The 10 Best Indoor Rock Climbing and Bouldering Gyms in Melbourne - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The 10 Best Indoor Rock Climbing and Bouldering Gyms in Melbourne

With Melbourne lockdown lifting, it’s time to get climbing again.
Instagram/@baysiderock

There was a time not too long ago when climbing was considered a niche sport. Few gyms offered it and dedicated climbers were few and far between. That time is no longer. Between the popularity of Ninja Warrior and 2018’s Free Solo, climbing – and its close cousin, bouldering – have become big business.

And for good reason: climbing is one of those rare sports, like surfing, where you get a killer workout without it seeming like you’re working out. But, boy do you feel it the next day. Few things test your grip and core strength than a session on the climbing wall.

Don’t believe us? These ten gyms, offering some of the best climbing and bouldering experiences in Melbourne, are ready and awaiting your arrival. 

But before you get stuck in, a quick word on some of the basics…

What’s the difference between climbing and bouldering?

Good question. Climbing involves scaling a wall using a rope and a harness, while bouldering has you climbing a wall with only a crash pad beneath you. As a result, climbing walls are typically higher and involve more endurance while bouldering is often shorter (typically no higher than 4.5m) and necessitates problem-solving skills as you figure out the best route up.

In fact, bouldering routes are often called ‘problems’ for that very reason. Second, equipment. If you are climbing, things like a climb harness, a belay (essentially a braking device) and special shoes are required.

For bouldering, it’s really only the shoes. Considering you risk falling some distance, it’s worth investing in the good stuff. However, all good climbing gyms, like the ones below, offer equipment for rental. We’d suggest trying out the equipment on offer first before investing. 

Gym Location Price Website
Hardrock

16-18 Varman Court

Nunawading, VIC 3131

$20 casual entry for climbing; $15 casual entry for bouldering hardrock.com.au
Bayside 9 Network DriveCarrum Downs, VIC, 3201, Australia From $95 / month baysiderock.com.au/
Urban Climb 29/41 Down St, Collingwood VIC 3066 $25 casual entry; from $29.85 / week, includes yoga and gym access urbanclimb.com.au/
Gravity Worx 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale VIC 3044 $23 casual entry climbing; $17 casual entry bouldering gravityworx.com.au/
Northside Boulders 329 Victoria St, Brunswick VIC 3056 $22 casual entry; $130 / month with access to all locations northsideboulders.com/
Clip ’n Climb Warehouse 2, 134 Maddox Road, North Williamstown 3016 Victoria $20 casual entry; $150 ten visits clipnclimbwilliamstown.com.au/
BlocHaus Unit 2 359 Plummer street, Port Melbourne VIC $21 casual entry; $189 ten visits mlb.blochaus.com.au/
Boulder Lab 8/1821 Ferntree Gully Road $20 casual entry; $180 ten visits boulderlab.com.au/
Climb West 193 Maidstone St, Altona VIC 3018 $20 casual entry; $32 / week for six months climbwestmelbourne.com.au/
Burnley Bouldering Wall Citylink, Richmond VIC 3121 Free facebook.com/burnleyboulderingwall/

Hardrock 

This place has it all. There’s a whopping 51 top rope walls* and more than 40 bouldering problems to get stuck into. For the top ropers among us: all routes are set up with belay devices pre attached so there’s no need to bring your own. If Nunawading is too far out for you, Hardrock also has a location in the CBD.  

*Top Rope climbing simply refers to climbing where the individual is attached to a rope that passes up to an anchor system then back down to a ‘belayer’ (your mate holding the rope) at the bottom. 

Location: 16-18 Varman Court, Nunawading, VIC 3131

Contact: 03 9894 4183

Pricing: $20 casual entry for climbing; $15 casual entry for bouldering

hardrock.com.au

Bayside

Bayside ticks all the boxes in terms of equipment and coaching but it’s the community aspect that keeps people coming back. They run social climb nights where you’re invited to meet and greet with other like-minded climbers, as well as Women’s and Student’s Nights. 

Location: 9 Network DriveCarrum Downs, VIC, 3201, Australia

Contact: 03 9775 1557

Pricing: From $95 / month

baysiderock.com.au

Urban Climb

With four locations across the East coast, Urban Climb is one of the biggest names in Australia’s climbing scene. The Collingwood location offers top-quality bouldering along with fitness classes and yoga.

Location: 29/41 Down St, Collingwood VIC 3066

Contact:  1300 001 203

Pricing: $25 casual entry; from $29.85 / week, includes yoga and gym access 

urbanclimb.com.au

Gravity Worx

If speed is your thing, Gravity is the place for you. Why? One of Gravity’s specialities is ‘speed climbing’, a sport in which two climbers race up identical routes, with the first one to hit the buzzer at the top declared the winner. In fact, Gravity is the only gym in Australia to have a standard Speed Wall as accredited by the good folks at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). This means their speed wall is identical to the one used at the climbing world cup. Time to get practising! 

Location: 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale VIC 3044

Contact: 03 9350 1789

Pricing: $23 casual entry climbing; $17 casual entry bouldering

gravityworx.com.au

Northside Boulders

As the title suggests Northside is all about bouldering and they have three locations across Melbourne. Fostering an inviting community feel via regular events, Northside is suitable for everyone from the absolute beginners to the pros. They also offer yoga and stock some impressive merch so you can always just cop the T-shirt and tell people you’re a climber. Your call.

Location: 329 Victoria St, Brunswick VIC 3056

Contact: northsideboulders.com

Pricing: $22 casual entry; $130 / month with access to all locations

northsideboulders.com

Clip ’n Climb

Part theme park, part climbing gym, Clip ’n Climb is one hell of a fun way to spend an afternoon. There’s a range of obstacles and challenges to overcome in a totally non competitive environment and while they do offer an impressive array of kids parties, trust us when we tell you it’s also good fun sans children. 

Location: Warehouse 2, 134 Maddox Road, North Williamstown 3016 Victoria

Contact: (03) 9448 8642

Pricing: $20 casual entry; $150 ten visits

clipnclimbwilliamstown.com.au

BlocHaus

Dubbed Melbourne’s “bouldest bouldering gym” (see what they did there?), BlocHaus has 850 square meters of climbing surface, which are then divided into different sections with two sections cleaned and reset each week. This equates to a shiny new-looking gym every 8 weeks. There’s also beginner classes on offer, as well as an impressive youth program.

Location: Unit 2 359 plummer street, port melbourne VIC

Contact: (03) 9646 6018

Pricing: $21 casual entry; $189 ten visits

blochaus.portal.approach.app

Boulder Lab

Another dedicated bouldering space, the Lab has more than 700 square metres of walls as well as a training area and gym. They made the canny move to use lockdowns to renovate the space so expect a new and improved gym when you next visit.

Location: 8/1821 Ferntree Gully Road 

Contact: 03 8719 6444

Pricing: $20 casual entry; $180 ten visits

boulderlab.com.au

Climb West 

Climb West offers bouldering, fitness, yoga and coffee which to us, sounds like a pretty good combination. The space is beautifully maintained and there’s a wellness hub to take care of you in between climbs. On their site, they have even been kind enough to offer a breakdown of climbing slang for beginners so you know your ‘slabs’ from your ‘sends’ before you hit the gym.

Location: 193 Maidstone St, Altona VIC 3018

Contact: climbwestmelbourne.com.au/contact-us/

Pricing: $20 casual entry; $32 / week for six months

climbwestmelbourne.com.au

Burnley Bouldering Wall

OK, it’s not technically a gym, it’s a free-to-access bouldering wall, but that’s exactly why it’s on this list. Located in the suburb of Burnley, the space is well maintained (though, we’re not sure by whom) and there’s a total of 3 walls meaning there’s space for everyone. Oh, and did we mention, it’s free?

Location: Citylink, Richmond VIC 3121

Contact: facebook.com/burnleyboulderingwall/

Pricing: Free

Social: facebook.com/burnleyboulderingwall/

Christopher Riley

By Christopher Riley

Christopher is contributing editor for Australian Men's Health, specialising in sport, music and style. He has previously worked as deputy editor of GQ Australia and columnist for T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine. His first book, King, a biography of hip hop pioneer Hau Lātūkefu, was published by Penguin Random House in 2022.

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