How to start rock climbing in South Australia

Congratulations first of all, you’ve shown an interest in what we think is pretty much the best sport in the world.
Historically, learning to rock climb has meant that you must find someone willing to teach you.
These days, it is a little bit easier.
Rock climbing is an inherently dangerous sport; an awareness (and acceptance) of the risks involved will be crucial to your enjoyment of the sport.

Getting into rock climbing is an exhilarating journey that combines physical activity with a strong sense of adventure. Here’s a brief guide to help you start your rock climbing journey:

Indoor Rock Climbing

Indoor rock climbing is the easiest way to get involved! Indoor climbing is an accessible way to learn and practice climbing techniques in a controlled environment. Find a gym near you here and get started easily! You’ll be able to hire equipment including shoes and chalk from any of the gyms around Adelaide so its easy to get started. Many climbing gyms offer introductory lessons or classes for beginners. These sessions cover basic safety, equipment use, and fundamental climbing techniques. It’s a great way to build a solid foundation.

Outdoor Rock Climbing

To venture beyond the confines of indoor climbing walls, consider booking a course with a trained guide. The most common course offered in SA is a “Top Rope Workshop”. Top roping is a common way to climb outdoors on real rock in SA. A top rope workshop will teach you how to set up safe anchors at the top of a climb to climb on. Top rope workshops provide skills and knowledge to climb outside (not qualifications). It may (and most likely will) take more than one day to be confident setting up your own anchors. A qualified guide not only imparts technical expertise but also ensures a safe and enjoyable experience in natural settings. 

If someone is offering to take you outdoor climbing and representing themselves as a guide, we recommend asking the following questions.

Does the guide:
– Have an appropriate SAREA qualification?
– Use equipment having UIAA (or equivalent) certification?
– Have adequate public liability insurance?

The answer should be ‘yes’ to each question. If you are new to outdoor climbing and would like further information contact the CCSA, SAREA ( or one of the companies that employs accredited guides. You could also have a chat with the staff at your local climbing gym.

If you’re climbing outdoors with people you’ve met online, make sure you have a conversation about safety, where they learnt to climb outdoors and the condition of the gear they’re climbing with.
If you see something that doesn’t look safe, say something! Lets keep outdoor climbing safe and fun for everyone.

Some more information

Approach both climbing and your guiding sessions with a good attitude for safety. Climbers are a friendly community and we want to see you enjoying the sport.

Climbing experiences and sessions

Rock Solid Adventure

Gear Purchase

Paddy Pallin Adelaide
228 Rundle Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
8232 3155

134A The Parade, Norwood, SA, 5067
8223 5544


Vertical Reality Climbing
12/560 North East Road, Holden Hill, SA, 5088
8266 4090

Vertical Reality is Adelaide’s only rope climbing gym where you can learn the basics of top rope and lead climbing.

Click here to see a list of other bouldering facilities in South Australia.