The sport of Rock Climbing in New Zealand has experienced an almost exponential growth in popularity during it's relatively short history. The increase can in part be attributed to the availability of indoor rock climbing walls and media coverage of New Zealand Sport climbing competitions. Throughout the sport's history New Zealand Rock Climbing has earned an international reputation, mainly because the country has some of the best Places to Climb on the planet.
Rock climbing was once an activity reserved for mountaineers but is now well developed as an independent sport. It is a safe, exciting and challenging activity within the capabilities of most active people.
New Zealand rock climbers pursue several different disciplines. 'Bouldering', the simplest form involves climbing on boulders or along the base of a cliff. 'Sport climbing' means fast ascents using fixed bolts in the rock face. 'Aid climbing' involves placing and removing protection devices as you climb. 'Alpine rock climbing' is climbing in remote, high altitude areas. Another form is 'indoor climbing', which is available at many venues throughout the country, where you hire shoes, chalk bags, harnesses and carabiners and climb on artificial walls.
Rock climbing areas in the North Island include the Mt Eden Quarry in Auckland, Whanganui Bay on Lake Taupo, Piarere near Cambridge and Wharepapa near Te Awamutu. South Island areas include the Port Hills above Christchurch, Castle Hill near Arthur's Pass, Long Beach north of Dunedin as well as longer extreme routes in the Darren Range in Fiordland.
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