Header Image Credit: cliffhanger.com.au
In recent years, rock climbing has become more and more popular, going from a recreational activity to an elite sport, which will be featured as an Olympic event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This is mostly due the large number of climbing centres that have opened up, making it easily accessible for the whole family to go and give rock climbing a try.
Not only does rock climbing improve strength and body control, but it is also a complex, mind-challenging sport. All of these qualities are fantastic for kids. But most importantly, it is a heap of fun!
If you live in Melbourne and are looking for rock climbing centres where your kids can go and give this amazing sport a try, here we have provided a list of some of the best rock climbing venues in Melbourne.
Australian Sports Camps
If your kids are showing a keen enthusiasm for rock climbing, then we definitely recommend the 2 Day Rock Climbing Coaching Program run by Australian Sports Camps (ASC). It’s held over the school holidays, where kids receive expert coaching to help them develop and progress their climbing ability in an extremely safe and supervised environment.
Your kids will learn how to use a variety of different climbing moves and techniques, as well as the different disciplines and skills of climbing such as knot-craft, equipment selection, strategy and route planning.
The climbing coaches at ASC have a combined climbing experience of over 30 years and have climbed geographically around the world in Patagonia, USA, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, so your kids will be in safe, experienced hands.
The program is run in two top quality indoor facilities with over 30 climbs designed to engage climber movements in different ways. Also, their facilities use a hydraulic auto-belay system which means that no climbing buddy is needed. It is available for boys and girls aged between 6 and 16, consisting of structured and fun programs for each age level.
TunzaFun Extreme is located at Westfield Knox Ozone in Wantirna South and features 34 indoor rock climbing walls. They also use a hydraulic auto-belay system and have ‘One More Life Saving Mats’ which provide a shock absorbing surface to minimise injury in the case of falls.
There is a 15 minute safety briefing prior to climbing, then the kids are checked and clipped in by highly trained team members, ensuring that safety is always a high priority. Kids must be at least 4 years old to climb but young children still need an adult on the floor with them to supervise.
All climbing sessions go for one hour and start on the hour. You’ll need to get there early, allowing time to check in for the 15 minute safety briefing.
Image Credit: tunzafunextreme.com.au
At UpUnlimited, there are 37 climbing challenges plus two extra, amp it up experiences – the Leap of Faith and Vertical Drop Slide. Your kids will have a ball as they race themselves or their mates on the Speed Walls, bounce off the Inflatable, master the Dark Tower and take The Stairway to Heaven.
Every climb is equipped with a hydraulic auto-belay system making it safe and easy to climb without a buddy. Children 12 years and under need to have an adult on premises when climbing and must also have their harness checked by an adult before each climb.
Every session goes for one hour plus an additional 15 minutes for the safety briefing before you start. UpUnlimited have centres in Richmond and Moorabbin.
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Hardrock have centres in Nunawading and in Melbourne’s CBD. Hardrock Climbing Centres are very popular with serious rock climbers, but first timers and kids are also welcome.
The minimum recommended age to climb is 4 years at the Nunawading complex and 8 years at the CBD complex, as Nunawading has more kid friendly climbing walls. Children under 11 years must be accompanied by an adult to help them. One adult may help up to two or three children comfortably, this allows the children to have a break in between climbs.
Only the CBD venue has 4 auto belay walls, so your kids will need a buddy to hold the rope for them (belaying). Kids must be at least 11 years old to belay. A safety briefing is required before you climb and includes belay instructions.
Entry to Hardrock is a Day Pass, therefore you are welcome to climb for as long as you wish and can even leave and return to the centre throughout the day.
Hardrock run a Junior Climbing Club to offer specialty coaching in all areas of rock climbing.
The club provides young climbers with the opportunity to train and enjoy rock climbing in an enthusiastic and enjoyable environment and is open to ages 11 to 19.
Image Credit: thingdoer.com
Cliffhanger Climbing Gym
Cliffhanger is located in Altona North and is the tallest indoor rock climbing gym in the Southern Hemisphere, with walls as high as 20 metres. It has two dedicated bouldering areas, feature walls, crack climbs, a huge range of climbing aids, and a dozen lead climbing walls set by some of the best route setters in Australia.
All first time climbers must go through a thorough safety briefing before climbing and climbers under the age of 18 must have waiver forms signed by their own parent which can be completed online before going. Your entry fee at Cliffhanger covers an unlimited day pass of climbing.
Cliffhanger also run two junior development programs for 4-11 years and 12-17 years, designed to develop climbing skills in a fun environment. The classes are all about overcoming fears, gaining capacity – no matter what the age or level of development – as well as developing self-esteem, the ability to care for others and great judgement skills.
Image Credit: cliffhanger.com.au