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

Danny big pipe onsighting a high and sketchy 7a(+?) in Hampi. © tkp

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.

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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Shagadelic Buttress 
 Count Duckular Wall 
 Huntley and Palmers Wafer 
4Neptune's Gift
21 *2
 Cathedral Rock 
6Stairway Of The Gods
17 **13
18 **12
8Stella Blue
19 **9
9Tales From The Sea
15 *14
10Something Wicked
18 *11
11White Pointer
16 *10
12Gecko Crack
17 *7
 Cosmic Wunder Krunch Wall 
14The Jagged Edge18 3
15 *5
16Hello Ground
15 5
16 *5
18Before the Rain
12 *3
 Deep Throat 
20Fate Smiled
17 1
21Destiny Laughed
20 1
22Andy's Pants17 1
23Bender22 1
 Dr Livingstone Wall 
25Teaching Aliens to speak English
15 8
26Shooting Star
18 6
27Making Tracks
19 5
 Ship of Fools 
29Mizzen Mast
 Games Room 
 Trench Town 
 Seagrass Wall 
33Guardian Angel19 6
34Shotgun Therapy
21 *5
20 *5
36X Factor19 *3
37R for Roger
15 6
38Unzip a Banana
15 *12
39Yoghurt On Yer Tackle
16 11
40Hair on a G-String
17 *15
17 *15
16 *12
43Suck on This17 **4
44Hi, Big Boy
16 *11
45Up Against the Wall M.F.
17 *11
46Some Like it Hot
15 *10
47Franklin's Tower
16 *23
48Ruby Tuesday
17 *4
17 *4
50Sweet Jane
16 *4
 Why Wall 
52As Good As It Gets21 ***2
53Why?25 **1
54Why Not?26 1
55Animated Suspension26 2
 Bo Peep Slab 
57Status Anxiety18 *4
58Coup de Grace21 **7
59Vexatious Litigant21 **11
60Flexestentialism22 **8
61Red Tape
25 1
 Twilight Zone 
63Big Legs Tight Skirt19 **2
26 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 *
* 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