The Totem Pole





The Totem Pole is a dolerite sea cliff located in Fortescue Bay in Tasman National Park near Port Arthur.

Access issues inherited from Tasmania

Many locals continue to use community run website for crag/route updates and noting any access issues. The associated app can be downloaded and used offline!

Gerry Narkowicz also produces hardcopy guides to numerous venues across the state via the 'Climb Tasmania' website


1.25-1.5 hours walk from Fortesque bay carpark to Cap Huay Lookout. Well marked track and extremely easy to follow.

Once at the Cape Huay lookout, locate a track down to the left, and scramble down to the rap rings (these are at approximately the same height as the top of the totem pole). Rap 60m, then while still on rope, swing out to bolts on the Totem Pole and anchor to DBB.

Ethic inherited from Tasmania

  • The operation and use of drones by park visitors on reserved land including national parks is not permitted​.

  • Please note that Tasmania has notoriously patchy phone reception for particular service providers. Telstra is the most reliable. An emergency Personal Locator Beacon or similar is recommended kit when climbing in remote locations.

  • For more information - follow the link below for some local tips + tricks on how to better reduce your impact during your next Tassie climbing holiday

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


Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit Convert grades
Grade Route
1 22 10m
2 25 15m
3 27 40m

A mind-blowing line. The 3rd pitch climbs the arete left of the Free Route. The climbing is sustained and technically demanding.

  1. 10m 22 Climb up to the 1st bolt on Deep Play, clip this with a long draw then drop back down a few metres to the horizontal break. Traverse left and around the arête to a stance and belay on the east face.

  2. 15m 25 Blast up the face for a few metres then traverse onto the right hand arête. Climb this via a tricky and powerful crux sequence to the ledge. Note: stay on the right hand arête: if you head left at the top it will become way run out and even harder.

  3. 40m 27 Starting on the big ledge, follow the finger crack (.5 and .2 camolots plus wires) to the left hand arête and first bolt. Up this past 8BR and a few bits of natural gear. Finish as the Free Route.

Gear List: • Double set of cams from .2 to .5 camolots • 2x 30cm quick draws • 1x 60cm quick draw • 14x quick draws • single 60m rope and 1 x 120cm sling • A ton of Psyche!

FA: Garry Phillips & Chris Coppard, 2015

1 25 25m
2 25 40m
  1. 25m (25) This pitch doesn't get done much since Deep Play was established, the latter being easier with much lower ropedrag and admin.

  2. 40m (25) This is the "money pitch". Mostly Bolts (about 8), a few pieces of trad gear where the climbing is easier.

FA: Steve Monks, Simon Mentz (alt.), Jane Wilkinson & Simon Carter., 1995

Warning Fixed Gear: Last Hanger Missing

  • Warning the second bolt is missing it’s hanger* Popular variant first-pitch to 'The Free Route'. Mostly Bolts, a few pieces of trad gear where the climbing is easier.

FA: Steve Monks & Enga Lokey, 1999

  1. 20m (- M5)

  2. 15m (- M5)

  3. 30m (- M5)

FA: John Ewbank & Alan Keller, 1968

1 25
2 26
3 27
4 17

The original Ewbank Aid Route, now freed at 25, 26, 27, 17 by Doug McConnell.


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Selected Guidebooks all

Author(s): Gerry Narkowicz

Date: 2021

ISBN: 9780646841946

Cracks, sea stacks, big walls, remote exotic locations, volcanic columns, no crowds and your choice of the predominant dolerite, some quartzite and a little sandstone to remind you of the mainland. Many a wilderness climbing experience can be had within a 2hr car trip from the main centers. By Gerry Narkowicz. This guide features 1280 routes.

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