Climbing

The majority of climbing is on the King’s estate and access is a privilege granted by the King’s Office, not a right. An access arrangement has been negotiated but could be withdrawn at any time by the King’s Office.

Before climbing on ‘Eua, all climbers must register at Ovava Tree Lodge. During registration climbers must agree to the Disclaimer and the Climber’s Code of Conduct. You will not be welcome to climb until after you agree with these terms.

There is a T$20 climbers registration fee and an admin fee of T$5. This is a one off payment per trip to ‘Eua.

Our Story – the ‘Climb Eua’ Film

Australian film maker Brett Williams tells our story well in his new 18 minute film.

Locations
The main climbing area is on the King’s estate at Fangatave Beach, at the north-eastern end of the island. A few routes have also been established at Olu, Houmatahi and Laku’fanga.

Getting around
Eua is a small island (20 x 8 kms), but feels much larger if you’re walking about. There are crags on all sides of the island, so you’ll need some form of local transport while you’re here. Options are:

  • Bring or hire bikes. 8-10 km each way.
  • Taxi rides from your accommodation provider. Approx T$10 each way.
  • Hire a car. Approx T$90/day. Don’t expect a fancy car.
  • Hitchhiking. Good fun but not reliable.
  • Motorbikes – will hopefully be available for hire in 2019…

Access tracks
Make sure you have a printed guide or save the pdf on your phone. Ideally you should have an offline map app on your phone also, that already has the OpenStreepMap cached. This is the online map we keep updated.

Details on accessing particular crags is as follows:

Fangatave
The Fangatave cliffs are at the southern end of the beautiful Fangatave beach near the north east end of the island. Camping is forbidden here.

There are three access options. The beach track is the ideal way to first approach these walls, but its not the fastest. Local fishermen may visit the crags. Please do not tempt them by leaving gear unhidden.

  1. Beach track: Get dropped off at the water tanks, then walk north across farm land, closing two gates behind you, to locate the beach track which starts at the north end of the cliff line (10-15 mins). Descend the rough track to the beach then wander back south towards the cliffs. About 50 metres after the sand ends some fishing buoys and a thick ship rope can be seen hanging on the rock, marking the start of the access route up to the crag (15-20 mins). Scramble up the rock terrace and follow the buoys through a cave and forest to the crag (10 mins from beach). The point at which you arrive at the crag is known as the “Whale Wall”.
  2. Lookout track: Get dropped off at the Anokula lookout, which looks over the area south of Fangatave beach. Walk back to the first bend in the road, and find a rough track. Follow this, scrambling down through a band of rock to arrive at the Fa wall in about 15 minutes.
  3. Whale wall rap line: Walk to the Fangatave lookout point, where you’ll find a tourist sign funded by the NZ government. Rap the gully, followed by a short traverse to another rap station. There are some bolts on the right-hand side at the top of the gully. You may want to fix a line for the duration of your stay, but do not trust fixed line you find. It may be easier to find and ascend the gully, which is located about 100m uphill from the Whale wall. 15 mins to Whale wall from the water tanks.    

Olu and Houma Tahi Beaches
At low or mid tide only, follow the track marked on OpenStreetMap here, then walk north up Olu beach for 10 mins to an obvious crag featuring lovely tufa lines. To get to Houma Tahi beach continue another 10 minutes up the coast or at high tide use the next track north.

Please note: Olu beach is often marked incorrectly on maps as Kapa beach).

Laku fa’anga
Climbing was recently established here by North Face athletes Angie Scarth-Johnson and Lee Cossey. The crag is located on the north side of the Bowl of Cliffs and has four routes graded between 23 to 30. To get there, first get a lift to Laku fa’anga and walk north up an obvious track used by the semi-wild horses there. You’ll walk right over Maui’s arch which you’ll probably want to view via a short sign-posted track on the left. If you keep walking in 10 minutes you’ll arrive at the Bowl of Cliffs. Walk to the north side of the Bowl and look for rappel bolts. Rap down this to a second stage rappel. Leave a rope fixed and take ascenders so you can get back out.

Guide book

Click here to download the Tongan Rock guide book.

For specific questions please email kakamakaeua@gmail.com.

Bolts and anchors
All bolts are titanium 80-110mm x 10mm glue in P-style ring bolts. The bolts are manufactured in China and so far all seem to be of high quality. We have stress tested these bolts over a long duration to 12kN with no noticeable distortion. In a destructive test the bolts fail at about 29kN.
The adhesive used in 2016 and 2017 was Hilti HIT-HY 200 R. In 2018 Hilti HIT-HY170 was also used. If you see red glue it is HIT-500v3.
Route development
New route development is being coordinated by the Kaka Maka Group. If you want to develop new routes please get in touch via email kakamakaeua@gmail.com.

Donations
If you’d like to contribute towards bolting and route development you cvan make donations to the Kaka Maka (NZ) bank account: 12 3153 0121544 50