Bonnet Bay




Short single pitch sport climbing with insanely short access. Very kid friendly.


Bonnet Bay is one of the original and best Shire crags. It is a small area but many of the routes are top notch quality. Lean Beef (24) and Kim (21) are the best routes here. Can be muggy and mosquito ridden in summer. There has been much rebolting in recent years so most climbs are super safe. Keep your noise down as houses are right below the crag. This is a great spot for the kids, with nice level grassy area and only minutes from the car.

Access issues

There are houses right below the crag, and nearby bouldering areas have been closed in recent years. Keep your noise down and be friendly to the residents.


Park just before the intersection of 188 Washington Drive and Harrison Avenue in 'Bonnet Bay'. Walk back up Washington Road for 40m past the last house to find a track entering bush on the right. Hike up this for 20 seconds to arrive at the climbing. This track is located directly opposite the popular boat ramp. Climbs are named from LEFT to RIGHT as you face the cliff.


Sport sport sport. All of the cracks here are bolted - but were originally led on trad.


History timeline chart

There is very little known about the first ascent details of the majority of routes at this crag. Many routes were literally just labeled A, B, C etc in early internet guides. In recent years new names have been made up and grades have been consolidated. If you know anything more please add this info!

Some content has been provided under license from: © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)


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Grade Route

20m up and left of the main track is this short grey wall with gigantic U-bolts.

The far left arete on subtle sloping pockets. Top-out on blob holds to tree belay - or reverse mantle and lower-off single large bolt.

FA: Neil Monteith, 10 May 2015

The far left route with giant U-bolts. Easy start then tricky finish - stay left unless you want to get sandbagged.

FA: Ed Rutherford?

The left finish with one big reach, use all the Stopping Short bolts

Slopey grit like wall climbing on giant ugly u-bolts. Step right through top.

FA: Ed Rutherford?

Wall 2m R of Stopping Short, 3 little bulges.

FA: Jeff Crass

Another slabby wall with a FHs. This one is a bit mossy. If you avoid the crack on the right near the end its a few grades harder.

Starts on far right of this wall at easy crack. At top of blocky crack go up a crack on the arête above. Traverse around or climb over boulder to tree

The first bit of rock the main trail walks under. It is actually two blocks split by a narrow chimney with a gnarled tree growing across the entrance.

Wide right facing corner crack. A highball boulder problem or bring some big cams.

Slightly contrived arête with big u-bolts that has lower-off well below the top of the cliff. Mantle out and walk off for the proper tick.

FA: Ed Rutherford?

Classy easy route. Just left of the tree and right of the giant u-bolts. Either finish before the top and use the anchors for The Chimney or continue to the top and belay off the big block.

Climb the obvious bolted chimney bridging between the two blocks avoiding the big tree on the left. Finish up the left hand block.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2011

One of the best short aretes in the Shire. The left arête of the wall with heaps of fun technical moves. 3 ring bolts and lower-off.

The nice slab in the middle of the wall, with three ring bolts to a lower-off

Climbs the right side of the little slab just next to the track. Up small ramp to wall and two U bolts

On the far right side of this slab, hidden behind the tree. Fun juggy climbing up thin rock ridge. Not much protection.

FA: Neil Monteith (solo), 2011

The most impressive wall at the crag - covered in bolts and chalk.

Rounded arête just left of Glorious Manglervision with a tree growing annoyingly in the way.. Contrived but funky. Stay on the left side of the arête. Can be done without, but the hold on the right between the 2nd and 3rd bolts makes it much funner.

FA: Mike Law, 2011

Left leaning flared crack in behind the trees. Quite tricky layback moves and an awkward finish. A little bold if you only clip bolts. Recently retro-bolted.

FA: Mike Law 1980s

Sustained but contrived. Shallow right facing corner to rooflet. Right to flake on left side of corner - up this to arete then left and over roof. Easy to Mcdougall, but you still need to do the 23 move at the end.

FA: Neil Monteith, 2010

A fun bolted wide crack that involves no thrutching. Bomber hand jam to start which almost immediately widens to an off-width corner. Tricky finish through the roof to finish. Retro-bolted.

FA: Mike Law 1980s

Some of the best rock in Sydney. 6 rings crossing wall from right to left - then big move up final wall to double RB Lower off. Very reachy - or dynoy. There is a large loose block at the last bolt - take care. Bolted from mixed trad to sport by CT

FA: Mike Law 1990s

One of the hardest routes in the Shire and appears to have thwarted every attempt at a repeat. Start as for LB, continue on a direct line to the top (if you can). There has been two variant methods that have been done - (26) FA CT ignore third bolt and climb left to good jug on Lean Beef Now DYNO up and right to join back into line. There is also a (25) option. Climb to third RB, then traverse right to arete (left side of Offalwdith). Up a few moves then traverse back left (reachy) into line. Top out finish no anchors . Bolted from mixed trad by LW.

FA: Giles Bradbury & Mike Law 1990s

Big wide rounded crack splitting right side of main wall. Clip the 3 bolts on A1 but stay left up the wide crack to top-out. Walk off.

Quality climbing on nice edges (just find the good bits).

A little contrived: Stay out of the crack of 'Offalwidth' (and obviously anything left of it also) to earn the grade 21.

Lower-off anchor right on top of cliff.

Contrived face right of 'A1' and left of the scoopy cave that belongs to 'Burning Shells'.

Stay direct and avoid the jugs to the right for grade 20 or ignore the convolution and use anything within reach for grade 19.

Big ugly U Bolts that finishes prematurely well below the top of the cliff. That start is protected by a fixed hanger or stick clip the first U Bolt.

FA: Ed Rutherford?

Did you know that the first European settlers burnt most of Sydney's Aboriginal oyster shell middens to make cement? Start just right of Aardvark and climbs juggy steep scoop feature. Finish right up to the top of the cliff to lower-off anchor. All ringbolts.

The rock inside the steep scoop is fragile and can break. Be cautious.

Worst route at the crag. Chossy, very rusty bolts and a tree grows in the way. Climb overhanging juggy scoops traversing left under roof, then up rounded arete. FHs to double BB.

FA: Ian Bruce, 2003

Good warm-up. Right most bolted route starting in a small cave off a rock ledge. 4 u-bolts and single giant u-bolt lower-off.

FA: Monty Curtis, 2010

Dirty chimney to the right of Lumberjack. Top out and walk to tree belay back from cliff edge.

FA: Matthew Robbins, 9 Aug 2015


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Selected Guidebooks all

Author(s): Neil Monteith and Simon Carter

Date: 2021

ISBN: 9780645299908

Featuring 1142 climbing routes located at 24 of the best crags in the Sydney area, this A5 size guide book is super user friendly with easy to use colour cliff topos and access maps. Covers sport and trad climbing at a variety of grades, something for everyone.

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