Pohara, Sandhills Creek areas

Climbs 340 – Rocktype Limestone – Altitude 38m a.s.l – Faces N

Crag features
Paynes Ford caters for most needs - from the hard rock junkie to the mellow hang - out types. It's got easy access, there are a variety of grades and types of climbing, good swimming holes and above water bouldering for when it gets hot plus all the other activities and distractions that Golden Bay has.... coffee, sun, sea, surf, mountain biking, tramping, kayaking and of course some of NZ's best caving on Takaka Hill - or try Irvines Cave, it's up the back ...somewhere.

Check out the Mussel Inn (Onekaka), the Wholemeal Cafe and the Cinema. Summer is usually enlivened with a variety of live concerts, raves and other entertainments.

The steep solid limestone dries quickly and climbing is only inhibited by the wettest weather - its even good in mid winter (when the friction is better).

Paynes is New Zealand's answer to Arapiles. Not in the size, quality, or quantity of climbing but because, like Arap's, it's a really great place to hang out, climb and have fun. It has way more recreational activities than Wharepapa, is more accessible than the Bay, and quite different climbing to Wanaka. The fact that once you are here you can stay and climb quite easily without having a car says it all. It has become pretty popular with overseas visitors despite not having a lot of really hard climbs and an integral part of a NZ climbing road trip. It might not be world class but it is one of New Zealand climbing's gems.


The coastal cliffs of the Pohara area offer a different style and environment to the climbing at Paynes itself. There are more moderate climbs, the rock tends to have flat, positive, small edges, and routes are longer - up to 30m. In some areas, a patina of cement dust has settled over some of the rock (e.g. Concrete Rain) making climbing interesting.

Most cliffs are north-facing, thus in the sun until early afternoon. Pohara rock dries quickly.

While there is a lot of rock in the area, not all is 'strong' and the location near to the road precludes climbing in some places. Parking can be difficult. Use your discretion. Take sunscreen, water and sunhats. A helmet is a good idea for belayers too as there is the odd loose rock!!!

Oh the map google provides is wrong in that Tarakohe is actually the Port and is where the pointer is.

Approach notes
How to get there?

Golden Bay is in the top left corner of New Zealand. If you know where the Abel Tasman National Park is then you are almost there. Takaka is over the hill from Motueka. Follow State Highway 60 on a very windy road (about 50 minutes drive). The <b>Paynes Ford</b> cliffs are in a Scenic reserve 4 km south of Takaka township, just beside the Paynes Ford road bridge. Hangdog camp is 2 minutes walk from the car park.

To get to <b>Pohara</b> you can drive into Takaka, turn R at the supermarket then R at the end of the street its about 10km to the Pohara store continue on from there and cliffs start appearing.

South Island Rock (2005), Rock Deluxe (2004), Golden Bay Climbs (2003)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
4Neptune's Gift21 *2
6Stairway Of The Gods17 **13
7Ambrosia18 **12
8Stella Blue19 **9
9Tales From The Sea15 *14
10Something Wicked18 *11
11White Pointer16 *10
12Gecko Crack17 *7
14The Jagged Edge18 2
15Bullseye15 *4
16Hello Ground15 5
17Hannahlujah16 *5
18Before the Rain12 *3
20Fate Smiled17 1
21Destiny Laughed20 1
22Andy's Pants17 1
23Bender22 1
25Teaching Aliens to speak English15 8
26Shooting Star18 6
27Making Tracks19 5
29Mizzen Mast19  
33Guardian Angel19 6
34Shotgun Therapy21 *5
35Hymenicegirl20 *5
36X Factor19 *3
37R for Roger15 6
38Unzip a Banana15 *12
39Yoghurt On Yer Tackle16 11
40Hair on a G-String17 *15
41Woosh17 *15
42Thrust16 *12
43Suck on This17 **4
44Hi, Big Boy16 *11
45Up Against the Wall M.F.17 *11
46Some Like it Hot15 *10
47Franklin's Tower16 *23
48Ruby Tuesday17 *4
49Hummingbird17 *4
50Sweet Jane16 *4
52As Good As It Gets21 ***2
53Why?25 **1
54Why Not?26 1
55Animated Suspension26 2
57Status Anxiety18 *4
58Coup de Grace21 **6
59Vexatious Litigant21 **9
60Flexestentialism22 **8
61Red Tape25 1
63Big Legs Tight Skirt19 **2
64Snatch26 1
65All I Ever Wanted Was Dailysis *22 *1
66It Is What It Is *20 1
67Go Side On *23 *1
68Concrete Rain *21 1
69Clunge *27 *1
70Ode to the Muffin Man *22 1
71Black Marigolds *17 *1
72From Mystery into Mystery *20  
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer nz Cragrat

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