15km south of the town of Margaret River is a little corner of paradise called Bob's Hollow, one of WA’s best sport climbing crags, offering steep limestone walls and more than 20 established routes.
Bob’s is famous for steep limestone walls, strange stalactite formations and white sandy beaches. Mostly climbs of 15-20m. Reach the top and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding bushland. It is not a sea cliff though; the crag is around 100m inland from the beach.
The crag is a beautiful limestone cliff with vertical to steep overhanging walls. The limestone is generally very solid, although it has only a hard outer crust. Some parts of the cliff, such as the large open cave in the southern section of the crag, show the soft sandy material that lies behind the crust. Be warned that limestone caves and overhangs are potentially dangerous – there have been instances of limestone caves collapsing along the coast.
Almost all climbs are equipped with glue-in bolts and lower-off anchors so you can leave the rack at home: all you’ll be needing is a set of draws, although, a few climbs require bolts plates so check the route descriptions.
Bob’s Hollow can be climbed at all year round. Although it gets very hot in summer, the cliff faces east so it gets morning shade, with the northern most section being in shade until around 2pm. In other seasons, the crag can be climbed at all day, even if there is light rain although high humidity will make all the holds very greasy.
The Bob’s Hollow crag is situated in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Nation Park and is managed by WA’s Conservation and Land Management (CALM) body. The CALM management plan for the park states that climbing is not permitted on any limestone cliffs within the national park. Therefore, you climb at Bob’s Hollow at your own risk. Camping is not permitted here – at the car park or in the cave. CALM will fine you if they catch you.
There are a number of options for getting to Bob’s Hollow. If you have a 4WD you can drive to the crag via a rocky track. From Margaret River, travel south along Caves Rd. Approximately 2.5 km south of the Redgate Rd intersection, turn right (west) onto an unsealed track (Bob’s Hollow Rd), which is opposite the Calgardup Cave car park. The drive to the crag along the track takes around 15 min. The track is pretty rough with some tricky rocky sections to negotiate and thick scrub close to the track on either side just waiting to put scratches in your paintwork. A 4WD with decent clearance and low range is required here – no Subaru’s or Honda’s unless you’re happy to collect a few dents and potentially more serious damage on the under-body. At the car park, walk down the gully to the north and follow the base of the cliff, past the cave, for around 200m to the first routes (Northern End).
If you don’t have a 4WD or don’t want to risk any damage, you’re going to have to walk around 45 mins. You can walk along the 4WD track however it is much nicer to walk in along Conto’s Beach from the south. Follow Caves Rd past the 4WD track entrance and turn right at the Lake Cave entrance. After several hundred metres turn left into Conto Rd and continue for approximately 4 km before turning right at the Conto Spring Beach sign. Proceed to car park. From the car park walk north along the beach for about 45 minutes to Bob’s Hollow. You will walk past Split Rock, a rocky point and from there you will have a further 300m before you see the Bob’s Hollow cliffs a couple of hundred metres inland. There are several tracks into Bob’s from the beach.