Crag behaviour

Disrespecting rules closes crags. This has happened recently several times around New Zealand, and climbers only have themselves to blame.

The lesson could not be more clear – all climbers need to comply with the ground rules if we want to continue enjoying crag access. Rules vary from crag to crag, so please check for access information before you plan a trip.

Wherever you go, please be mindful of other users. If there are residents’ houses nearby, or trampers enjoying an idyllic day out, try not to scream or swear.

If you see others engaging in poor behaviour or causing a problem, politely ask them to stop. We are all responsible for ensuring the local rules are obeyed.

Private land

Each landowner will have different rules. For example some owners want an access request to be made before each visit, whereas others are happy to permit access provided visitors don’t cause issues. Remember some farms have seasonal closures for calving, lambing or spraying. Please check the rules in advance. General rules for farmland crags include:

  • Leave gates as you found them
  • Don’t block farm roads with vehicles
  • No dogs

Make an effort to show your appreciation to the landowner if they’re around. A smile and a word of thanks goes a long way! A bottle of wine or box of beers goes even further.

Public land

When climbing on public conservation land – actually, any land – follow a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy:

  • Pack out everything you pack in, including those banana skins and apple cores – they are slow to decompose and are pest attractants.
  • Dispose of human waste responsibly – use available toilets or dig a suitably deep hole well away from tracks and waterways.
  • Pick up other rubbish you come across – you may not have dropped it, but let’s all help keep our outdoor spaces beautiful.

NZAC rock climbing access framework

The NZ Alpine Club has developed a Rock Climbing Access Framework to inform all stakeholders of their role in relation to rock climbing access, encourage them to manage their impact on each other, and ensure minimal environmental impact and the highest level of safety.

This includes a Code of Conduct for Rock Climbers, which you should comply with.