Guardianship of the Basin


Kaitiakitanga is the concept of guardianship and protection of our natural environment. We believe that as users and impact-generators, climbers have an obligation to look after the areas that we are privileged to climb in. We are very fortunate to have access to these wonderful resources and we must do our best to protect and allow continued access.

Therefore it is our responsibility to minimise and mitigate our impact, and go above and beyond in encouraging others to do the same.

Before heading out to the Basin please support us by reading, understanding, and respecting the principles below:

1. Minimise Impact

  • Tread carefully - please use established tracks and access points, and take extra care when muddy.
  • Respect all wild flora and fauna and do not damage trees or other vegetation (including by using them as belay points).
  • Do not destroy or remove native plants, moss or other vegetation. Cleaning lichen off holds should be minimised. But you should destroy all Pine trees (see below)!
  • Brush off chalk tick marks, and excess chalk from holds. Wash climbs with water and a soft brush when needed.
  • Pack it out - use poo pots, take home any rubbish even if it's not yours.
  • Bolting is only permitted in very limited circumstances. Please check with NZAC before carrying out any rebolting.

2. Protect

  • Wash foot & hand holds with plain water and a soft brush. Experience tells us that regular, consistent washing of holds can pretty much maintain the rock in a pristine state.
  • Please do not climb on polished and over-trafficked problems - give the rock a chance to recover.
  • Pull out or cut down Wilding Pines (make sure to cut well below the lowest needle). You can leave the dead ones where you found them, no need to collect. Read more about why Pines are a threat here.

3. Respect  

  • Be respectful and friendly to other people. If you see someone disrespecting the area, approach them in a kindly manner.
  • Leave gates as you find them. Flock Hill is a working farm, please read the Safety Notice before going there.
  • Respect any temporary restrictions on access to climbing sites. Flock Hill is closed to all visitors from 1st October - 25th December for lambing, with no exceptions.
  • Dogs are not allowed at any area in Castle Hill Basin, please leave Rover at home.


Further  information and codes of conduct for climbers can be found in the DoC Climbing care code, and the NZAC's Code of Conduct for Rock Climbers.


For more reading check out our Sustainable climbing in the Basin document.


Learn more about the unique native plants that live in the Basin with Liadan Dickie's Climber's guide to native plant conservation. Designed to introduce the everyday climber to some of the local plants and how climbers can protect and conserve them.