Finding climbing partners in New Zealand

Climbing New Zealand Wye Creek Queenstown
Climbing at Wye Creek outside of Queenstown

While prepping for my solo trip to New Zealand, I tossed in my personal climbing gear into my backpack. I knew there was awesome climbing to be had outside of the three major cities I’d be visiting. I wasn’t sure how I’d find climbing partners, but I didn’t want to risk not having my stuff with me like I did for summer OR.

Endless googling proved to be fairly fruitless, so I ended up mostly winging it in the Southern Hemisphere. Fear not, I put together a little guide so you aren’t stuck like me!

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are a big thing for organizing trips. Climbers post when and where they’re heading and how much room is available in their car. If you’re down to come along, leave a comment with contact information so you can coordinate. I met a few great people this way, and ended up on a backpacking trip with one and climbing with another later on in the trip.

Facebook Groups that were useful to me: Queenstown Climbing Club, Where Are You Climbing Tonight Chch, Christchurch Climbing

Climbing New Zealand Wye Creek Queenstown
Climbing at Riverside Crag outside of Wanaka

Mountain Project

The International form on Mountain Project is pretty hit or miss; it encompasses a lot of territory, but it might be worth trying anyway! I saw someone posting about being in Christchurch roughly around the same dates that I would be there, so I thought I’d try my luck. He picked me up upon arrival in Christchurch and we headed out to the Port Hills to rope up.

Climbing New Zealand Lyttleton Christchurch

Climbing at Lyttleton Crag outside of Christchurch

Bulletin boards in outdoor stores

I was wandering around like a chicken with my head cut off in Queenstown in search of new friends. I stopped inside Small Planet to see if I could get some intel. The staff directed me to a tiny, but helpful bulletin board in the corner. There were a few scraps of paper with contact numbers and climbing abilities pinned to the board. I texted a few people but since my stay was so short, nothing ended up working out. It’s useful if you’ll be there for more than a few days.

Side note: Small Planet has the best selection of climbing goods in Queenstown. Go here for all your climbing needs.

Tinder

I’m not going to lie, Tinder was absolutely amazing for finding climbing partners. The people I met from Tinder were able to point me to the various Facebook Groups for finding someone to rope up with.