Bouldering under a bridge (technically a freeway bridge)? Why not said Auzzie climbers. Climbers are a resourceful, creative bunch. It’s a sport that attracts minds which love to solve and fix problems in the most creative ways with the least amount of resources. It also attracts individuals who like to do things their own way, particularly if it’s way outside the norm and semi-“impossible”.
Enter Chris Shepherd and his gang of local climbers. Ten years ago, they got inspired and decided under the Monash Freeway in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne would be a very cool climbing spot. So, they jerry-rigged a few holds into the cement pillars to create some pumpy bouldering problems set in a very unique and atmospheric location. The entire structure vibrating as large semi-trucks rumbled overhead only adds to the atmosphere, right?
The city got wind of the climbing area and quickly tried to shut it down claiming it was unsafe. Undeterred by this minor setback, and still dreaming of a sub-freeway bouldering wall, the climbers with the help of the Victorian Climbing Club went through traditional legal channels to prove that the wall could be safe, well maintained, and fit within city permits. In 2006, 130 volunteers worked on the area for over four months to build three bouldering walls, padding on the ground, picnic tables and lights for night climbing.
The result of this hard work and interesting vision is one of the coolest places to boulder in Australia…arguably the world. It’s become a local hangout of the climbing community, with climbers from all over the world gathering during the day and evenings to boulder, swap climbing war stories, share tips on Australia, and form lasting friendships. Visiting the Burnley Bouldering Wall now, it seems the most natural spot to boulder — thanks to the vision, creativity and persistence of climbers who wanted a Melbourne bouldering wall with character.
Closest public transportation – Burnley Train Station