The Te Anau community is climbing high with its new
indoor climbing wall. The climbing wall project has been
a long time coming with strong community support from
the start. The end result is a top of the line rock climbing
facility that can cater for all abilities from beginners to
experienced climbers, from children to any age.
Designed by NZ company Uprising, the wall has
great visual impact with a nod towards the lakes and
mountains of Fiordland in its design. It is built inside
the Fiordland Community Events Centre which is the
community’s multiuse sports and entertainment facility.
The Fiordland Endurance and Adventure Racing (FEAR)
Society have paid for the training and assessment of 12
supervisors who are qualified through the NZ Outdoor
Instructors Association and manage the day to day
running of the wall including teaching skills.
Te Anau, Manapouri and wider Fiordland is a hub for
adventure tourism and has a strong history with climbing
– the Darran Mountains are considered to have some of
the best rock climbing in New Zealand. The new indoor
climbing wall provides an attraction for the area that is
all-weather, all year round and all abilities.
Since its opening the wall has introduced hundreds to
the sport of climbing and is suitable for holding regional
climbing competitions. It can provide basic vertical
ropework training opportunities for search and rescue groups
while also offering a high level training environment
for those aspiring to climb elsewhere in Fiordland
and beyond. In the first 10 weeks of operation over
500 people from the community, primary schools and
Fiordland College have been up the wall. There are 42
top rope/auto-belay routes, 5 lead routes and the wall
operates 12 public hours a week with additional private
and school bookings for students to come and climb.
The success of this project is down to some incredible
and passionate volunteers from the FEAR Society, Andy
Magness and Vaughn Filmer. They have shouldered all
the work to create the vision, raise the funds, project
manage the construction, organise volunteer supervisors
and the administration including purchasing equipment
to run the wall.
“Now a focal point of the Fiordland Community Events
Centre the climbing wall is providing both visitors and
locals an incredible experience that will support the
region for years to come. Andy and I are already looking
to finish the third phase of the project that was put on
hold post COVID-19. We are very keen to include space
for ‘bouldering’ - rope-free climbing that has been
showcased to the world at the Tokyo Olympics.”