The Watagans are comprised of a number sandstone cliffs. West of the M1 (Newcastle to Sydney) Freeway, the area is mainly National Park though some sections are in State Forests or on private property. The rock is softer and has more conglomerate bands than Sydney or Blue Mountains sandstones, but if you stick to the worn classic you should enjoy.

Monkey Face is the main area. It is a good place for beginners and is easy to set top ropes. It is often used by the Scouts and the Newcastle University Mountaineering Club.

Access issues inherited from New South Wales and ACT

If you have benefited from climbing infrastructure in NSW, please consider making a donation towards maintenance costs. The Sydney Rockclimbing Club Rebolting Fund finances the replacement of old bolts on existing climbs and the maintenance of other hardware such as fixed ropes and anchors. The SRC purchases hardware, such as bolts and glue, and distributes them to volunteer rebolters across the state of New South Wales. For more information, including donation details, visit


History timeline chart

Early climbing dates from the late 1950s and early 1960s at the Dora Pinnacles. Most climbing up to the early 1980s was club based, the most prominent being the Newcastle and Hunter Areas Scout Association, Newcastle University Mountaineering Club (NUMC), Avondale Bushwalking and Rockclimbing Club (ABARC) and the Newcastle Bushwalking Club (NBC).

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Selected Guidebooks more Hide

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.

Accommodations nearby more Hide

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Sat 15 Apr
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