I’ve been a keen rock climber for over two years. I study web and graphic design at QUT and found a uni club there that kick started the climbing obsession. It’s taken me some extraordinary places off the beaten path both interstate and overseas.
During October 2015 I had the pleasure of visiting Point Perpendicular, NSW, for several days. It boasts some amazing ocean vistas and a lighthouse, but most prominently… sea cliff climbing! It’s an exciting affair as generally you need to abseil in and climb back out. Most days consisted of stepping over the edge of a cliff attached to a rope as onlookers watched with mixed expressions.
It isn’t your everyday climbing destination. And not just because of the spectacular position. The land on which the lighthouse and cliffs lie is a military base and is usually shut mid-week unless it’s school holiday season. There’s a boomgate and everything!
Some of the highlights of the trip were simply just spending moments looking out to the endless ocean horizon, and then turning back to the main objective – getting to the top of the route. On more than one occasion there were even whales to be spotted out at sea.
Point Perpendicular Location
One particular climb was a standout however. Called “Superstylin’”, it was an overhanging roof that was perched about 50m above the ocean. You scramble down and around a few ledges and find yourself underneath a large triangular prow. Although some of the rock on it was dubious, all the crucial holds remained intact. After a few strenuous moves through the roof you find yourself feeling very vulnerable above a churning ocean! Epic would be the first word that comes to mind thinking back.
Another climb that stood out for me was less exhilarating but easily more challenging. After abseiling to flat ground at the bottom of the cliff my partner and I looked up at the chosen task: a 35 metre crack that split open the rock face. We weren’t used to crack climbing, but we knew the premise. It’s often a gruesome affair as you find yourself jamming hands, fists and feet into the crack in sequence, hopefully making progress without falling off. It’s definitely a technique I am less fond of but hey, I’m all for expanding horizons.
The climb starts easily enough, but slowly wears you out the higher you get. After making it the majority of the way up I found myself at the hardest part of the crack. Your holds run out, you’re exhausted and it’s a long way down. I had to rest a few times but as the sun set on the ocean I finally dragged myself over the top of the cliff, flopping down less than gracefully if memory serves. Phew!
The weather we had was superb and I would recommend this place in a heartbeat to climbers or non-climbers alike. There’s a cute little beach that I’d like to have checked out more and camping is available there. Get after it!
If you’re looking for more information on the area you can check out here.
Words & Photos by David Cook.