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If you could live anywhere in AU where would it be
11:26:05 PM

I am a rock climber (trad and sport) training to be an instructor. I have a young family and we are thinking of moving to Australia. The question is where?

I would want somewhere where there is great climbing obviously,
Somewhere that has a really great sense of community,
Probably a little on the hippy/alternative living side.

Im also really into permaculture and sustainable living.

I was just after some advice or tips please!! :)


3:50:44 AM
Do you like trad or sport more? Do you like living in the city or would you prefer a smaller town? Would you like tropical weather or somewhere that has all 4 seasons?

4:02:10 AM
I like to live in a smaller town with proper seasons, so if I didn't have to consider family or work, Horsham or Katoomba would probably be the best place for me as they are both pretty close to a lot of sport AND trad, although I like trad more so I'd probably choose Horsham.
Currently I live in Albury (and I plan to stay there), it's a very good place to live, especially if you want to ski in the winter as well (2 hours to Falls Creek). It's 90 minutes to get to a whole bunch of trad climbing at Mt Buffalo, but there isn't really much good quality sport climbing nearby (we usually spend 4 days in Nowra each spring since it's about 5 hours away). Everywhere has some advantages and some disadvantages :)
7:35:55 AM
I don't think Horsham would qualify for being a little on the hippy/alternative side, but fortunately, the Independant Republic of Natimuk is much closer to Arapiles anyway.

There's at least one thread on this sort of topic somewhere, I'll try and dredge it up.


7:47:14 AM
Blue Mts I reckon - Blackheath, Mt Victoria etc.

If you're after a big city (doesn't sound like you are, but just in case) you can't beat Sydney - no other Australian capital city comes close to having the number of climbing options Sydney has (lots of ok climbing and great bouldering scattered throughout the metropolitan area, Blue Mts and Nowra an easy day trip away, Wolgan Valley, Pt Perpendicular and Booroomba a weekend trip away, etc. etc.).

In fact I reckon there aren't too many cities of Sydney's size in the world that are as good for climbing as Sydney is. I live in one of the supposed "top 10" climbing cities in the US, and I'd rate it as being barely better than Melbourne - it has better day trip options than Melbourne (mostly bouldering - there are probably less than 100 routes within a sane day trip), and fantastic weekend options, but with a family etc. who has time to spend entire weekends on the road and at the crags??

I miss the Steak and Kidney...! :'-(
8:07:13 AM
You might have to wait for someone better at digging in the archives than me for those threads! This one has some stuff in the middle of lots of carrying on, as we tend to do around here ...

I've lived in Adelaide, Sydney, Katoomba, Blackheath and now Natimuk.

Adelaide has super close climbing, although it's not fantastic, and is pretty mellow as far as capital cities in Oz go, is half way between Araps and Moonarie and miles from anywhere else. Like all cities, you can find whatever sort of people you like there. It's still a bit cheaper than the bigger capitals.

Sydney is the biggest city in Oz, is rather costly, has assorted climbing in the city area itself (although I was never enthralled by any of it), a beautiful harbour and is 1 1/2 hours to the Blues, 3 to Nowra/Pt perp, miles from anywhere else.

The Bluies are pretty good - nice people, stunning spot, heaps of climbing. Best if you are into sport on steep faces or big trad lines than can be kind of exciting. The rock quality varies a little. As a guide, there's heaps of work there, but it's not as well paid and the conditions aren't as good as here in Nati. It's gotten a bit too expensive and a bit too busy for my tastes, although mostly it's the weather that got to me! It can be very cold and rainy.

Natimuk is tiny, but has a great community. Best guiding work around, although it's really only reliable income in spring and autumn. 10k from Arapiles, 50-100 to the Grampians. Rather substantial to anywhere else though. 6 hours to Buffalo, 10 to Moonarie, 14 to the Bluies, 4 to Melb, 5 to Adelaide. Life is still pretty cheap. If you don't like the heat, you may want to plan holidays in Feb, it does get rather hot. Araps has the best trad climbing in the known universe, the Grampians are a substantial range with everything from supersteep sport to long trad adventures.

Buffalo is an alpine plateau, great for summer fun if you like granite, Nowra is all sport, Moonarie a remote crag in the Flinders ranges with imposing walls and soaring cracklines.

9:56:47 AM
One note on the Blueys... there's a wider range of low-mid grade trad than a lot of people realise. I've often heard the Blueys described as a sport hill, yet the amount of classic trad is mind blowing. Mts Boyce, Piddington and York are chock full of classics in the <15 range. Then also there's plenty of trad harder than that.

Personally, I think Hobart is well worth a look. Not much sport around town, but the trad on Mt Wellington looks superb, and so close to town. Weekend trip options are genuinely world class, with Freycinet a couple of hours up the coast, the Tasman Peninsula and associated goodies an hour or 2 south, plus that big lump of wilderness in the middle. I like volcanic rock too, which helps. Sure it is cold and dark in winter, but if your house is well insulated, who cares?
12:50:06 PM
blackheath would be my pick.
The bluies has alllllll sorts of climbing styles. really something for everyone in all sorts of weather and temps.

The guy who mentioned Albury is dreaming, not a good base for climbing, i lived there for 2 years and my climbing suffered heaps.

mikl law
1:21:59 PM
The Blue mountains is pretty good, but is a bit suburban. I'd start there and look around at places like Dargan, bathurst to the west. This limits you a bit to climbing in the 8 warmer months though. if you want to climb all year round, look at areas south east of the mountains, south of sydney, Mittagong, berima, camden. There is lots of good farming land, good local crags, with the Blueys and Nowra both under 2 hours away
1:43:31 PM
I's suggest Katoomba, but heh, I'm biased cos I live there. Admittedly it is a bit suburban but there's also a good rail service and lots of services in town within walkable distance.
Katoomba is also officially a transition town (the 2nd in Australia) with the BIGGEST FOOD COOP IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. Again, I'm biased, cos I work there.
I could probably write all day cos of the benefits but I've got to finish my lunch break.
BTW have also considered Hobart.
Anyway, stay in touch, have you considered a house swap??
1:48:24 PM
Mike you wrote well many weeks back of climbing in the upper mts in the middle of winter one weekend, amongst others. I just dislike the '8 warmer months'. Bring on the colder 4 months - and I would put sea-kayaking and blue water sailing in here, too; I find rock-climbing in the Blue Mountains over summer quite oppressive.
2:00:13 PM
The OP is from the UK. She will laugh at our "colder months".

2:02:04 PM
No one has suggested Tassie?

Probably be a good out of the way place if your a smelly hippy running from the law... i hear the mushrooms are good too :P

2:16:07 PM
On 15/01/2009 mikepatt wrote:

Surely this is hyperbole. It's not THAT big. I've seen bigger.
4:10:11 PM
I had to look up what a Transition Town is - for those as uninformed as I was, it's a community initiative to deal with peak oil and climate change. What's the other town in Oz, Mike? We have REAZEN, renewable energy and zero emissions natimuk. The food coop in Katoomba is fantastic, and in terms of number of members, active volunteers and turn over, I'd believe it to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere. But I still reckon it's goddamn cold there (I could never live in Britain ...).
5:14:55 PM
bigger than anything in all of South America ?
Winston Smith
5:18:12 PM
On 15/01/2009 gremlin wrote:
>No one has suggested Tassie?
>Probably be a good out of the way place if your a smelly hippy running
>from the law... i hear the mushrooms are good too :P

Don't forget Brisbane, but.

5:22:42 PM
i like the city too much, and my ultimate preferance is Melbourne *coughsydneysuckscough* :D

5:44:32 PM
> Don't forget Brisbane, but.

No the climbing sucks there... trust me, i just left the joint to join you mexicans!
The mushrooms were good tho... :P

6:39:44 PM
On 15/01/2009 Cookie wrote:
> *coughsydneysuckscough*

I don't know of many residents who would argue with that.

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