It’s an incomparable sensation to be high on a wall, moving with precision on the edge of space.

Your concentration is focused on a crucial move and in that one perfect moment you deftly swing up and lock onto the handhold.

Rock climbing was once an activity reserved for mountaineers but is now well developed as an independent sport. It is a safe, exciting and challenging activity within the capabilities of most active people.

New Zealand rock climbers pursue several different disciplines. ‘Bouldering’, the simplest form involves climbing on boulders or along the base of a cliff. ‘Sport climbing’ means fast ascents using fixed bolts in the rock face. ‘Aid climbing’ involves placing and removing protection devices as you climb. ‘Alpine rock climbing’ is climbing in remote, high altitude areas. Another form is ‘indoor climbing’, which is available at many venues throughout the country, where you hire shoes, chalk bags, harnesses and carabiners and climb on artificial walls.

Rock climbing areas in the North Island include the Mt Eden Quarry in Auckland, Whanganui Bay on Lake Taupo, Piarere near Cambridge and Wharepapa near Te Awamutu. South Island areas include the Port Hills above Christchurch, Castle Hill near Arthur’s Pass, Long Beach north of Dunedin as well as longer extreme routes in the Darren Range in Fiordland.

The desire to climb is natural for most adventurous people and moving up a near vertical rock face with body and mind working in harmony is a great thrill.

While you’re here why not give it a go. There’s no better way to get high downunder.