Moonarie Rock Climbing

Rob Baker and Josef Goding
updated July 2019

Moonarie is one of Australia's most spectacular crags. Situated on the rim of Wilpena Pound, it is surrounded by sweeping arid inland views. Superb rock and loads of fantastic quality routes make it easily South Australia’s premier crag. As isolated as it is, it is very much an adventure destination, and a worthy stop on the Australian rock climbing tour. Point Bonney, Warren Gorge and Devil’s Peak are included in this guide to provide some other climbing options and different experiences. They are areas in their own right and are not a part of Moonarie. Moonarie offers a varied trad climbing experience, with a good range of intermediate to hard routes. There is very little in the way of sport routes, but the trad climbing is fantastic as the quality of the rock makes it ideal for placing gear. The rock has a similar feel to Arapiles, with the same mixture of natural gear and the occasional bolt. Although there are some easy routes, experienced intermediate and advanced climbers will get the most out of Moonarie. Beginners are likely to find the isolation and exposure intimidating and should accompany someone with experience in climbing outdoors. The climbing starts in the low teens and stretches up into the high 20s. The climbing varies from single pitch excursions to long multipitch routes that wind their way up to the rim of the Pound.

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The Punchbowl

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL

This is the more broken area of rock around the end of the Southern Crags toward Rawnsley Bluff.

1-15
16-20
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Southern Crags

Australia | Upper Tiers


SPORT
TRADITIONAL

A pleasant place to spend a sunny winter’s afternoon and get a different perspective on the maincliffs. The nicer climbs are on the wall at the...

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Checkers Wall

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The steep, awesome walls above and to the left of Top Camp. Together with the Ramparts they form the main amphitheatre of cliffs. There are in fact...

1-15
16-20
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Gargoyle Wall

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

This compact wall on the left side of the Southern Descent Gully offers some great short climbs within easy reach of Top Camp. Its sunny aspect and...

1-15
16-20
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Bold Wall

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Otherwise known as Low Dive Gully. 50m above the rainwater tank and just off to the left of the track is a short wall with some bolts. Routes are...

1-15
16-20
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Southern Descent Gully Right Side

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The following section describes the climbs on the northern side of the Southern Descent Gully which is the most commonly used descent from the main...

1-15
16-20
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Flying Buttress

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The formidable buttress looming over Top Camp. A collection of bracing climbs tackle its wildly sculptured faces.

1-15
16-20
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Jaffle Wall

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The north facing wall around to the right of Flying Buttress. There are some excellent routes on great rock. A great way to spend an afternoon.

1-15
16-20
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The Ramparts

Australia | Upper Tiers


SPORT
TRADITIONAL

An incomparable collection of outstanding climbs is to be found here. This section of the cliff boasts the big roofs on Curving Wall, the beautiful...

1-15
16-20
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Callitris Corner

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Right from the Great Chimney, the scalloped orange Guru Wall marks the beginning of this area. Another group of climbs are near the corner itself, and...

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Great Wall Area

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

This vast wall that basks in the sun is perhaps Moonarie’s single most impressive feature. It’s steep, red and slightly concave. For years...

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The Northern Crags

Australia | Upper Tiers


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Climbing at Moonarie began amongst these haunting chimneys and corners. It’s a shady and somewhat overbearing place with quite a few striking li...

1-15
16-20
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Sleep Wall

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

At the far left end of the Franny’s Point tier of rock is Sleep Wall. The standout climb here is Huntsman’s Leap.

1-15
16-20
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Red Wall

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

This is the steep wall featuring clean red rock and capped by a gigantic roof approximately 300m from the Sassafras Crack descent gully at Fran...

1-15
16-20
21-25
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Dolomite Wall

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

This refers to the cliff between ‘Lycra Virgin’ and ‘Bill Carries Out The Body’.

1-15
16-20
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Franny’s Point

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Like its distant relation, Goat Crag, this outcrop is part of the first distinct band of decent rock below Top Camp. It seems remote; in fact i...

1-15
16-20
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Woodwind Wall

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

This steep compact wall is situated on the same tier as Franny’s Point, half way between the Point itself and the central gully, and is ...

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Red Tier

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

The neglected reddish wall to the south of the walk-in track, between the Lower Crags and Woodwind Wall. As with Woodwind Wall, Red Tier has a longish...

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Lower Crag

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

Although not so far from the Bottom Camp, this line of lower cliffs is rarely visited (so accuracy of some info could be poor). The rock tends to be...

1-15
16-20
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Goat Crag

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

This is the most popular smaller cliff, situated to the right of the walking track. All the routes are 15 to 25m high, making it an ideal alternative ...

1-15
16-20
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Crocks Rocks

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

This area is a sunny little cliff that Dave Wagland, Quentin Chester and Dale Arnott stumbled upon at Easter in 1984. As with most areas at Moonarie,...

1-15
16-20
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Kid’s Cliff

Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag


TRADITIONAL

This area is a sunny little cliff that Duncan Chessell and familly found during October holidays 2018 when looking for somewhere to take the kids...

1-15
16-20
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Moonlight Buttress

Australia | Death Valley


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Moonlight Buttress is a 10-20m high cliff of brown, orange and white quartzite high on the northeastern flank of Rawnsley Bluff. Clearly visible from...

1-15
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Wallaby Wall

Australia | Death Valley


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Wallaby Wall is the red band of rock directly below Moonlight Buttress. Colin Reece made occasional forays but never gave the cliff as much attention...

1-15
16-20
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Panorama Crag

Australia | Death Valley


MIXED PRO

Panorama Crag is a 25m high cliff of brown and orange quartzite high on the north-eastern flank of Rawnsley Bluff adjacent to Moonlight Buttress. It...

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The Dark Side

Australia | Death Valley


TRADITIONAL

The Dark Side is a recently developed cliff which is below Rawnsley Bluff and on the same tier as Moonlight Buttress. The original establishers of the...

1-15
16-20
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The Promised Land

Australia | Death Valley


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The Promised Land is the uppermost rock band on the north side of Death Valley, stretching from the head of the valley to The Punchbowl. Long ignored,...

1-15
16-20
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Walkabout Faces

Australia | Point Bonney


TRADITIONAL

When viewed from Moonarie the slabs culminating in huge roofs at the left end of this face look particularly awe inspiring. As such, they have long...

1-15
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Dreamtime Wall

Australia | Point Bonney


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The central wall between Walkabout Faces on Pt Bonney and Tumburru Peak itself. Notably this wall has continuous, sound rock right to its summit. The...

1-15
16-20
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Tumburru Peak

Australia | Point Bonney


TRADITIONAL

The last in the triumvirate of cliffs that comprise Point Bonney, it was originally referred to by climbers as Nubhoygum Peak. ‘Tumburru’ meaning ‘s...

1-15
16-20
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Lucky Charm Wall

Australia | Warren Gorge


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

AKA Roadside Face. On the north side of the gorge. To descend, scramble up to the top and then walk down by Lepus Wall (east side)

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Lepus Wall

Australia | Warren Gorge


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The impressive east-facing wall has an assortment of bolts, though most routes require a bit of trad also. There are no lower-offs so build your own a...

1-15
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The Breadknife

Australia | Warren Gorge


TRADITIONAL

This impressive blade is located on the southern (left) side of the gorge. It’s not a simple walk off. The first three routes are on the western sligh...

1-15
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Eastern Walls

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

The main wall on your left from the tourist walking track. Routes are described right to left.

1-15
16-20
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Requiem Ledge

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Just before you reach the saddle on the track a large ledge is found on the cliff. Walk along this to the routes.

1-15
16-20
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East Higher Face

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Directly below the prominent yellow slab left of the Nerve Test.

1-15
16-20
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Hueco Wall

Australia | Devil's Peak


MIXED PRO

The dark red/brown wall below the prominent yellow slab high on the left as you approach the peak, just left of the East Higher Face.

1-15
16-20
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Contrasts Wall

Australia | Devil's Peak


MIXED PRO

Half way between Beelzebub Boulder and the summit. Either abseil in or descend below Beelzebub Boulder and traverse right.

1-15
16-20
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Treefern Gallery

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Situated just north of Beelzebub Boulder. Access as for Beezlebub Boulder. Orientation: east facing.

1-15
16-20
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Beelzebub Boulder

Australia | Devil's Peak


MIXED PRO

A large block found on the crest of the ridge 150m south of the summit. Access is via the summit ridge then scramble down the southern side of the...

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Calgon Canopy

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

The large roof system 50 metres south of Beelzebub Boulder and directly opposite the Leaning Wall. Routes are described from right to left....

1-15
16-20
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Waste Lands

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Walk along the ridge till the very end. Now head back north along the eastern wall about 400 metres until a prominent corner is found with a roof sys...

1-15
16-20
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Western Walls

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Head south from the saddle along the western side of the ridge for about 100 metres to where a small rock step is reached. These routes are included...

1-15
16-20
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Wall Of Evils

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

A small compact wall starting off a large ledge.

1-15
16-20
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Leaning Wall

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The steep wall about 200m south of Wall of Evils. The routes on this wall are the cream of the crop at Devil’s Peak with great rock and abundant pro...

1-15
16-20
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The Point

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Right of One Inch Punch a somewhat detached section of the cliff can be found where the angle relaxes somewhat and two large trees grow very near the...

1-15
16-20
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The Devil’s Playground

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

This is the jumble of boulders directly below the Leaning Wall.

1-15
16-20
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Widm Boulder

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

1-15
16-20
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El Dorado Face I

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Walk about one kilometre south down the ridge from the Point. The main ridge ends and two spurs drop away to the valley. The spur running southwest ...

1-15
16-20
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El Dorado Face II

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Walk down the slope another 100 metres to reach this outcrop.

1-15
16-20
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Crappy Crag

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

From the ridge, continue down the southward spur. The crag is found on the western side of a walking track that runs up the spur.

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The Three Boulders

Australia | Devil's Peak


TRADITIONAL

Located halfway up the western side of Devil’s Peak. They can be easily seen from the Leaning Wall. The best way to approach them is to...

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