a film. For a more traditional experience head to Mt Victoria for the rickety old theatre. Most of the crags are within easy driving distance of each other, and in some cases easy walking distance. The most popular area is around Blackheath which offers the highest concentration of quality climbing to be found. There are many other areas though which are very good, most of which are within half an hour to an hours drive away. For most people these days, the Blueys is really a sport climbing destination. Apart from Nowra, there is no other place where you will find so many sport routes. There is still plenty of trad climbing though, even though the sandstone is not as suited to trad climbing as the Grampians and Mt Arapiles, being generally poorer in quality. Mt Piddington and Mt York are probably two of the best places to trad climb, although both crags offer some sport climbing. Around Blackheath the best sport area is Centennial Glen, although Upper Shipley probably offers more options for the intermediate climber.

For the beginner climber the Blue Mountains is nowhere near as good as Arapiles or the Grampians, as the easier routes do tend to be the chossier ones. For the intermediate to advanced climber though, the Blue Mountains is fantastic. The beginner climber should not be put off however, as the Blue Mountains probably has more climbing companies offering introductions to climbing than anywhere else in the country. The Blueys is a fantastic place to spend time, although it can be a little more expensive than other areas, due to having so many more temptations.

Access issues

The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage listed area. The Grose Valley, the cliffs around Katoomba and much of the Narrow Neck peninsula are part of the Blue Mountains National Park which is managed by the NPWS. The Western Escarpment - where most of the climbing is - is Crown Land managed by the BMCC. While the NPWS Plan of Management nominates several locations in the National Park where rock climbing is deemed appropriate, the majority of the climbing remains unacknowledged. To maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible.

Practically all crags are either in National Park or in council reserve: dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in National Parks at any time and fines have been issued, while for crags on council reserve the BMCC leash law requires that dogs be on-leash.

For the latest access related information, or to report something of concern, visit the Australian Climbing Association NSW Blue Mountains page at


An hour and a half’s drive west of Sydney (80kms). There is a train line that runs right across the top of the Blue Mountains plateau and many stations (e.g. Blackheath) are in very close proximity to the crags. There is also a bus service.

Where to stay

Camping is limited due to semi-suburban location so near to Sydney. Many climbers choose to Air BNB rather than camp - or just day trip from Sydney (the suburban train line passes through the mountains). The most popular free campground is at Mt York (Mt Victoria). This is a small area which can be totally full during holiday periods. It is conveniently located near ma couple of excellent climbing crags (Bardens Lookout & Mt York). It is a first come first get campground - there is no booking system. Megalong Valley also has a couple of free campsites but they are a long way from the crags if you don't have a car and have limited facilities. Blackheath has a BMCC operated caravanpark & campground which offers security and showers and is in the centre of the main climbing hub. Katoomba has plenty of hostels and a caravan park and there are many bed and breakfast type places through the mountains, if you can afford it. It really is a place where a car is needed to make the best of the area.


Although sport climbing is well entrenched as the most popular form of Blueys climbing, mixed-climbing on gear and bolts has generally been the rule over the long term. Please try to use available natural gear where possible, and do not bolt cracks or potential trad climbs. If you do the bolts may be removed.

Because of the softness of Blue Mountains sandstone, bolting should only be done by those with a solid knowledge of glue-in equipping. A recent fatality serves as a reminder that this is not an area to experiment with bolting.

If you do need to top rope, please do it through your own gear as the wear on the anchors is both difficult and expensive to maintain.

At many Blue Mountains crags, the somewhat close spacing of routes and prolific horizontal featuring means that it is easy to envisage literally hundreds of trivial linkups. By all means climb these to your hearts content but, unless it is an exceptional case due to some significant objective merit, please generally refrain from writing up linkups. A proliferation of descriptions of trivial linkups would only clutter up the guide and add confusion and will generally not add value to your fellow climbers. (If you still can't resist, consider adding a brief note to the parent route description, rather than cluttering up the guide with a whole new route entry).

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit

It would be appreciated if brushing of holds and minimisation/removal of tick marks becomes part of your climbing routine. Consider bringing a water squirt bottle and mop-up rag to better remove chalk. Only use soft (hair/nylon) bristled brushes, never steel brushes.

The removal of vegetation - both from the cliff bases and the climbs - is not seen as beneficial to aesthetics of the environment nor to our access to it.

Remember, to maintain access our best approach is to 'Respect Native Habitat, Tread Softly and Leave No Trace'. Do not cut flora and keep any tracks and infrastructure as minimal as possible or risk possible closures.

For the latest access related information, or to report something of concern, visit the Australian Climbing Association NSW Blue Mountains page at



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Selected Guidebooks more Hide

Author(s): Simon Carter

Date: 2019

ISBN: 9780958079082

The latest comprehensive, latest and greatest Blue Mountains Climbing Guide is here and it has more routes than you can poke a clip stick at! 3421 to be exact. You are not going to get bored.

Author(s): Simon Carter

Date: 2019

ISBN: 9780958079075

Simon Carter's "Best of the Blue" is the latest selected climbing guide book for the Blue Mountains and covers 1000 routes and 19 different climbing areas. For all the sport climbers out there, the travellers, or just anyone who doesn't want to lug around the big guide that's more than 3 times the size - cut out the riff-raff and get to the good stuff! This will pretty much cover everything you need!

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