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.
Australia | Upper Tiers
This is the more broken area of rock around the end of the Southern Crags toward Rawnsley Bluff.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
The formidable buttress looming over Top Camp. A collection of bracing climbs tackle its wildly sculptured faces.
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.
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...
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...
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...
Climbing at Moonarie began amongst these haunting chimneys and corners. It’s a shady and somewhat overbearing place with quite a few striking li...
Australia | Middle Tiers & Lower Crag
At the far left end of the Franny’s Point tier of rock is Sleep Wall. The standout climb here is Huntsman’s Leap.
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...
This refers to the cliff between ‘Lycra Virgin’ and ‘Bill Carries Out The Body’.
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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 ...
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,...
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...
Australia | Death Valley
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
Australia | Point Bonney
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...
The central wall between Walkabout Faces on
Pt Bonney and Tumburru Peak itself. Notably
this wall has continuous, sound rock right to its
The last in the triumvirate of cliffs that comprise
Point Bonney, it was originally referred to by
climbers as Nubhoygum Peak. ‘Tumburru’
Australia | Warren Gorge
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)
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...
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...
Australia | Devil's Peak
The main wall on your left from the tourist walking
track. Routes are described right to left.
Just before you reach the saddle
on the track a large ledge is
found on the cliff. Walk along
this to the routes.
Directly below the prominent yellow slab left of
the Nerve Test.
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.
Half way between Beelzebub Boulder and
the summit. Either abseil in or descend below
Beelzebub Boulder and traverse right.
Situated just north of Beelzebub Boulder.
Access as for Beezlebub Boulder. Orientation:
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...
The large roof system 50 metres south of
Beelzebub Boulder and directly opposite the
Leaning Wall. Routes are described from right
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
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
A small compact wall starting off a large ledge.
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
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...
This is the jumble of boulders directly below the
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
Walk down the slope another 100 metres to
reach this outcrop.
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.
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...