Heading southeast and inland from Gerringong, the terrain begins to shift and morph, the flat, caramel coloured beaches giving way to green hills then the high, grey crags of Nowra.

Just half an hour away from The Lodge, Nowra is considered, by seasoned pros, to have some of the best sports climbing and bouldering in the state. With deep valleys carved over millions of years by Shoalhaven River, the rock faces here boast hundreds of exhilarating and challenging climbs. And while the routes are mostly for those with a high level of experience, there are a handful that are well suited to beginners.

Walls, roofs, and slabs feature across this climbers’ haven, with almost all routes pre bolted for guidance and safety. With dozens of crags to choose from, including Thompson’s Point (367 routes) and Descent Gully wall (38 routes)—each with its own crazy cross-hatching of rock riddles to scale and conquer—Nowra is an absolute must for climbing enthusiasts.

Nowra’s bouldering is hailed as the toughest in the state, too. And due to the fact that ropes aren’t needed to get going, the sport is more likely to appeal to people who want to get up on a rock without the hassle of being harnessed and hitched. Typically, with bouldering, soft mats are placed beneath the chosen route to catch the climber when they fall. For some, this is thought of as being almost as much fun as the climb itself. Definitely something to try.