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Access issues inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Gara gorge is part of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and access is open:


Downstream from Savage Amusement Buttress and past Psychosomatic is the Illusion Buttress, a concentrated crag situated near the juction of the main watercourse and a side stream/ gully that runs past Savage Amusement. The climbs are described from upstream to downstream.

Ethic inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

Basically, the climbers of Armidale are a pretty laid back, free thinking group and as long as you don’t go out of your way to put people’s noses out of joint you’ll be amazed at how helpful they can be. The quickest way to piss people off is by ripping off projects. There are a few devoted locals making an effort and putting up quality new climbs. A lot of time, hard work and even money goes into their endeavours (cracks can be projects too) and there is too much unclimbed rock around to justify destroying someone else’s motivation. Any routes marked as such or not in the guide should be left alone. The simple courtesy of asking first may save you from being stripped naked and being staked out for the crows to pick your eyes out. If putting up new routes is your thing then please feel free. The only request is that you avoid placing hangers or conspicuous bolts around the Gara Boulders as we are already viewed as an environmental menace by the NPWS - bolting in National Parks is actually illegal.


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Grade Route

Start: Left of Don’t Get Cute

4 BRs and gear in break. Bolt belay at top.

FA: M. Colyvan, Anita Gordon & Tony Pople, 1989

4m left of Layabout. The wall. 1 BR. An exciting finish. Up blocks and wide crack then up wall past bolt. Belay bolt and chains.

FA: M. Colyvan & G. Bradbury, 1984

2m left of the normal start. This avoids the fine crack. Up the wide crack.

FA: E. Sharpe & G. Croft, 1981

The crack 1m left of Illusion/Going Steady. Up blocks to thin crack, up this to wide crack and top.

FA: B. Birchall, 1979

Start as for layabout and climb the nice hand crack; gear up to 2". When the hand crack ends follow right leading crack to the arête of "Going Steady" and finish up the arête past one carrot bolt, bring a bolt plate. Abseil off chain anchor.

The arête 2m left of Illusion. Small wires and 1 BR. Scramble up onto the Illusion ledge, then up the arête past BR near top. Belay/abseil chains.

FA: M. Colyvan, J. Lattanzio & B. Birchall, 1982

The corner crack 1m left of And So It Goes. Very popular. Scramble up onto the ledge then jam to the top. Chains belay.

FA: B. Birchall & P. Prior, 1976

The wide crack 1m left of Heavy Metal. Scramble up to the base of wide crack, up crack an over block to top, step left an belay off Illusion’s chains.

FA: M. Colyvan & B. Birchall, 1980

A wall/arête route protected by bolts. The first route to use protection bolts on this crag. 4 BRs Friends or nuts for the belay. Up the wall, then the arête, connecting up the four bolts to the chain

FA: Al Stephens & E. Sharpe, 1981

Below the arête just right of the original line. Up the arête passing two bolts to join the original route at it’s third bolt and on up to the chain.

FA: Al Stephens, 1994


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