Top Ten Australia Classic Adventures

Scale the Rock at Mount Arapiles
By Ron Moon & Viv Moon

Mount Arapiles, Australia's premier rock-climbing spot, towers over western Victoria's rural flats like a medieval bastion. Its huge sandstone battlements and craggy peaks are visible for miles around; from a distance the orange, yellow, and gray rock looks rather crumbly, but in fact this is one of the finest climbing areas in the world.

About a ten-minute drive from the town of Natimuk, Arapiles and its small conservation park are easily accessible from Melbourne or Adelaide. On its crevasse faces, sheer cliffs, and swooping overhangs, over 2,000 routes have been scaled. There are easy clambers—like the long and exposed Tip Toe Ridge (grade 4, on the Australian system). There are lots of extreme challenges, from the glorious five pitches of the grade 12 Bard to Thundercrack, a steep, exposed, 100-foot grade 20. And then there are the legendary routes like the grade 21 Kachoong, one of the most airy overhangs on the mount. Still more routes grade up above 30—stuff only a world-class rock jock can even think about ascending.


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »