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Recently I have been looking for new places to climb close to Hobart. I had a look at the map of the coastline around Clifton and noticed that there is actually a strip of Crown Land (and therefore access) all along the coast. Given that there hasn't been any access (or new routes) since about 1991, I was curious:

1. Can you get to the cliffs without crossing private land?
2. Is there any nice wave washed rock like Mt Brown?
3. Would it be worthwhile resurrecting access?

Today I went for a recce with Dave. Answers below - so you don't have to bother!

1. Can you get to the cliffs without crossing private land?

Yes. There is strip of crown land between 20-40m wide all the way along the coast, and you can walk to all the cliffs listed in the guide by keeping the seaward side of all the fences. The hard bit is the choss cliff at the start. We started trying at sea level but there is a bit towards the end of the choss cliffs where it gets harder. So we went along the top, which is a steep in places bashing though she oaks, but quite doable without going into private land. From the looks of it it looks like the fences have been moved back up the hill a bit compared to the nineties - there are a bunch of remenants of old rusted fences that go right to the cliff edge. 

From the end of the choss cliff is relatively easy to follow the coast around to the cliffs. Unfortunately the walking is harder and slower on the seaward side of the fences - on the way back we walked just inside the paddocks which was much faster. It takes between 40-60 minutes to get to the cliffs going along the coast. If going again I would put more effort into the sea level traverse and maybe add some fixed lines, as around the top was a bit shitty. 

2. Is there any nice wave washed rock like Mt Brown?

Hmm, not anywhere near as good. The best bits of rock were the several large boulders below the Tea Leaves cliff, but its too far to go for bouldering. There was an interesting bulge and a couple of aretes at the Henna cliff. The main cliff looked pretty ordinary. Bits of Tea Leaves are ok, but not awesome.

3. Would it be worthwhile resurrecting access?

Probably not unfortunately. Can't see anyone bothering with the walk, and I dont think there is enough potential for new stuff to get anybody excited.

Previously on the Choss Files

Other Choss Files


  1. Hi John, nice you checked out clifton and shared those photos. I too have been out there in the last year to check things out. Did a couple of the old routes up on the main cliff. Carnap and Matchless were good climbs, but the base of the main cliff was definitely a problem - steep, loose, a bit unpleasant. I tried to find a house owner and ended up skirting along the lowest reaches of the grasslands. About an hours walk.


    I have been meaning on going back via kayak to the Tea Leaves. Importantly, I am pretty confident that the photos above labelled the tea leaves are NOT the tea leaves. Looks like there would be some routes on the cliffs you have photographed though. There are routes at Clifton that are not on the thesarvo, but they are no on the cliffs have photographed. The tea leaves are actually better quality rock than anything else in the area.  I will try and post a photo in a moment.

  2. This is a photo of the first ascent of Earl Grey gr 19, Peter Jackson collection.




    1. Jon Nermut AUTHOR

      that looks better rock than what we were looking at for sure. 

      looks pretty low angle though or is that the photo?

  3. The other photo I uploaded to your galley is of P Jackson traversing the roof of Tusk (16).