The Kangaroo Point Cliffs extend south from the Story Bridge to the South East Freeway.
The cliffs expose rocks called Brisbane tuff. This was formed by a volcanic flow about 230 million years ago after a violent eruption. In modern times, Brisbane Tuff was quarried for 150 years which left a vertical rock face approximately 25m high.
Floodlit by night, the rock faces are a spectacular backdrop to the City Botanic Gardens and are a distinctive feature in the riverscape and in the cityscape.
The top of the cliff along River Terrace is an open grassed terrace with a stone retaining wall to the cliff edge. A lookout shelter named Scout Place, stands within the terrace and overlooks the City Botanic Gardens and offers fantastic views of Brisbane City, Southbank, the Brisbane river, the Story Bridge and Mt Coot-tha to the west. Two more vantage points are located in the middle and near the Tafe college respectively.
The Brisbane City Council has graciously placed concrete bollards at various spots along the wall. These can be used as anchors for abseilling or top rope setups. Otherwise use the drain pipes under the wall.
At the base is an open grassed picnic area with tables, benches and BBQ facilities.
For climbing purposes, there are two climbing areas: the main cliff and the nursery cliff. However, the cliffs extend to the north from the northern stairs. But the Brisbane City Council has banned climbing here despite the many routes that have been put up during the decades.
The most popular style of climbing at Kangaroo Point Cliffs is top rope. For sport climbers, most climbs are bolted albeit the first bolts at KP are notoriously high! There are a few trad climbs but seldmon are climbed in this style.
Abseillers although can rappel off the main cliffs, mostly utilise the Nursery cliff due to it lesser height. Large groups will use this area during the day. There are no flood lights here for night time activities.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs is the ultimate Urban Crag!
See the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Climbing Guide.
From the city there are several public transport options. For timetables and route numbers use the TransLink Journey Planner. There is no direct link to the cliffs. Expect a 10 minute walk using any of the available public transport options.
Ferry: Route 3 or 4 from North Quay or Eagle Street Pier Ferry Terminals to the River Plaza Hotel Ferry Terminal and walk south to the cliffs.
Train: Catch the Beenleigh, Gold Coast or Cleveland trains to South Bank (Vulture St) Station. Walk towards the river and then head right towards the South East Freeway and around the bend. 900 metres or 15 minutes walk.
Bus: Catch south bound buses to the South Bank Busway. This is adjacent to the South Bank train station. Walk towards the river and then head right towards the South East Freeway and around the bend. 900 metres or 15 minutes walk.
Walk: From the North the Story Bridge is the closest bridge. From the CBD east the Goodwill bridge and from the mall the Victoria Bridge.
All car parks near the Kangaroo Point cliffs fall under Brisbane’s City Councils Gabba Traffic Area. There is a two hour parking limit (this applies on all unsigned streets) Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm. During events at the Gabba a 15 minute parking limit applies on all unsigned roads from 7am to 10pm.
There are two main areas to park: at the bottom Lower River Tce or at the top along River Tce, Kangaroo Point. It is much easier to park at the top and walk down. There are two sets of stairs to descend, each at opposite ends of the main cliff. The northern end (near the Kangaroo Point Tafe college) is narrow and often used by joggers for stair climbing.
During Summer (December and Feburary), the sun bakes the West facing cliffs. Early morning (before 10am) and evening (after 6pm) climbing is ideal. Normally, night climbing is supported by flood lights that keep the cliffs well lit til very late at night. Please refer to the Kangaroo Point cliffs lights saga on the current status of why the lights are currently not adequate for safe climbing at night.
Despite there being over 200 climbs, Kangaroo Point cliffs is a very popular crag anytime during the week. It is shared by the public, rock climbing clubs and commercial adventure groups. No individual or group can reserve a climb in advance. Its first in best dressed. To best plan your climbing activities, the following table describes which group will be at the cliffs during the week. Some groups may take up to 4 routes and often the easy climbs are taken early. The weekends can also be busy, but most clubs or groups venture out to the crags surrounding Brisbane.
|Adventures around Brisbane|
See the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Climbing Guide.
The following groups climb at Kangaroo Point. Some may require membership to join and others are commercial operators offering climbing or abseiling services.
If you are experienced and looking for a climbing partner, post your request to Queensland Climbing Online.
Commercial operators please email the crew at Urban Crag to enable reciprocal links.
Adventures around Brisbane
Brisbane Rockclimbing Club
University of Queensland Mountain Club
Griffith University Bushwalking Society
Retail and adventure operator
Secret rock climbing society
Kangaroo Point cliffs:
EPA history article