Thanks largely to The Toad and a handful of other locals and regular visitors, the Pohara Sea Cliffs have been developed over the last two decades into a top quality stand-alone crag with nearly 100 bolted routes. This, coupled with some jaw-dropping scenery, makes them a climbing destination in their own right.
The Sea Cliffs are about 10 minutes drive from Hangdog towards the Abel Tasman National Park, just past the village of Pohara. If you don’t have your own car, you can bike or hitch a ride with anyone else from camp heading that way.
Warning: The main road that the Sea Cliffs are accessed from is very narrow and EXTREMELY busy in the summer months. Extreme cation, courtesy and patience should be upheld at all times by all users- thanks!
These cliffs provide a great alternative to Paines for a few reasons:
- The scenery! Golden Bay’s world class beaches are literally a stone’s throw away- enjoy swimming, beach frizbee or being rewarded at the top of the climb with a glorious coastal panorama.
- Many of the lines here will stay dry/ dry faster than those at Paynes which receive a lot more water seepage.
- The wall bases are open, sunny and well suited for lounging and social climbing.
- On those days when it seems every man, his dog, his tennis partner and his dog’s tennis partner are down at Paynes it is nice to be able to go somewhere a little quieter.
These cliffs have a great range of late 10’s to early 20’s; if you’re at an intermediate level and still working on your endurance, then these climbs with the extra length are a great option for you. The “Bo-Peep Slab”, located down here, is the venue for the ever popular and downright loony “Bo-Peep Challenge” annual climbing competition. Organised, run and judged locally, its definitely worth checking out or competing if your around in January.
- Bring a helmet: The rock is a softer limestone than Paynes, and many of the walls have high overhanging roofs. While all of the climbs were heavily cleaned, the roofs haven’t been and there is often the odd piece dropping off here and there.
- Bring a longer rope if you can: Some of the best lines down here are slightly longer and a 60m+ rope comes in very handy. A guidebook from the Hangdog office will tell you which routes are longer.