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Summary

K Gorge is one of the North Islands most historic rock climbing areas, being developed mainly in the ‘70’s. Access is easy, there is a good variety of climbs of reasonable length and the swimming holes are superb. The jewel in the crown is China Wall with its long pitches on vertical rock.

Approach

About 7 km from Paeroa, heading towards Waihi, you encounter a reserve on the right side of the road soon after passing under an old rail bridge. It is marked as "Karangahake Gorge" (tourist attraction) on Google Maps.

At the Waihi end of the carpark area is a foot bridge. Cross the river on the bridge. The Waitawheta river joins the Ohinemuri (the river that flows through the Karangahake Gorge) here. The main climbing area is up the Waitawheta but there is one crag up the Ohinemuri – Black Wall – with 4 routes.

Follow the Waitawheta via the Crown Tramway Track on the true left of the river. A couple minutes walk brings you in sight of the main walls and buttresses. Continue along the track until you cross the bridge and reach the signposted junction for the Windows Walk. Turn left and up two flights of stairs, to a rough trail on your right. This is the access track to the main crags.

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