Tent sites are well manicured. Facilities are solid. Easy shuttle to The Crossing leaves from the front of house.
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Loved it! Awesome tent site on soft grass, nice kitchen facilities, friendly staff and an easy shuttle to the Tongariro Crossing. Got our first good night's sleep camping here after several other sites around the North Island.
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Well, where should I begin. I have climbed at a lot of climbing walls, as well as outdoor climbing and have also instructed belaying as well as mountaineering and associated ropework. My experience at National Park Backpackers is one I do not want to experience again (I only climbed there, did not stay there).
Firstly, this was the only indoor climbing center I have seen that uses ATCs as a belay device. This is something that requires staff to be constantly watching, as if you let go of the rope, the climber will certainly be injured if they took a fall. While I was there, there was a large group of primary school kids with the belayers being the parents/teachers. I had to cringe as I watched these adults "belay" these kids. I am very thankful there was no accident. While this was happening, there was not a single staff member in the facility, which is a pretty large climbing room with approximately 30 people in there. THIS IS NOT SAFE!!!
Secondly, not a safety matter, but a health matter. It is normally required for people to wear shoes while climbing, whether they be climbing shoes or sneakers. Majority of the kids did not wear shoes. This was evident practice when I got there as all the holds were caked in grease and sweat.
This review is my own personal experience, and I feel a climbing center should have safety at heart. The kids we met at the climbing center were a great bunch and I very much hope they enjoyed there camp. I you are planning on climbing here in the future, please make sure a staff member is watching out for the safety of the climbers.
As an end note, I would like to thank Mike. You seemed to have your hands full at the desk but gave us a good rundown of the gym. cheers