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Originally described by Captain Cook as resembling a hat, Mount Kembla is the forgotten sister to Mount Keira. Featuring stunning panoramic views of the Illawarra, the mountain remains largely undeveloped for climbing, though there is much potential for those willing to haul gear up the steep access path.

Access issues

Explicit public access, located within the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area. There is no known opinion on climbing, though it would likely be similar to Mount Keira.


Follow Cordeaux Road from Unanderra all the up to the well known Kembla Lookout. Walk up the Mount Kembla Summit Track for 1km and you will find the walls directly on your right of the path. If you climb the ladder you have gone past it!

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.


View historical timeline

Evidently climbed a long time ago, re-discovered, then forgotten about again. Some descriptions and additions by ViBeS & Tucker. Original route names lost to time.


Add route(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Grade Route

Scrape and grunt up the offwidth crack. Toprope or lead using Big Bro's. One old carrot at top, 2 newer carrots above PE / PP .

Bouldery start. Pull onto wall and crank on small holds for jugs above. Easy to the top. 2 carrot bolts at top.

Pull onto wall through a series of thin holds to reach the ledge, use the ledge pockets to mantle yourself up over the runout section to grasp at sandy slopers then lunge into the crack pockets beyond to pull up. May become easier when the wall is cleaned (very sandy).

The corner crack. 2 or 3 number 5 cams. Pull onto the wall just left of the crack and slot the 1st cam. Up to the ledge, reach up for the 2nd cam and layback to the top (or stem off the right hand wall). Grovel over the top.

The pocketed wall to the right of CC. Dicey pro (#2 - #4 rocks, cams handy over the top). Delicate start to pull right on small crimps to find your way to a ledge, then lunge further to get a hand into the cave and haul up. Walk off to the left at the top. Watch the loose sand on the sloping edge! Can top rope using the 2 carrots from 'C'.

Interesting under cling start then up through easy pocketed mess. 2 carrots to top rope.

Easy climbing up a large hand crack. 2 x no3's and a 2.5 cam. One belay bolt at the top and one in the large boulder.

Worth checking out purely for the first super strenuous boulder move. Big gull wing stretch to a pocket on the right arete and pinch on the left crack near YC, get feet on the wall then bump the left hand up slightly to a good hold under the corner. Unless you are taller then 6' you will lose the right hand and require massive core strength to avoid barn dooring out, you can move feet up and lever up left to continue a mess of sandy loose small holds. Use the 2 carrots from 'C' / YC to top rope.

The following climbs are around the corner (South Side).

Tough, needs cleaning and development.

The holds are there for a solid bouldery route, but needs a lot of cleaning/prep...

Up through some delicate pockets to reach the ledge, then up through side pulls in the crack to an extremely vegetated top out. Evidently has not been climbed in some decades.


Check out what is happening in Mount Kembla.