Wodi Wodi Crag

  • Grade context: AU
  • Approach time: 30
  • Photos: 6
  • Ascents: 20
  • Aka: Mt Mitchell




Short gritstone-like buttress of good rock with nice bush scenery and a healthy 30min. walk up to the crag.


This little crag has seen local interest for decades, but the steep walk and north-facing aspect has kept its obscurity intact. The climbing is much like The Shire, short and compact with good quality rock and closely spaced bolts. Top-roping any of these routes is easy, with a tourist track running along the cliff-top. The cliff faces north-west (morning shade) and is right next to a tourist track.

Access issues

The cliff is right next to a walking track, so take care not to cause a scene that will offend/alarm the general public. There appears to have been some chipping and bolt-chopping at this crag in the past. There are several sets of ringbolts that have been hammered over above some of the top-rope climbs. It's probably a good idea to limit any new bolts.


25min. (1.6km, 200m vertical) steep walk up the Wodi Wodi walking track (start on LHD road, just 750m north of Coalcliff Railway Station). Crag = left, 50m before the top track T-Intersection. Follow the track which initially heads north through a cow paddock then into the forest trending up and around the side of the hill. After about 10-15 minutes walking, the track has its 1st trail split (at a large slightly blackened tree) - the lower path heads to Stanwell Park. Take the upper path to the routes and walk for another 10-15 minutes (on this upper path - you will have to climb over a large fallen tree log, with a step cut into it & also under a large fallen/sawn tree). There will be one other path splitting - again take the upper route. Nearing the top of the path , on the left-hand side, you will start to see the faces of the climbs.

A few car spots available on the road beside the Wodi Wodi Track Sign on the left edge (heading north) of Lawrence Hargrave Drive(LHD), just 750m past the Coalcliff railway station.

Where to stay

Scarborough pub , 4km south, has an excellent outdoor beer garden

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.

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.

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.

It would be appreciated if brushing of holds becomes part of your climbing routine - do it with a soft bristled brush and never a steel brush!

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.

Consider bolting single lines rather than many link ups and eliminates, where there are established lines also consider the need to add bolts to establish link ups. It can often create an eyesore.

It is a privilege to climb in the Illawarra 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.


View historical timeline

This crag has, until very recently, been a total mystery when it comes to history. Ant Harris and Brian Forbes did a ground up first ascent on the chossy eastern end of the cliff 1984, but it took another decade before he returned. In 1995 Ant Harris bolted the first routes on the small sport-bolted buttress and also did a few easier trad and top-rope routes. Mark Woodford came in a month later and added a 20. In the 1999 Rock magazine New Climbs guidelet these routes are mentioned as being on Mt Mitchell but no further info was given. Sometime in the last decade ringbolt anchors were added to the top of many of the easier routes, but were then damaged - not sure by whom. There has also been some random chipping done in recent years.



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Grade Route

As you hike up the hill you can see this major cliffline visible through the trees far above. From a distance it looks quite impressive, with large roofs and 30m+ in height. Sadly it is mostly choss and moss. There is one recorded route and possible evidence of others. To get to this section walk a few hundred metres left along the cliff base from the main small ringbolted buttress where Sperm Donor is.

There is at least one carrot bolt on a mossy wall right of large roofs. This is probably that route. From Ant Harris "This was one of my first excursions in the Illawarra region. We bolted on lead ground-up in a good old fashioned nightmare kind of way. We conservatively graded it 19MO. To be honest I dont think its worth cleaning or retro bolting or even remembering."

FA: Brian Forbes & Ant Harris, 1984

These routes are all on the short gritstone like buttress right next to the tourist walking track. The first four routes are on a little terrace 10m above the track and have obvious ringbolts.

Just right of the 'camping cave' and just left of Sperm Donor is this lovely wall with bolt holes but no bolts. Ant Harris top-roped the route and drilled the holes, but then moved away before actually finishing the job. Grade is a mystery.

Set by Ant Harris (toprope only), 1995

Start just right of tree, 2m left of Dreg Mix. Follow the 4 RBs to single bolt lower-off at top. Some nice sequency moves through crux! Originally graded 26, so treat the grade of 24 with some skepticism.

FA: Ant Harris & Marrisa Gunning, 1995

The crag classic? The middle of the three ringbolted routes on the west facing wall. Very sustained climbing on pockets and crimps. 3 ringbolts to lower-off. Ant Harris recalls "I remember a hideously difficult mono doigt start off a crumbly hold before getting into the pockets and a big dyno up at the top." He gave the route grade 27. Consensus repeats since appear to have it at grade 23/24.

FA: Ant Harris, 1995

The furthest right route on the main ringbolted wall, about 4m right of Dreg Mix. Three RBs to lower-off. This climb has some great pockets!

FA: Mark Woodard, 1995

Top-rope only. This lovely looking juggy overhung arete is situated right above the tourist track. Once on the midway ledge climb the unlikely 4m off-centre slab arete. There used to be a couple of anchor ringbolts above this route, but some moron has hammered them flat. Set anchors off tree way back instead.

FA: Ant Harris & Marissa Gunning (top-rope only), 1995

2/3rd of a crack climb with ledge and then minor overhang and vertical wall from ledge (crux). Look for the Buddha in the cave. Don't trust the two dodgy ringbolts, use tree for belay. Accidentally reclaimed as a new route in 2010 and called Douggie Gone by Ryan Godlewski.

FA: Ant Harris & Mick Kirby, 1995

Just right of Focus Puller is a nice looking face - scarred by a hefty amount of subtle chipping. There are top-rope ringbolts on the ledge.

15m right of Deb Stoops to Conquer is a slabby right facing arete, with a bunch of subtle chipped holds at ground level (all can be ignored at same grade). Tricky little start to good medium cam break, then mantle onto ledge (vital shallow finger sized cam). Boldly smear layaway up the slabby upper arete section. Tree belay well back (there used to be bolts but they have been chopped)

FA: First recorded lead ascent - Neil Monteith, 2013

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