Climbing High on the Q1 SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast

posted in: Australia, Cities, Queensland | 56

I wonder if you lovely readers had a glimpse of me walking on Glass on the 68th floor of the Komtar tower in Penang. In case you have missed that, you can catch it here. For those of you who recall, remember how fast your heart started beating when you saw the busy streets below. I remember how a lot of you thought that I was crazy brave to have done that. Well, now you will think I am crazy mad to have climbed outside a building from its 77th floor. Yep – I did that at the Skypoint Climb in Gold Coast!!!

sitting on that glass on the 68th floor, Komtar Penang

From the 77th floor, I climbed outside the tallest building of Gold Coast – Q1 and ascended around 300 more steps. It might have been the 2nd tallest building in Southern Hemisphere but it sure was high. However, when you have scintillating views accompanied with the right dose of adrenaline, there is no way that you will not enjoy this experience. How about giving it a shot virtually first – with me – as I share this unforgettable thing to do in Gold Coast.

About the SkyPoint Climb at Q1

The SkyPoint Climb as seen from Surfer's Paradise in Gold Coast

Built in 2005, Q1 is one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. The initial structure just had an observation deck on the 77th floor that gave a lovely 360 view of Gold Coast. Later, a new construction was undertaken to create an external climb to this already tall building. In 2011, the highest external building climb in Australia was opened to the daring. The already 230 m high building now had an additional 40 m, creating an opportunity to literally be on the top of Gold Coast. With the right safety precautions and a beautiful 90 min long experience, the SkyPoint Climb in Gold coast has become one must-do activity in Queensland.

Butterflies in an empty stomach

To tell you the truth, when I saw the pictures on the internet, I already had butterflies in my tummy. Thanks to my friend Hina’s constant encouragement, I quelled a few as I got ready to climb up the man-made Everest of Gold Coast. Up and out of our hotel, we headed straight to Q1 as our first stop for “Brekkie” that morning.

Before we went for our first meal of the day, we stopped by at the reception of the SkyPoint Climb to deposit our favored contraptions for the climb. Typically, no cameras are allowed on this high climb but since we were the favored bloggers, we were allowed one. The chosen gadget was to be safely tagged and bound with tapes so that the only way they would fall is if we fell first. (Gulp!).

The Skypoint Observatory Deck at Q1, Gold Coast

Having signed our disclaimer forms, we were escorted to the high-speed elevator that took us to the 77th floor in flat  43 minutes. Yep, no typos here – FORTY-THREE SECONDS from the ground floor to 77th floor. I had to attempt a very un-fashionable yawn to release the little bubble in my ear and equalize the pressure!

The smell of Fresh Ground Coffee greeted us at the SkyPoint Observation Deck. The Breakfast Spread did look scrumptious but I somehow, could not taste it all. In fact, I don’t recall what I ate for when views from the 77th floor made me realize how far the ground really was. The unease and fear aggravated the butterflies in my empty stomach and I just could not wait to finish the 90 minutes of bravado that I had undertaken.

Prep for the SkyPoint Climb

Harnessed and safe at the SkyPoint Climb

Done with whatever I ate, we made our way back to the ground floor for our briefing. Once clothed in those special grey overalls, we were instructed to start wearing our harness. Of course, prior to the outfit, we were to empty our pockets and leave all our belongings in the locker. The only thing that you are allowed to carry is a cap (if you have one) and your sunglasses. Even these are securely fastened to your special climb suit.

Our Guide for the day at the SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast

All suited and ready, we followed our guide for the day in the same elevator, back to the 77th floor. Choosing to be in the middle, we lined up outside the glass door that led you out of the building high above the land. With our guide in the front, one by one, we were handed out a contraption like a magnetic nook that fastened us securely to the railing. “Drag and climb” – said our guide – “And Don’t worry, you are now only going to be released once you are back through the door“. Words of comfort? Don’t know!

Step one followed by two

Typically when you step onto a glass skywalk or if you try out one of those rides at a height, you can just close your eyes and scream your guts out. However, what do you do when you have to “Drag and climb”?. With no choice but open eyes, I gingerly stepped outside the building.

Start of the SkyPoint Climb

I hazarded a look below only to be pleasantly relieved that the metallic mesh of the staircase obstructed the busy streets of Gold Coast. To some extent, this was a soothing balm and with a determined look ahead, I slowly climbed up. This was the first time that I had the camera in my hand and I could not even think of using it. It was just one single point focus of safely putting one leg above the other and climbing.

After the first 15 steps. I relaxed. Somehow, this was safe. It was secure and it felt right! Drag and climb – now that was easy enough. My fear gave way to my inherent shutterbug, and I got the camera working.

Gold Coast as never seen before

The Southern Coastline of Gold Coast stretching towards New South Wales

Once we had reached the apex of the climb, it was hard not to gasp – not out of fear but of seeing a beautiful Gold Coast around. The endless shoreline with its glistening blue waters and Golden sands – now I know why this place was called Gold Coast. Our guide first got us to release a few grapples on the harness so that we could walk around while being still attached to the railing. The first thing we did were a few pictures of us where we looked as if we were stepping off the building.

Stepping out at the SkyPoint Climb
Atop the SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast

Once the trick photography session was done, our guide oriented us to the various views of the city. While on one side we could see the entire Surfer’s paradise, our hotel QT and Broadway, on the other side, at the far end was the rainforest Hinterland.

The merging waters of Gold Coast
The blue waters of Gold Coast
The Gold Coast bungalows around the canals

It was quite illuminating to see the Gold Coast city from atop the SkyPoint climb for I never realized that it has a lovely network of canals. Our guide mentioned that these were infested with Sharks that came in from the sea. He also, told that just the day before, they had spotted the first whale of the season. Given a few more days, these sightings from the SkyPoint Climb would be quite normal.

The sharks infested canals of Gold Coast
More of the interiors of Gold Coast

At the far end, I could see a stadium that I believe, was a part of the Commonwealth Games. And around it, in the center of the surrounding canals, were the homes of the wealthy – most of who keep it as their holiday home!

Descending to reality

When I started the climb, I was counting every minute for I was anxious to get it over with. However, with that fear gone, I forgot about the ticking clock and before we knew it, it was time to descend back to reality. I would have loved to do the descend with my head turned towards the staircase, but our guide and our harnessed hands had it that we had to descend face out.

The Steep descend of Skypoint Climb

Again it took me a few steps to get acclimatized and then, it was a breeze. This time I kept my face up, trying to capture every little scene that I could from this height. I could not believe that I had done it. The SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast was a breeze. Not at all scary and just perfect to see the reason why Gold Coast city is called so.

Now that you have had a taste of this, don’t you think you can take on the challenge of the SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast? Am sure you can and have pinned it as the thing to do when in Gold Coast.

Getting here

  • Gold Coast is well connected by air to the rest of the world. There are plenty of airlines like Flyscoot Airlines that fly in regularly from the key cities of the world.
  • Q1 is located in Surfer’s paradise that is central to the Gold Coast city. You can get here by using a tram or a cab or even a bus. Click this link to get the location on your phone.

Travel Tips

  • You can access the official website of the SkyPoint Climb in Gold Coast by clicking this link. The website gives you the latest rates for booking this climb.
  • There is a Day-Time climb as well as a Twilight climb that you can opt for
  • You are not allowed any cameras or phones when you do the SkyPoint Climb. You will need to leave them in the lockers that are provided here.
  • The overalls used for climbing as well as the harness are provided by the team.
  • The SkyPoint climb is extremely safe. The staircase is closed at both ends by a railing and the stairs have a sturdy flooring. All through the climb, you are locked to the railing and that itself makes the climb secure.
  • Please listen to the briefing and instructions given by the guide. As long as you follow the same, there is no cause for fear.
  • The SkyPoint Deck on the 77th floor has a lovely restaurant where you can book yourself for a breakfast or dinner. The deck also allows you a 360 view of the city in a closed setting.

P.S: I visited Gold Coast by invite from Queensland Tourism in collaboration with Flyscoot Airlines

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