Great fine grained orange sandstone with the creek just underneath


Umbrawarra Gorge is an Aboriginal owned site and is managed on their behalf by the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

© (Stu)

Access issues

Climbing only authorised at The First Pool. Other areas are outside the permitted climbing zone and climbing there risks a blanket ban on climbing throughout the whole gorge.

Old information on this page stated that a climbing permit was required - this is wrong. No climbing permits are needed.


Walk along the gorge for a few minutes.

Where to stay

Umbrawarra campground is located only a couple of minutes away, and features barbecues, a long drop toilet, and no water.

Camp fees are payable; $3.50 per person per night.


Umbrawarra Gorge is an Aboriginal owned site, managed by Parks and Wildlife. It is a sacred site and should be treated as such. There are a few bolts, but these should not be added to or replaced without discussion with the authorities.


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

The top is accessible for top rope setting. Before walking up The First Pool, cross the creek and find a path of rocks that lead up then left to the top of the crag.

Large crack running through the roof over the first pool. Start on the raised platform to the left of the main crack, traverse right on lateral seam, mantle the ledge, up face to the roof, out and up following the crack though roof.

FA: Gavin Jensen & Ginnette Harrison, 1993

Carrot bolts on this climb are not considered safe and probably will

not get replaced due to their location within a National Park. 2CB

Start: Start from same platform as 'Ankle Anxiety'. Right and up past the 2 BR's to ledge, left and up to finish.

FA: Gavin Jensen, Ginnette Harrison & John Holcroft

A popular introduction to the area. Obvious and awesome corner crack leading to tree, right and around corner from 'Ankle Anxiety'. Follow corner crack straight up, step onto

the right hand ledge to finish. Big holds and great pro.

FA: John Holcroft, 1989

Wall immediately left of CC. Pick your way delicately up. Small cams and wires help, as do double ropes. Finish up the crack directly below the abseil tree. Great climb.

FA: Chris Cannard, Steve Weiss & John Holcroft, 1989

Climb starts 3m left of BAB and climbs left edge of that face past (not through!!) large roof to small tree, traverse left under tree to ledge on the nose of the roof. Finish at the fig tree. Some fragile “dinner plates” at the top, beware. Second by tradition does a chin up off the nose!!!

FA: Neale “Kiwi“ Taylor & Craig 8/00

Watch the loose rock top of this climb.

Thin crack right of CC. Start left of crack through small overhang then straight up fine crack. Excellent and balancy climbing spoilt only by the poorly protected and slightly chossy finish.

FA: Dave Shepherd

5m right of P lies an obvious crack starting through a juggy overhang. Crack leads to mantelshelf and small left facing corner. Interesting and pleasant climbing.

FA: Chris Cannard & John Holcroft, 1989

About 6m R of Clown's corner, this tackles the overhang that leads to the prominent grey slabby wall. Very pumpy start with exciting move onto main wall. Easier but poorly protected finish up slabby wall past mantelshelf.

FA: John Holcroft & Chris Cannard, 1989

Essentially a variant route of OAL , starting similarly but finishes up the right hand arête.

FA: Neale “Kiwi” Taylor & Kelly Hansen, 2003

Starting point approximately 3m right of OAL. Slightly overhanging start then follow crack straight up to tree in top of crack, step right and finish straight up face. By all accounts… quite stiff at the grade!

FA: Dave Shepherd & Michael Brand

About 7m right of UN1, you will find an overhanging wall with a few somewhat fragile looking undercling flakes. Up this obvious line of weakness, on poor protection to first piece of worthwhile gear in good horizontal crack. Stretchy move over small rooflet to pumpy but reasonably well protected conclusion.

FA: Dave Shepherd & Chris Hart

Start up V shaped corner just right of W. Follow obvious line, with delicate protection at 2/3 height. Under-rated and underclimbed!

Climbing is not permitted in this area.


An enclosed corner at the beginning of the second pool on the left hand side of the gorge. Obvious slabby face bounded by two crack systems leading to rather ominous looking roof. A Nice shady spot for morning climbing. Climbs listed are L to R

LH crack in the Enclosure wall. Scary unprotected start! Follow the LH crack up to the stance below the roof, traverse left onto the face and up through the ‘V’ crack in the roof. Definitely one of the best routes here.

FA: Tim Benfield

Centre of the Enclosure wall. Climb straight up the face just right of the Stay Low crack, not using the crack at all. A popular old top rope project, which has seen many pained ascents before Mr. Hart’s somewhat visionary effort (go son!) Finishes directly through the centre of the roof. Twin Ropes!!!

FA: Chris Hart

Takes the obvious lower left arcing crack to ledge then up through the crack in the roof. Some delicate edging, fiddly protection and solid underclinging here.

FA: Dave Shepherd

Takes the upper left leaning crack in the RHS of the Enclosure, up and onto the ledge, right and up through the crack in the roof. Different moves, better protection, same finish… but distinctly easier than TMGTH.

FA: John Holcroft, Tim Benfield & Chris Cannard

Starts innocently enough, changing to a fairly strenuous outing. Travels up the V shaped chimney on the RHS of the Enclosure. Take care in the top of this climb where some of the rock has all the quality of the aforementioned chocolate bar. Fairly stiff for the grade.

FA: Justin Trevorrow

On the block immediately right of the enclosure. Thin crack goes straight up the block. Fairly easy up crack to large horizontal and marginal large SLCD. Traverse left and up with pretty committing move. Mantle exit to ledge.

FA: Gavin Jensen, John Holcroft & Ginnette Harrison

Spectacular and exposed! Start at the tree above the corner climb mentioned above. Follow the horizontal crack out to above the climb in the centre of wall of the second pool (mentioned below). Down climb to the large ledge. Belay from here. Escape is to toss a weighted chalk bag across the pool, down climb to a safe height to jump into the pool.

FA: Neale “Kiwi” Taylor & Steve Beyer, 2000

Wet start - start in the pool below the thin crack system 2-3 m left of the arete. Finish on the ledge above

Would make a nice intro to an added pitch above.

FA: Dane Evans, 2009

Possibly the most underclimbed, and underrated climb hereabouts, this climb starts at the far end of th second pool near a large paperbark tree. Quirky start leads to great climbing up double crack system with delicate moves at half height. Finish up v shaped corner.

FA: David Shepherd

Climbing is not permitted in this area.

OLD DESCRIPTION: Right hand side of the Second Pool

Harder than it looks!!! Start at slabby face near rocky gully, climb face through a dicky mantle and a series of small overhanging sections. Finish up arete.

FA: Stuart Anderson & Kristen Elms

Gnarly looking line through a series of pockets in the centre of the wall to a sloping and nasty crux. This line was reportedly climbed earlier bysome visiting crew from WA, few details recorded of this ascent.

FA: Douglas Hockley & Stuart Anderson

Starting at the end of the overhung red face, stepping left at 6m to gain arete. Exciting and exposed climbing.

Very short, poorly protected and gymnastic mini route at the far right end of the wall. Loose rock at top, not really worth doing.

FA: Stuart Anderson & Katherine Clarke

Climbing is not permitted in this area.


These climbs predate the current system, and it's marginal whether these climbs are permitted.

The following climbs are marginal as to whether they are inside or outside the permit zone, as they are essentially on the lower side of the second pool. The Cinema is conspicuous by the large offwidth crack/chimney that is vegetated at its base. To its left are a series of steep and spectacular roofs and overhangs. To its right is a slightly overhung orange wall with very prominent horizontal breaks. Climbs are from left to right

Final completion of old route Never ending Story (18) by Chris Cannard. Climb up and through some steep terrain past old decayed sling, and aid for 1 move through featureless roof.

FA: Colin Reece & Stuart Anderson, 2005

Much loved except by lovers of sheep. The really obvious mantelshelf near the base of

NES. Really just a boulder problem, however it is usually toproped due to the dangerous


FA: Steve Beyer, Chris Hart, Anthes Oorloff & a cast of others except Kiwi, 2000

Starts on top of the obvious mantelshelf ledge (Sheeplovers Bane), move right through over some small roofs to striking red vertical face traverse left on pockets and small SLCD placements. Clench your cheeks and do very gymnastic and exposed move left around corner. Up to under large roof crack (beware of loose blocks in the cave). Blast through roof crack to jugs and glory. Has probably been climbed earlier but exact FA details unknown.

FA: Nick Engels & Levi Farrand, 2003

Starts as for BB to red pocketed wall. Straight up this and through roof from here. Strenuous!

FA: Oreina Orrantia

Old style classic, could possibly be Umbrawarra Gorge’s answer to Agamemnon. Entertaining and well protected adventure up chimney mentioned above.

FA: Chris Cannard, Vicki Bonwick, John Holcroft & Steve Weiss

A bushwalk start, leads to line directly up the orange wall to the right of JP through a series of horizontal breaks. Named for the 2 fixed cams left there (they have been subsequently removed). Not technically difficult, but pumpy and pretty solid for the grade

FA: John Holcroft, Chris Cannard & Vicki Bonwick

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