/ Moving to NZ
Few questions to anyone who has experience in NZ! I'm planning ot move down at the end of this summer and if anyone has info on climbin/mountaineering on the North Island? I'll be looking ot move to Auckland.
Is gear expensive there? I've been told to ship my rack down as gear down there costs a fortune... any insight into if this is true?!
ANy info on climbing in NZ at all would be a great help!
I live on the S Island, so I can’t help much with local advice. Yes, gear is expensive, so ship or bring over as much as you can. I still buy most new gear from the UK, I only really buy things here that are too impracticality big to ship like ropes.
There’s been quite a few access issues recently with climbing here, with access withdrawn to a number of climbing areas, particularly around Auckland. Outdoors access here is very old fashioned, probably like England pre-Kinder Trespass. Landowners (or rather lease holders from the crown) can decline access, making some back country areas difficult to access. There’s no equivalent to CROW etc.
Overall, though, great country to move to. It has its issues, as do all, but generally much happier here than the UK. If I could import Gritstone and Yorkshire beer, it would be perfect!
I live in Auckland. As mentioned there are lots of access problems at the moment. There is a crag in the city (Maungarei Springs - don't get your hopes up...) Otherwise the nearest crags are Ti Point an hour or so north, and quite a few options south/east around 3 hours away.
There are a few indoor walls in the city and everyone is pretty friendly - search Auckland climbers on Facebook. You'll usually be able to find someone heading out on a sunny weekend.
Mountaineering is probably limited to Ruapehu about 4+ hours south of Auckland - most people fly to the south island...
Gear is insanely expensive - the cheapest option is usually banana fingers who ship out to NZ (no VAT to pay, but shipping usually makes up the difference). Bring everything you can!
There are some nice rock routes around Taupo and the central volcanoes. Seem to remember Wharapapa South as quite good.
There are some nice ski mountaineering lines and easy alpine routes on the central volcanoes and Mt Taranaki. Awesome walking too. However, lots more to go at in South Island. Don't let the modest height of the Southern Alps fool you; some really big, serious and hard to access routes - don't expect much company. Darrens are great when the weather behaves. Lots of easier alpine stuff around Arthurs Pass.
We were there last year and the price of gear was outrageous. Moving over there with a full set of kit would be a good idea I'd have guessed. Good luck.
My first ever routes were at Titahi Bay, a venue that's world famous in New Zealand. Terrifying in retrospect with seaside bolts and chossy rock. We had a blast in our innocence.
Sorry nothing else useful to add other than I am jealous as f**k. Have a great time.
Also move to Wellington, much nicer than Auckland ; ).
I'm currently living in Queenstown but I previously lived up in Auckland for 6 months. Take as much gear as possible, pretty much all outdoors equipment is more expensive here compared to the UK and the pound isn't particularly strong against our dollar at the moment.
The best climbing I found in the North Island was around Taupo, particularly at Kawakawa Bay (k-bay). It sounds like there are some fun winter objectives Ruapehu but I didn't get the chance to spend a winter there. Taranaki is further away but it's a cool mountain.
Get yourself down to the South Island, there's a crazy amount of climbing around Queenstown and Wanaka!
Not much to add to what's been said. Except I've heard a fair few people say arapiles is new zealand's best crag...
NZ is awesome, and I think it's best to do a variety of outdoor sports.
Originally from NZ, and I'd agree. If you get a chance to move out of Auckland you will appreciate the kiwi way of life much better. I'm guessing you're probably constrained by work, but Auckland is just a big sprawling city, where NZ is much more about the outdoor lifestyle. Where I used to live was 10 minutes from the beach, and an hour and a half drive to the bottom of some 2500m peaks.
I grew up in Auckland and can echo all comments so far. Moving to Charleston in October - let me know if you want to climb the sea cliffs there (poor man’s Cornwall), or explore the Paparoas (the brother mountain range of the Darrans).
Lots of sensible thoughts there.
It seems a bit churlish to say (as many folk do) “there’s no point moving to Auckland, you might as well be in any big city”. Which rather misses the point that if you transplanted Akl to anywhere else as a big city, people would flock to it.
It is true there’s not a long heritage of climbing in NZ, and certainly the whole footpath and right of way thing is pretty alien here. But if you can actually get to it, there’s a huge amount of remote country. And a cheap Auckland to Queenstown flight you could be on mixed routes on Single Cone by lunchtime. You could fly to Chch and get to Castle Hill by mid afternoon but it does require some money.
Totally bring everything- the more the merrier. Auckland is not a cheap city (housing particularly) with the exception of reasonably priced Asian food, so you’re unlikely to manage to save up vast amounts unless you are really well paid. However, NZ is pretty great to live in. Hopefully you will love it
Not a lot to add to all the good climbing advice, except to add my name to the list of NZ UKCers, and to wish you luck.
I'm in Auckland, and on balance I like it. Yes it's farther from wilderness and mountains, and if that's your whole life you should probably try to live further south. But it's a really international city and there lots going on if you look for it, especially in culture and the arts. I'm less than 30 min drive from the beach, from bushwalks, and from the city centre. It's easy to travel within NZ and internationally if you don't mind flying. However as ben says, the cost of living, especially housing, is eyewatering, so bring all the things and all the money.
I'm more of a tramper the days, and I miss the easy access of the UK. And the sun is scorching, so added to the humidity of the north, summer outdoor activity can be a bit uncomfortable for a pale skinned Scot like me. I am expanding my range of hats.
Good luck with your move. It's a good place to live
New Zealand is amazing, you're going to have a ball!
Not climbing related but if you fancy getting some surfing in you must get to Raglan. It's not far from Auckland and has one of the best left hand breaks in the world!!! awesome.
Waitamo (not sure on spelling) is the right end of the north island and has some decent micro routes and bouldering.
Best of luck
Ive also heard Waiheke Island which is in the Auckland area is a good local bouldering venue.
I moved away from NZ after 12 years about 18 months ago. I lived on both the North and South Islands. As far as the north island goes - there is some good rock climbing. Good rock adventures can be had on Taranaki. Ruapehu has some fun, possibly scottish-style (never been to scotland) mixed alpine routes and some very good spring skiing. For rock on the north island, I recommend whanganui bay, mangaokewa, Kinloch, waipapa. I never liked wharepapa south (lots of sharp pockets), but some people really like it. Titahi bay (mentioned elsewhere) is a horrible chosspile suitable for the desperate, noob or insane.
It's best to be an all-rounder in NZ, doing what you can, when you can. weather is generally uncooperative for mountain activities and you can end up spending a lot of time in huts. Nothing climbing wise (in my opinion) in NZ is world class - but it does have everything. And really good rock in Australia isn't that far away!
> Nothing climbing wise (in my opinion) in NZ is world class - but it does have everything.
Castle Hill isn't too shabby.
I think if you are after complex logistics, frequently unstable weather, wide climatic variation, variably frozen choss, glaciation, objective danger and solitude I suspect NZ winter alpinism comes out as world class ;-)
I thought the rock climbing in NZ was extremely average, apart from around milford sound. As a place for general outdoor dun, it's great. The walking in particular was great, despite the lack of right to roam type access. I'd imqgi E that if you're going there for the outdoor lifestyle Auckland would be the worst place to live.
Yeah, Castle Hill is pretty awesome.
Thanks for that link!! I put up a new route in Wanaka donkeys years ago, told Glen (still alive?!??) and the local clip and climb manager before moving on as the community is so small. It’s actually on that site and has been climbed.
Yeah - Glen's still going strong. He's been busy recently new-routing up near Cattleyards. And, assuming we're talking about the same climbing wall manager, he became a dad recently.
Excellent news. Glen was a star showing us around Wanaka and loaning us the bolting kit.
I agree with all the comments. We travelled all over N and S - Christchurch was the best base for the climbing lifestyle imo - apart from the earthquakes.
> I agree with all the comments. We travelled all over N and S - Christchurch was the best base for the climbing lifestyle imo - apart from the earthquakes.
Yeah, I know multiple people who have moved away from there due to that. NZers and also people from here who have come back. Someone else came back from Aukland too - even though they earnt well the sprawling nature of the city was a pain.
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