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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 31
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6-12 months in Aus, where should I stay?
cha1n
12/03/2013
2:23:43 AM
Hi

My girlfriend and I will be coming over from the UK on working holiday Visas at the end of July and we'd like some help deciding where to base ourselves to get the most climbing in.

Work wise, I'm from an electrical engineering background (not electrician) and my gf is a primary school teacher. We're happy to work in temporary style jobs with not much responsibility whilst we're out to give our trip a proper 'holiday' laid-back feel but if the lifestyle in Australia is pretty laid back anyway and we can get jobs in our professions, perhaps part-time then even better.

I'm thinking that it's a toss up between Melbourne and Sydney at the moment (leaning more towards Sydney due to local cragging), but these are the few things that I'd be looking for in a city/area to live:

- Excellent sport climbing (grade 28+) and bouldering (V9+), steep and power in style is my preference but also quite like slightly overhanging stuff.

- Top quality indoor climbing venue for training and when the weather's bad (I don't know how often the weather's bad in Aus but it happens a lot here!).

- Friendly climbing scene with lots of opportunities to make friends and share lifts to crags.

- Maximum of 2 hours drive to main crags.

Really appreciate any help. Cheers! (P.S. Sorry if this info is already out there and I didn't manage to find it in the search, feel free to give me a slap on the wrist and point me towards an existing topic/article)

cruze
12/03/2013
7:03:29 AM
The maximum 2 hours drive to main crags rules out Melbourne. But anyway, everything else suits Sydney. Good luck and have a nice stay.
cha1n
12/03/2013
8:15:56 AM
Thanks for the reply Cruze. Good point about Melbourne, is there somewhere inbetween there and the gramps/araps that fills my other requirements, especially potential jobs.

nmonteith
12/03/2013
8:42:57 AM
Not sure why you want to stay in one place whilst on holiday?

Sydney fits all your requirements, although you could consider actually living in the Blue Mountains itself (2 hours from Sydney). Sydney is big and expensive, so not sure how you would go just doing casual work. It seems plenty of British folk live at Bondi and don't work much! The two best local sport climbing areas are the Blue Mountains and Nowra and they have tonnes of suitable routes. However these climbs pale in comparison to Grampians aesthetics and rock quality. There is excellent sandstone bouldering all over Sydney and several fantastic lead and bouldering gyms.

There is no decent climbing or good gyms between Melbounre and the Grampians. You could consider spending a few months living in Natimuk, Horsham or any of the other nearby towns to the Grampians.

Avoid the Grampians and Blue Mountains in the dead of winter (ie July/August). Nowra is great in winter.
lacto
12/03/2013
8:49:14 AM
if looking at relief teaching you need registration . VIT in Victoria ( has its own web site ) and even to work with children you need police clearance , each state has its different requiremnnents and it can be an expensive and time consuming to obtain .Owning a car is around $300 cheaper (rego + insurance requirements ) in Victoria . Supposedly Vic is in recession but not NSW the Mining Industry is the real growth in Australia at present usually in the middle of a hot dry no where the is hours from anywhere

Eduardo Slabofvic
12/03/2013
10:20:09 AM
Ashmore Reef
james
12/03/2013
11:00:22 AM

>- Maximum of 2 hours drive to main crags.
>

get a map of Australia then compare to the UK. Australia is a fking big place & whilst 2hrs may get you from Sydney to the Bluies, it doesn't really get you anywhere else.

nmonteith
12/03/2013
11:30:34 AM
On 12/03/2013 james wrote:
>get a map of Australia then compare to the UK. Australia is a fking big
>place & whilst 2hrs may get you from Sydney to the Bluies, it doesn't really
>get you anywhere else.

From Sydney...

Blue Mountains - 1h45 hours
Nowra sandstone - 2 hours
Bungonia limestone - 2h30 hours
Point Perp sandstone - 2h30 hours
Sydney Sea Cliffs choss - 0.15 minutes
Canberra granite - 3 hours
Central Coast sandstone - 1 hour
Newcastle granite - 2h30 hours
Warumbungles - 5 hours?
Grampians - 13 hours

BundyBear
12/03/2013
11:30:44 AM
The Shire !

1.5 hours to Nowra
2 hours to Blackheath
30 minutes to St Peters climbing gym
OK local crags and good bouldering
City accessable by train

Minutes to the beach and National Park


bones
12/03/2013
11:35:07 AM
Live and work in Sydney, but take regular long holidays to climb in the Grampians and Tasmania
james
14/03/2013
11:24:04 AM
On 12/03/2013 nmonteith wrote:
>From Sydney...
>
>Blue Mountains - 1h45 hours
>Nowra sandstone - 2 hours
>Bungonia limestone - 2h30 hours
>Point Perp sandstone - 2h30 hours
>Sydney Sea Cliffs choss - 0.15 minutes
>Canberra granite - 3 hours
>Central Coast sandstone - 1 hour
>Newcastle granite - 2h30 hours
>Warumbungles - 5 hours?
>Grampians - 13 hours

Neil that's a big list but only 3 places are within 2hrs! I'm ignoring Sea Cliff choss because the OP said something about 'excellent sport climbing'.

I could have been nicer & said that, once you get out of the city, driving is generally pretty easy, perhaps harder at night avoiding wildlife.

Australia is most likely a lot fking bigger than your average Pom appreciates :)

nmonteith
14/03/2013
11:37:22 AM
On 14/03/2013 james wrote:
>Neil that's a big list but only 3 places are within 2hrs! I'm ignoring
>Sea Cliff choss because the OP said something about 'excellent sport climbing'.

If you live in Southern Sydney like me then Bungonia &, Point Perp are suddenly in the 2 hour mythical time bracket.

Big G
14/03/2013
11:42:23 AM

>Australia is most likely a lot fking bigger than your average Pom appreciates:)

I actually think the reverse is true - Pomgolia is a lot bigger than the avergae aussie appreciates. most poms are a lot happier to travel to do stuff than aussies. i regularly head to point perp and back in a day whilst my aussie mates reckon its too far to go for one day, same with the blue mountains. back in my rugby playing days the awya trip to penrith was dreaded even though it was 30 mins drive vs my first game for leeds was against redruth in cornwall which was a 7 hour coach trip each way (about 400 miles)

cruze
14/03/2013
12:13:11 PM
On 14/03/2013 Big G wrote:
>
>>Australia is most likely a lot fking bigger than your average Pom appreciates:)
>
>I actually think the reverse is true - Pomgolia is a lot bigger than the
>avergae aussie appreciates. most poms are a lot happier to travel to do
>stuff than aussies. i regularly head to point perp and back in a day whilst
>my aussie mates reckon its too far to go for one day, same with the blue
>mountains. back in my rugby playing days the awya trip to penrith was dreaded
>even though it was 30 mins drive vs my first game for leeds was against
>redruth in cornwall which was a 7 hour coach trip each way (about 400 miles)
Yeah quite a few of my English friends over here routinely made a 7 hour journey each way in winter to the Ben for Scottish mixed each weekend. Depends what gets you psyched.
mattbrooks
15/03/2013
8:24:24 AM
Sydney!!!! Its why I moved here, as Neil said, its the variety that counts. The areas such as the Blue Mountains and Nowra have such a massive amount of crags within in each of thoses localities (thousands of good routes). There is heaps of very good bouldering around too. Make a few side trips to the Grampians and you are set. Plus just outside that 2 hour mark are even more crags to choose from.

In Aus its not so much the travel time but the distance.

MB
maxdacat
15/03/2013
10:41:16 AM
If you're only working part time then i don't think being able to get to a crag in under 2 hrs is the most important consideration. Gramps and Araps definitely trump the Bluies for quality.

If you want to work in your field you may also consider going down the FIFO route so you could be based anywhere....but the work environment could be pretty remote. If you want to stick to one area then have a look at working on something like the NBN (National Broadband Network) for one of the big contractors such as Transfield. Not sure how easily you could do something like that part time.
One Day Hero
15/03/2013
1:01:22 PM
I never really understood the Sydney thing. Do you like big cities full of property-value obsessed wankers? If you can find work in the Blueys or Nowra, you'll get a lot more climbing in by living close to the crag.

nmonteith
15/03/2013
2:07:27 PM
On 15/03/2013 One Day Hero wrote:
>I never really understood the Sydney thing. Do you like big cities full
>of property-value obsessed wankers?

Big is best? It's expensive but you also have access to the best of everything (if you like cities). The ocean, employment in the best companies, more (cheaper flights), good food, music, events, multicultural and (generally) lovely climate all year round. I've lived in Melbourne and Brisbane and certainly Sydney takes the cake. I can paddle out from my backyard into massive waterways, go climbing/bouldering at real crags 5mins from my house, go swimming at some of the best beaches around in pristine national parks. Also it's nice and central - so anyone coming from OS tends to go through Sydney. I have had a hell of a lot more visitors to my Sydney house than I ever had in Melbourne.

Traffic isn't so bad - it's certainly no worse than Melbourne.

Big G
15/03/2013
2:12:04 PM
On 15/03/2013 One Day Hero wrote:
>I never really understood the Sydney thing. Do you like big cities full
>of property-value obsessed wankers? If you can find work in the Blueys
>or Nowra, you'll get a lot more climbing in by living close to the crag.

Apart from the fact that its actually a lot of fun living in sydney, there are lots of jobs that either don't exist or at best very scarce outside of Sydney (or the capitals in australia). Granted a primary school teacher has a reasonable chance of getting work anywhere there may only be a handful of schools nearby whereas if you live in sydney you could be within commute of 100+ schools and dramatically increase your chance of casual work. Couple that with more chance of getting work as an electrical engineer.
One Day Hero
15/03/2013
2:43:25 PM
Comprehension fail. You guys are answering the question "Which city should I live in if I want a full time professional job, a mortgage, and 6 days on rock per month?"..............i.e. your lives! That isn't really what was asked.

If I were moving overseas, I wouldn't be looking to live in the coolest cities (Paris, London, New York, Berlin). Instead, shitholes like Boulder, Squampton, Grenoble, etc. would be high on the list.

What about Nowra? The bloke likes steep and powerful sport routes, he could potentially live in a house with abseil access to the crag!

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