Shepherds Crook 🚫

  • Grade context: AU
  • Photos: 2
  • Ascents: 7

Climbing in this area is banned/illegal.





Shepherds Crook is the name given to the bright orange walls and boulders to the right of Mt Stuart on the same ridgeline. The area is plainly visible from the JCU campus looking in the opposite direction to the sea (south). Its peak is 456m above sea level. This area is gained by a ~1.5 hour walk uphill from the south end of the JCU ring-road. It is a slog, don't go on a hot day. If you are visiting Townsville, go to Mt Stuart instead, this is a spread out, difficult, and often unenjoyable area, but new routes are there for those who seek them...

Access issues

To climb at this area without possible trespassing, relevant permission may be required. It's your choice whether you obtain permission or not.


From the bouldering area mentioned above, keep walking up the creek until it becomes difficult to do so, then move out of the creek onto the grassy plain. Then follow your nose steeply up to the orange walls. The walk up should take about 1.5 hours in total.

Ethic inherited from Townsville

Marking the rock at the start of the climbs used to be the norm, this is now frowned upon.



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Grade Route

Start is marked. The left (R-trending) crack on the first major, orange boulder encountered on the walk up.

FA: Lee Skidmore

FFA: Lee Cujes, 1996

Start is marked. From the top of the SS boulder, walk 20m uphill until next boulder/wall is encountered. Climb the #1 cam-width line 7m R of obvious chimney.

FA: Lee Skidmore

FFA: Lee Cujes, 1996

Start is marked. From I, walk uphill and L around ridge to meet unusually large boulder (main walls become visible here). Starts on lower side of boulder at base of chute. Easily up chute to ledge and boulder base. Climb great finger crack up boulder. Scramble down opposite side.

FA: Lee Cujes, 1996

Start is marked. From J, walk back (away from sea) and down to R side of main walls. This route starts on the ledge. Nice start up cracks leads to ledge at 1/3 height. Up fun lift-shaft to a difficult belay (bring tape).

FFA: Lee Cujes & Daniel Blanchard, 1996

Currently the cliff classic. Start is marked. From RC walk ~40m L along base of main walls to the cave (possible sleeping spot). Start 3m R of cave. Climb L side of block to wall. Up this with thin pro into corner system. Up corner into well protected, bottomless bridge shaft. Up to loose exit (care!) to belay off tree. Second mini-pitch up chimney leads to massive terrace. Walk R and rap off tree.

FFA: Lee Cujes & Daniel Blanchard, 1996

Start is marked. From L side of main cliffs walk up & back (away from sea) for 100m to reach black wall. Up crack with tree growing from base to below roof to hidden 'room'. Traverse R under roof and up to finish at tree.

FFA: Matt Russell & Lee Cujes, 1997

From ARWAV walk L, skirting the rock walls. This climb is obvious as a steep crack start tending L into a corner then up to beneath a 1.5m roof split by a 5 inch crack. Pro goes in this, then traverse to the lip of the roof, turn the lip on hand jams (crux) and up the wide crack to finish at tree. Open project.

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