Nortons Basin

10-20 mins

Sun and shade options

Short broken-up walls


A pleasant series of crags set in lovely surroundings on the Nepean River near Wallacia, south of Penrith. (Just ignore the rubbish and dumped cars.) These crags were popular in the early 90's, but unfortunately due to lack of recent visits they have become overgrown and dirty. Most of the route descriptions here are from the 1994 guide.<br/>There are three crags developed so far. The West Side and the East Side crags face each other overlooking the Nepean River. The West Side is a scrappy broken-up affair. The East Side is more appealing but requires crossing the Nepean River, which can be problematic in high water. The third crag Riverside suffers from seepage, is overgrown and is dominated by derelict industrial ruins and abandoned cars. None of the crags are "family friendly".<br/>There may be opportunities for bouldering, particularly down by the river which would also be a good swimming hole in summer. Some of the bouldering further downstream stays dry in the rain.


Most of the development was done by Harry Luxford and Bruce Cameron. There are still plenty of outcrops still be explored and developed by anybody keen.


Navigate to Wallacia, south of Penrith, then follow Silverdale Rd until a sign indicates a right-hand turn into Norton's Basin Rd. The area is sometimes marked as Warragamba Park on maps. Follow the dirt road to the end to a rubbish-strewn carpark. It would be prudent not to leave any valuables visible in your car here. An eroded 4WD track heads down and right. About 200m downhill take the first branch right to get to the West Side. Otherwise keep going down the hill. On the way you will come to a rock outcrop on the right where you can get a good view of the East Side Crag. Follow the road down to the river, cross wherever you can, then bash on up the hill to get to East Side. For Riverside, follow the track as it winds back left and further down the hill. You should pass a number of rusting old cars, and just before a steep eroded section locate an old road contouring left. The path is barred by a giant tree cut in half. Follow this old road as it contours around until you can see the old gauging station. The cliff is below the gauging station ruins.

West Side Crag

Arrival 18 12m
Start on the pedestal 4m left of Pleasure. Traverse right from cave then up face left of Pleasure.
Adrian Philbey 1996-02-25
Pleasure 10 10m
A nice little warm up. The obvious chimney left of the thin crack Its a Fine LIne. Tree belay.
H Luxford, B Cameron 21.9.93
* Its A Fine Line 18 10m
The thin crack at the left end of the wall. A great little climb. Up to BR at bulge, continue past BR near top.
B Cameron, H Luxford 21.9.93
Pain 17 10m
Some reasonable moves. 4m right of Its A Fine Line, at block. Up to cam in pocket, up wall to BR continuing slightly left.
B Cameron, H Luxford 21.9.93
Its A Tough Life 14 10m
Mixed crack and wall climbing. Up left crack to BR at bulge, up crack, tricky near top.
H Luxford, B Camerom 21.9.93
Just The Ticket 13 10m
Quite nice. Start as for Its A Tough Life. The right angled seam/crack past 2 BR, then up wall heading left 2 BR.
S Chambers, H Luxford, B Cameron 7.10.93
* Last Of The Orchids 15 14m
Nice wall moves, was once popular. About 3m right of Just The Ticket/Its A Tough Life cracks. Up black wall and continue to tongue shape rock above (roof), 4 BRs on route. Exit up left.
H Luxford, B Cameron, S Chabers 7.10.93
Who Killed The Orchid 11 12m
A very enjoyable slab/wall. Was once popular. Start at step a few metres up and right of Last Of The Orchids. Up slab, about 4 BRs
H Luxford, B Darmanin, D Darmanin, S Chambers 25.9.93
* Slab 16 12m
Nice moves. Was originally grade 11, what a sandbag! Just to the right of Who Killed The Orchid. Up past 4 BR. Finish up into hanging corner. Take cams to supplement the questionable bolts (the 3rd is a shocker, take a big cam or thread the hole.)
Caterpillar Crack 15 12m
Start and finish good, but poor rock in middle section. Start: the steep broken crack right of slab and awful corner. Up blocky crack to cave, right onto ledge, then up wall.
H Luxford, B Cameron 23.11.93
Knee Jerk 19 12m
Good low down. No pro in middle section but easy. Start in cave around left from False Start nose. Clip first BR with wire, swing up to cave BR, then right and up to BR on False Start, up left to edge above cave. Can be bad rope drag.
B Cameron, H Luxford 23.11.93
False Start 17 15m
A tricky mantle, easing as you go up. Start 2m right of nose at tree. Up to BR and mantle FH at ledge, up nose BR then right to edge of cave and up to top, BR.
H Luxford, S Chambers, B Cameron 30.9.93
* * Red Hot 18 15m
Some nice moves. Start 2m lef tof Mistaken Identity, below obvious orange patch of rock. Up to orange patch BR, over small bulge BR, up wall, cams on route to BR near top.
B Cameron, H Luxford, S Chambers 30.9.93
* * Mistaken Identity 16 15m
Nice climbing up a black wall. Was once popular. Start in middle of black wall, left of ramp. Onto block then up middle of black wall 3 BR on route to rounded top then BR. Moves slightly left after second bolt.
H Luxford, S Chambers, D Darmanin, B Darmanin 25.9.93
Rib Tickler 16 12m
Interesting. The wall route half way up ramp. Up the wall 2 BR and cams on route.
H Luxford, K Westren 7.11.93
CK 18 12m
An original route - looks OK. Start in cave/roof below nose. Up "V" to nose and about 4 BR. Follow nose right of big cave.
LFC 19 10m
No details, Looks OK. Start marked. Up a fused flake/crack, up wall, about 3 BR.
Kickstart 19 10m
Some hardish moves, corner not used. The wall 1m left of MI corner. Up thin crack and wall passing 3 BR.
H Luxford. B Cameron 23.11.93
MI 10 10m
A nice clean little corner.
K 19 12m
Very nice, good moves but mossy in places. Start at small cave, with blunt nose above. Up nose passing about 6 BR.
Protection not the best. Just left of PIcnic, which is left of easy looking corner. Up wall/slab.
Picnic 8 10m
Beginners delight. The slab/wall just left of the easy corner up from the initials. Up you go, 2 BR.
H Luxford, B Cameron, S Chambers 7.10.93
The big off width up the wall covered with small orchids. Please leave them there and not do this climb.
Bravo 11 8m
Done because it was there. The crack left of Lets Plug It, wide section in middle.
B Cameron 7.10.93
Lets Plug It 14 9m
A nice crack, but about 30m too short. The obvious left leading hand crack up the clean wall right of Bravo.
S Chambers, B Cameron, H Luxford 7.10.93
Unknown 12 10m
A reasonable looking wall left of Alpha crack. Up the wall BR, up left of roof BR.
Alpha 10 8m
The hand jamb crack through the small roof right of Unknown Wall route with bolt at roof height.
B Cameron 7.10.93
Marchfly Madness 14 8m
Very short, but nice. Start at the box shaped nose just left of the picnic cave. Up nose to BR, (hards to reach), up to bulge to FH and over to top.
B Cameron, S Chambers, H Luxford 7.10.93
Ribald Rebellion 18 7m
Short and Steep. Start at left end of cave just right of Marchfly Madness. Pull up breaks to bulge, over and up. Protect with cams and wires.
S Chambers, M Gorman 10.93

East Side Crag

Bloodwood 12 12m
A good wander. Start in corner as for descent route left of basin crack. Up, gain thin seam, straight up.
B Cameron 13.10.93
Fishing Pool 12 15m
Reasonable. Just left of Basin Crack. Up wall and ramps, 3 BR.
H Luxford, B Cameron 14.10.93
Basin Crack 12 15m
Good climbing. The obvious crack at the far left end of the crag. Bulge at half way.
B Moon, B Cameron 24.8.93
Clearwaters 12 15m
Enjoyable. Up nose left of Raindance and ramps, 3BR.
H Luxford, B Cameron 14.10.93
Raindance 10 15m
A nice groove and ramp. Tthe thin left leaning crack right of Basin Crack. Up thin groove/crack to join Basin Crack. cross below bulge to gain ramp and up.
H Luxford, B Cameron 17.9.93
Bullnose Mullet 19 20m
Sustained, nice climbing. Right of Raindance. Up to thin crack, left to BR, up ramp to BR, up wall cams and BR to jugs.
B Cameron, H Luxford 14.10.93
Nepean Belle 17 20m
Great climbing up a good crack and steep wall. 2m left of Rapid Rider (the big off-width route) at the left end of the cave. Up crack, over bulge, slightly left to BR up to FH (crux) thin moves to jugs and BR, to tree belay.
H Luxford, B Cameron 28.9.93
Rapid Rider 21 20m
A steep hand to overhung off-width crack. Up crack, over bulge, up to wide section and struggle to top. Take large cams.
B Cameron, H Luxford 17.9.93
Flood Regime 12 12m
A delightful little pitch. The obvious thin crack up he three stepped wall. Up the crack, continue to wall, up to BR. Rap off.
H Luxford, B Cameron 22.10.93
Dinghy 10 12m
Nice rock, 40m too short. The red crack 2m right of Flood Regime. Rap off.
B Cameron 22.10.93
Bellbird 12 12m
Same interesting rock. 3m left of Riverbend, line of weakness leading to red scoops. Up to ledge (poor pro). Up scoops to BR under roof, left to BR as for Flood Regime.
B Cameron, H Luxford 22.10.93
* * River Bend 15 20m
Bound to become a classic. A clean crack. Left of Albert Edward Bennett, the obvious crack on right. Up, slightly left to join crack leading to top, good climbing all the way.
B Cameron, B Moon 24.8.93
Herb Gallop 15 20m
An interesting route up the nose right of River Bend. Good value. The crack line left of the big cave. Up River Bend staying right up big edge to BR, past break to FH (crux), jugs to top.
B Cameron, H Luxford 28.9.93
Albert Edward Bennett 16 12m
A good climb, tricky over slanting roof. At left end of overhangs, the obvious slanting leftward crack/roof at top. Up black like of weakness, up to roof left via hidden handle.
B Cameron, B Moon 24.8.93
Fairlight 19 12m
A bouldery crux with some nice moves. Wall with 2 BR a few metres left of Sun and Water. Up hollows, 2 BR to thin moves and cams to top.
B cameron, H Luxford 17.9.93
Sun and Water 14 12m
Interesting. Good orange rock. Start below cave/hollow with crack inside a few metres left of Kerridancer. Up to hollow, left to join wall/crack to top.
B Cameron, H Luxford 17.9.93
Kerridancer 17 12m
A great little route. The crack and orange wall to the left of Dodger, past orange scoops.
B Cameron, B Moon 24.8.93
Dodger 16 12m
Good climbing, harder than it looks. The off-width black start left of Warragambadamba.
B Moon, B Cameron 24.8.93
Steamer 19M0 12m
Steep. Good fun. Left of Warragambadamba, at orange streak, The crux hand hold broke off. Clip the first BR with a stick. Up BR as hold, 2 BR and cams to top (free).
B Cameron, H Luxford 14.10.93
Warragambadamba 19 12m
An excellent finger pocket crack. Left of Nathanial Norton, left of block. Good pro.
B Cameron, B Moon 24.8.93
Nathaniel Norton 12 10m
A good introduction to the crag. The last crack at the end of the terrace, which tends left. Good pro.
B Cameron, B Moon 24.8.93

Riverside Crag

There is an unclimbed roof crack at the left end of the crag, for anybody into that sort of thing.

* A Load Of laughs 19 12m
Great rock, good climbing. The obvious round arete just left of 49 Special. Up arete, BR. Up to stance BR left to below bulge BR (best clipped by abseil). Up to BR on ledge, up to top.
B Cameron, H Luxford 1.12.93
49 Special 15 12m
Great rock and climbing. The orange/brown thin corner. Up corner, left at roof, up past small bush in corner.
B Cameron, H Luxford 1.12.93
* Waterline 14 12m
Fun with good positions. On the wall right of ALOL and 49S. Line of weakness up through roofs with figtree at half height. Up to BR, up to right continue to pockets and BR to finish up right. The bolts are suspect so take a full set of cams.
B Cameron, H Luxford 1.12.93
Tram Track Crack 11 12m
Nice rock. The arching thin crack below the old tram tracks. Up crack and wall.
B cameron 20.12.93
Scream Gems 10 12m
Mixed climbing. Nose right of Tram Tracks. Up nose/wall, crack to finish.
B Cameron 20.12.93
A Head For Heights 15 17m
The flood gauge adds variety. Arete right of gauge. Left from ledge to nose then up 4 BR to tree belay.
H Luxford, B Cameron 20.12.93
The Gauge This Season 12 17m
Nice orange rock. The thin corner/crack right of flood gauge. Up corner BR (poor bolt) to ledge, join A Head For Heights to finish.
B Cameron, H Luxford 20.12.93
Penthouse Pests 11 15m
The obvious cracks right side of river gauge.
S Chambers, H Luxford, B Darmanin, D Darmanin 12.12.93
Out For A Duck 18 12m
Roof is fun. Start in centre of cave/roof with black wall above, about 3m right of The Gauge This Season. Up roof BR, pullaround to BR then easily up wall.
H Luxford, B Cameron 20.12.93
Green Slime 10 12m
Easy ramble. The round nose left of Slipperydip past 2BR.
B Cameron, H Luxford 20.12.93
Slipperydip 13 18m
Black corner left of black slab/wall. Bridge up to ledge - easy to top, 1 BR.
H Luxford, S Kitchen 8.12.93
Blackboard 15 18m
Start in centre of black wall. Up easy slab/wall to ledge. Up steep wall to top ledge. 3 BR.
H Luxford, S Chambers, D Darmanin, B Darmanin 12.12.93
Riverside View 13 20m
At left hand end of yellow/orange rock. Easily up to ledge. Bridge to next ledge. Chimney/jamb to top 3 BR.
H Luxford, S Kitchen 8.12.93
Don't Carp On It 19M0 20m
Two overhangs and a good wall, good climb. Start at right edge of big overhang. P1. Steep wall to overhanging ledge, awkward, then corner to large ledge. Belay. P2. Up thin crack and overhang (M0) to top. Top overhang can be avoided by going right, easier.
H Luxford, S Chambers 12.12.93