Hospital Flat and its rocky challenges
One of Hospital Flat's many challenges
Hospital Flat Conservation Area
Hospital Flat is an acclaimed rock or sport climbing area. It's a boulder-strewn mountainside, the boulders being large and slab-faced ones that loom above the paddock below. The range of climbing challenges is large, from learning pitches through to internationally recognised routes that attract top overseas climbers.
In sport climbing parlance the faces in this area have crimpy hand holds and good friction for the feet. They also have interesting names such as Tombstone, Disco Inferno and Lolly Gobble Bliss Bomb.
Hospital Flat wasn't named because it hospitalised climbers! Rather, it goes back to the earliest days of farming in the area when runholders and drovers bringing stock from up the valley would drop ailing stock off in the paddock at the base of the steep, rock encrusted cliff. Hospital Flat was where horses, sheep and cattle convalesced.
Diamond Lake Conservation Area
Diamond Lake has very good rock climbing faces. They are south facing though and can become icy and difficult in winter.
Roadside Attraction and Riverside
These recreation areas offer excellent rock climbing opportunities. There is easy access to both from the Matukituki Valley Road.
Rock fall in this area is a natural part of the landscape and is an ever present risk at Roadside Reserve; visitors need to make their own hazard assessment at each visit to this and other rock climbing areas in this region.