Swimming Hole Buttress

  • Grade context: AU
  • Ascents: 13




50m down from the Mad Woman’s Breakfast Boulder is a large swimming hole. The cliff (obviously) is on the right side (facing downstream) of the river. Easiest access from the car-park is straight down the track, down the sandy goat-track, turn right at the bottom and your there. Routes described from right to left.


Access issues inherited from Upper Gara Gorge

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

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: Details are vague but this route is believed to start in the gully on the upstream side of the buttress.

Up obvious crack to ledge, then up right-trending crack to top.

FA: B. Haliburton & S. Johnson, 1988

Start: 10m down right from W.t.M.

Up obvious flake to top.

FA: B. Haliburton & S Johnson, 1988

Start: The very obvious horizontal line that traverses the length of the buttress.

Quite a classic, that is undeservedly rarely climbed due to it’s obscurity. Traverse left along obvious horizontal roof crack until a few powerful moves put you on a good ledge. Continue left and down a few moves to belay at water level.

FA: B. Haliburton & K. Shultz, 1988

Wandering line following path of least resistance to top. Start towards the left end of the cliff. Escape through the tree on the right at the top, going left up the face would be harder but more rewarding.

There is a very big obvious boulder which you can scramble up and jump sideways into the upper pool. There are a few harder ways to get onto it.

Good start crimps, through broken square shapes.

Start on two slopers and up

Start left of and link into Jump2

Across the water from the Jumping boulder. Perfect sculpted castle hill problem.

Sit start on side pull, slap up to dish, then pebble wrestle your way up.

FA: Alan Ezzy, 4 Oct 2015


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