610 Dominion Rd, Balmoral, ph (09) 630 6040, open weekdays 10am-8pm, weekends and holidays 10am-6pm, children (under 6) $10, children (7-17) $15, students $17, adults $18.
Billed as ideal for people aged three to 93, Clip 'n Climb is where theme park entertainment meets the challenge of climbing walls, with 36 walls of fun. Funky challenges, plus an automatic belay system and fall arrest block, which means you don't need partners (kids aged 13 and under must be directly supervised while climbing). Bookings essential, sessions start every hour with a safety briefing.
2. Extreme Edge
40c Morrin Rd, Panmure, ph (09) 574 5677, open 7 days 10am-10pm, pre-schoolers $7.50, kids (6-15) $15, adults $20.
One of a chain of dedicated and advanced climbing facilities, with over 600sq m of climbing surface, 35 separate lines of roped routes for beginners through to pros. Start with a lesson in the kids' area, then they're ready to climb on their own (otherwise they need an adult to belay). Check out yearly memberships, birthday parties or corporate team building and the term-time kids' club on Sundays or Tuesday nights when the bug bites.
3. Birkenhead War Memorial Park Leisure Centre
Mahara Rd, ph (09) 418 4109. Open Mon-Fri, 6am-9pm, weekends 8am-7pm.
With fun groups like the rock hoppers (kids 7-8), sports climbers (10-16), and adults, enthusiastic instructors and a neighbouring outdoor heated pool and skateboard park, this is a great neighbourhood facility. The newest wall has realistic crags and is perfect for transitioning into outdoor climbing.
Level 1, 17 Symonds Street, ph (09) 373 7599 ext 85174. $10 for students and staff, $15 for public (15 years plus).
Health and safety regs now mean that this terrific wall is open only for low-level bouldering but not rope climbing. Keep checking the website for updates of climbing club activities, classes and bouldering competitions.
9 Triton Ave, Mt Maunganui, ph (07) 572 4920. Open Tues-Fri 12pm-8pm (school holidays: open at 10am), weekends 10am-6pm. Day passes: kids (up to 12) $12, students $14, adults $16.
With 700sq m of climbing and a large boulder room with 14 continuous metres of roof, there's plenty at The Rock House to keep you challenged. Ask about the Saturday morning junior rock climbing club during term time.
Lots of school holiday groups use the house, otherwise kids need a belay adult during the holidays.
Adult club nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays will help you to grow into the sport. And look out for the national championships series through winter.