Melbourne’s Best Bouldering & Rock Climbing Gyms

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10 min Nov 7th, 2022
Man climbing rock wall

The sports of rock climbing and bouldering are on trend now and have become increasingly popular within Melbourne’s inner suburbs these last few years. Once a pastime for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, climbing has now gone urban, with accessible climbing gyms popping up all around the city. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, rock climbing and bouldering are thoroughly rewarding activities. Not only is it easy to become involved in, it also makes for a fun way to be social and keep active.

With so many terrific climbing gyms in Melbourne open to rock climbers and boulderers of all levels, there’s no better time to get climbing. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite places in Melbourne to do indoor rock climbing and indoor bouldering. Get ready to rock those walls!

What is the difference between bouldering and rock climbing?

If you’ve never seen it before, you would think bouldering and rock climbing are the same thing, however there are many distinctive differences between the two pastimes. Rock climbing, also known as rope climbing, is a sport that utilises ropes and protective gear. Bouldering on the other hand, only requires climbing shoes and the use of a crash pad. Bouldering walls generally go no higher than 4-5m. Bouldering is often considered more physically challenging and dynamic due to the lack of equipment and no resting position.

Is rock climbing and bouldering good for your fitness?

Rock climbing and bouldering are both great activities for your fitness and wellbeing. Due to the movements and strength required for the sports, you can get a full body workout while problem solving on the fly. Rock climbing and bouldering will help build muscle and cardio endurance as well as improve hand-eye coordination. The sport offers a great workout for the brain muscles also. With so many options and decisions to make as you navigate a wall, every climb uses similar problem solving to those you would use for a puzzle or crossword.

Northside Boulders

Close up of man's hand grasping climbing holdWith three outposts in Northcote, Abbotsford and Brunswick, Northside Boulders is one of the original bouldering gyms in Melbourne. The company prides itself on creating a community spirit that is fun, inclusive, and supportive.

Originally known as the Lactic Factory, Northside Boulders has been challenging climbers with quality wall routes for beginners and experts alike for nearly a decade. The gym also incorporates a warm up area dedicated to help you build strength for the walls.

Climbing isn’t the only thing this gym focuses on, as they offer Wind Up FLow and Mellow Down Yin yoga and mobility classes targeted for pre and post climb sessions. There’s definitely a Northside vibe here, with good tunes, barista coffee flowing, and a friendly community spirit. You can even bring your furry friend along with you, as long as they play nice.

Address: 329 Victoria St, Brunswick VIC 3056
Website: http://www.northsideboulders.com
Cost: $22 casual entry

Hardrock Climbing

View of tall building lit up at night with large class window looking into climbing gymOne of the CBD’s biggest climbing facilities, Hardrock Climbing sits high above the top end of Swanston St, with full views of the city passing by as you tackle the walls. This city space specialises in rock climbing, with 44 top rope walls and 28 lead walls up to 16m high, as well as 4 auto-belay walls up to 12m high for the hardcore climbers.

There is something for everyone at Hardrock, with introductory courses that cater to beginners and expert courses for seasoned campaigners. With over 100 courses ranging from grades 6 to 30 there is no shortage of options on offer, meaning no session will be the same.

With climbing clubs and school holiday programs, the team at Hardrock are dedicated to fostering and developing climbers long term development. Most of all, they are dedicated to having fun!

Address: 4/8 Franklin St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Website: https://www.hardrock.com.au/
Cost: $20 casual pass

Urban Climb Collingwood

Woman tying up her shoes while sitting on matt at climbing gymOriginally an old furniture warehouse, Urban Climb in Collingwood is the largest bouldering space in Melbourne. They pride themselves on creating an inclusive and encouraging environment for climbers of all levels to get involved and have fun.
One of the best things about Urban Climb is the team’s dedication to bringing people together. The “Member Mixers” and “Sister Sessions” encourage new and regular members to get to know each other, work together, and hopefully strike up new friendships with like-minded people.

Urban Climb resets the wall courses weekly to keep their loyal climbers guessing and challenged. With different degrees of difficulty on the walls, this place is great for beginners and experts alike. The gym also offers shoe rentals and free chalk for newbies wanting to try their hand at bouldering.

The space also has a training facility downstairs to help build strength, as well as yoga and fitness classes to keep you fit and flexible for climbing. They even serve great coffee, which can round out a perfect morning’s climb.

Address: 29/41 Down St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Website: http://www.urbanclimb.com.au/
Cost: $25 casual day pass

Boulder Project

Boulder Project Gym front desk with climbing walls in backgroundA smaller space compared to some of its counterparts. What Boulder Project lacks in size it makes up for in personality, aiming to incorporate bouldering with the social, fitness, and music culture of the surrounding area. With several walls with colour-graded routes that are changed fortnightly and spray walls where you can utilise the Stōkt app, there are plenty of climbing options available. They even offer a little weights and training area so you can build your strength and fitness to take on more challenging walls.

Each wall at the Boulder Project is cheekily named in tribute to local nightclub spots around Prahran and Windsor. There’s the Bang Bang, Playground, One-Six-One and The Astor. We’re not sure which one’s tougher, climbing Boulder Project’s Revolver wall or getting into Revolver nightclub up the road.

Address: 48 King St, Prahran VIC 3181
Website: boulderproject.com.au
Cost: $17 adult casual pass

North Walls

Man climbing indoor rock wallThe team at North Walls in Brunswick are passionate about the sport of rock climbing and are dedicated to getting people involved. They offer equipment hire, expert advice and guidance from the staff and plenty of space to work in so you can get the best out of your session.

There are routes for all levels. Beginners and advanced climbers will find the right challenge, with new climbing routes set up weekly with North Wall’s setters continually working on ranges of top rope and lead climbs.

The space is nice and big, so you can spread out and don’t feel like you are climbing on top of one another. When you’re all climbers out and need to take a breather, there is a chill out area with couches to rest. Dogs are also welcome in the facility, so you can bring your pooch to watch while you climb.

Address: 3/17-19 Hope St, Brunswick VIC 3056
Website: http://www.northwalls.com.au
Cost: $20 casual pass

BlocHaus Bouldering Port Melbourne

Man climbing bouldering wallNot too far from the city centre, BlocHaus in Port Melbourne offers 850sqm of bouldering faces to challenge yourself. When you’re not busy mastering the faces, you can train up in the fitness area and training walls.

The space offers classes and coaching for all levels and capabilities. There are also “boulder better” drop-in sessions, where you can work with expert coach Juan to hone specific elements of your climbing skill sets.

The team at BlocHaus are dedicated to making everyone feel like they’re part of the climbing community, whether a seasoned veteran or a first-time climber.

Address: 2/359 Plummer St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
Website: https://mlb.blochaus.com.au
Cost: $23 casual pass

Gravity Worx Indoor Rock Climbing

Looking down from top at indoor rock climbing raceRun by climbers for climbers, Pascoe Vales’s Gravity Worx is the place to go to improve your rock climbing skills. Their motto is to introduce as many Melbournians to the world of climbing as possible and share their passion for the sport.

This climbing gym takes its climbing seriously. With a dedicated speed climbing wall, Gravity Worx is one of the only places in Melbourne that holds regular speed climbing competitions. The space boasts over 50 different climbing routes, with top rope and lead rope on offer. The team keeps it fresh by changing climbing routes weekly, and they also have a bouldering area to get your boulder on.

The community based gym is a great place for families also, with kid-friendly walls and a party room with views looking out onto the climbing walls. The youth and adult development squads that Gravity Worx offers are a great way to help progress your climbing skills and meet like-minded people.

Address: 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale VIC 3044
Website: http://www.gravityworx.com.au/
Cost: $23 casual pass

Crazy Climb Indoor Rock Climbing Centre

Close up from above of young girl climbing on climbing wallCrazy Climb is a place that makes climbing accessible for kids and adults alike. The fun-filled climbing gym and activities centre offer a great way for kids to become active while gaining confidence and learning to challenge themselves.

There are over 26 different climbs of varying difficulties and themes. With walls such as Treasure Island, the Beanstalk climb, and timed speed climbs, the excitement is endless. There is supervision on the walls during all sessions, and staff are there at all times to help climbers.

The Crazy Climb building houses Lollipops Playland, a giant indoor play centre for younger children where they can run, jump, climb and explore. The beauty for parents is they can watch their kids in both Crazy Climb and Lollipops at the same time. A gourmet cafe and barista serving delicious food and coffee is located on site, meaning you can make a day of it. The climbing gym also caters to events, so you can organise your next corporate function, birthday or Christmas party.

Address: 6 Elonera Rd, Noble Park North VIC 3174
Website: http://www.crazyclimb.com.au/
Cost: $17.90 casual pass

Funtopia Maribyrnong

Man helps child put harness in front of climbing beanstalkA junior climbers paradise, Funtopia in Maribyrnong is an action-packed climbing haven for kids. This is the perfect place for kids to have their first indoor rock climbing experience in Melbourne.

With over 40 interactive climbing walls and even a giant beanstalk that spirals all the way to the ceiling, the young ones will be entertained for hours. Safety is the number one priority at Funtopia, with safety and education sessions before every climb, making sure every child is harnessed up and ready.

If they have any energy left after the climbing walls, the kids can hit the mazes, ball pits and slides. Funtopia is available to hire for birthday parties and events, which is a no-brainer for hours of entertainment. Be sure to check out the in-house restaurant Mr Spriggins for delicious and healthy food to keep everyone fuelled for the day.

Address: 3/98 -108 Hampstead Rd, Maidstone VIC 3012
Website: https://funtopiaworld.com.au/locations/maribyrnong/
Cost: $21 climb/ $32 climb & play

Whether it’s your first time climbing or your thousandth, there is no sport quite like climbing. A day on the walls is both challenging and rewarding that will leave you well exercised and satisfied. Now that you know the best places in Melbourne for rock climbing and bouldering, grab your climbing pals and start planning your next session on the walls.

If you’re in Melbourne and looking for somewhere to stay nearby, check out Punthill South Yarra, Punthill Flinders Lane and Punthill Little Bourke for some great accommodation right near the best climbing gyms in town.