If the Burnley Bouldering Walls are anything to go by, rock climbing has undergone a slight transmutation since its humble beginnings in the late 19th century.
These days there’s no need to climb 5000 ft to get your adrenaline-induced jollies. In fact, all you have to do is wander a few kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre and launch yourself at a wall to enter the elite ranks of the climbing coterie.
Thanks to the rock-steady ingenuity of the crew at Parks Victoria and the Victorian Climbing Club (VCC), city dwellers looking for a slight twist to their weekend dose of active living can make use of one of the three artificial climbing walls hidden beneath the freeway. Anyone can use the walls, at anytime, at no cost.
Located opposite Herring Island, the walls can be accessed from the Main Yarra Trail walking and cycling track that lines the Yarra River.
No harnesses are required, as rubber matting ensures a soft fall. But if you want to adopt a hardcore climber’s attitude, print out the VCC pages on their website, which suggest ways of making the climbs more challenging.
Just remember to tighten your grip when the semi-trailers pass overhead.
Main Yarra Trail, Burnley (between Coppin & Mary sts, opposite Herring Island)
0419 563 733
Open 24 hrs