Middle Earth




Access issues inherited from Glenrock Lagoon

Located in Glenrock State Conservation Area, an area of ongoing importance to the traditional custodians, the Awabakal. There are numerous heritage sites scattered throughout the region. The land manager is the NPWS. Climbing is not recognised in the current plan of management, but will be incorporated in the 2021 plan. Climbers should be mindful of flora, fauna and cultural heritage and should not disturb these.

Chalk use should be minimised, and tick marks removed. Use headphones if you need music at the crag. Lookout for crag care days to help with bush regeneration and track work.

Expect to see waterdragons, monitors and snakes. Warnings don’t need to be raised every time a reptile is seen. Leave vegetated caves in cliff faces alone. A number of rare birds inhabit these eg powerful owls.


Park in the Yuelarbah Track car park off Burwood Road. Follow the the Yuelarbah trail for 600m down the hill until it reaches the creek crossing. Don't cross the creek and instead follow the smaller Burwood track which continues to head West. After 200m you will see a 'Danger Cliffs' sign on the left, beyond is the top of Middle Earth. Follow the cliff line to the left to find a well worn path down to the base.

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Grade Route

The route to the right of the cave.

FA: Tim Haasnoot, 2004

FA: T Lee, 2004

Start as for Gimlis Gripe then traverse R to finish up adjacent route.

FA: V Wills, 2004

Follow the line of fixed hangers. Tough start then up on some good pockets. Be wary at start, the arch has moved and could collapse. You can start this route from the routes to the left or right.

FA: Trent Lee, 2003

FA: Trent Lee, 2003

Warning Rock: Key hold at crux is apparently flexing.

Sustained face climbing with two crux moves. A key pebble broke off in 2014, making this route probably 24

Start: 2m left of GG

FA: Trent Lee, 2004

Sequential start leads to sneaky no hands rest then blast through to the top. Save something for the top

Start: 2.5m left of WITW. Up left of 2nd cave

FA: Trent Lee, 2004

Start as for hand shandy, straight up past some cool pockets to finish on anchors of TSCU.

FA: Tim Haasnoot & Justin Jefferson, 2004

Climb the left hand end of the wall past 3 rings trending left to anchors.

FA: Justin Jefferson & Tim Haasnoot, 2004

A long standing warm up, sit start on rock at base of arete then up and traverse right to finish at cave. Crimpy.

very technical, sustained and bouldery, and contrived. Climbing up the arete.

FA: Gavin Portier

Climb right side of arete to 2nd bolt then move left above the honeycomb section to big moves to the top. Steep!

Slightly marred by sandy holds


Climb the overhanging arete on the right hand end of the chossy cave. Climbs well.

FA: V Wills, 2007

Climb grimy worm tongue, putting a very long sling on the anchor, then continue left to reverse the traverse of the Sods to its starting point under hobbits pockets without resting.

FA: Vanessa Wills, 2016

Mega line that covers some of the best territory at the crag! Shoot up Grimy Wormtongue, hooking left at the anchors to reverse the traverse, then pull the spicy mantle through the middle of the roof to gain the victory slab at the top. Lots of extended draws make life better.

FA: Luke Yerbury, 26 Aug 2021

Start as for Traverse of the Sods then in the middle of the cave punch straight up through the roof. Originally done with only the lower bolt at the lip. Extra bolt added 23/08/21 to reduce the risk of bad falls.

Slightly easier than TRBD and a good way to investigate the moves at the lip. Potential for a more difficult right hand variant if you take the pocket with your left hand and shoot straight up. Tough!

Set: John Hollott, 1 Oct 2016

FA: Luke Yerbury, 18 Jun 2021

Traverse under roof from near Hiliary Step to finish on anchors for Grimy Wormtongue

FA: John Hollott, 2012

As for Traverse of the Sods, but continue around the corner from the anchors of Grimy to finish at the anchors Kleptomania. A good stance at the anchors of OA leads into some slopey, smeary moves across the main wall. This section mostly stays with hands in the obvious break/band of pockets across the top (staying below most anchors). A variety of long draws and 60-120cm slings are useful.

FA: Luke Yerbury, May 2021

Mantle block, up slab to head wall, grab 2 holds, lunge and then top out. No lower off

Start: left end of cave.

FA: Gavin Portier, 2009

From the block, follow the line of 'heucos' to the top. A beginner favourite.

FA: Vanessa Wills, 2004

Short route behind the tree. 1.5m left of HP

FA: Vanessa Wills, 2004

Left side of the Hobbit Wall. Start immediately right of the fig tree. Straight up. Underclings then crimps. Still a little friable. Care clipping the anchors - maybe use a long sling first to reduce the fall factor.

FA: John Hollott & Luke Yerbury, 28 Aug 2021

Start at bottom left of wall near fig, to first bolt of Tolkien Effort, then diagonally right and up to first bolt of Entmoot, then to second bolt of HP and finish at anchor of HP.

FA: John Hollott & Luke Yerbury, 28 Aug 2021

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Author(s): Tim Haasnoot

Date: 2013

ISBN: 9780975129319

An area that has steep sport routes, trad cracks, deep-water-soling, sea cliff climbing and bouldering all within a short drive to some beautiful beaches and national parks is surely worth a look in. The Newcastle and Hunter Rock Climbing guide by Tim Haasnoot is feature packed and includes all the areas worth a day trip from Newcastle. This guide features over 950 routes, 170 boulder problems and 100 DWS with full topo maps and navigation info.

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Fri 25 Feb
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