See that building up above? Yeah, the really tall one with the spire on top?
That’s the Q1 Building on the Gold Coast. Did you know you can actually climb to the summit? Sounds crazy I know, but it’s called the SkyPoint Climb and it’s one of the new adventurous things to do on the Gold Coast.
The SkyPoint Climb takes you to the top of Q1, Australia’s tallest residential building at 270 metres above ground. To put that into perspective, this building is taller than the Chrysler building in New York City.
Piece of cake right?
For me, not so much. I have a deep fear of heights, and whilst I have crazily jumped out of a plane (first and last time) you never quite get over this fear and each new experience makes me nervous.
Caz on the other hand, well, when it comes to heights she’s the braver of the two on our team.
We were booked in for the morning climb at 9.20am, and although apprehensive I was excited that we were going to experience 360 degree views over the Gold Coast region on a beautiful sunny day!
The SkyPoint Climb Experience
Our adventure began with a safety briefing by our climbing guide Rach who fitted us up in a specially designed Climb Suit and full body harness.
My nerves eased when Rach assured us our harness could actually hold the weight of a bus, and once connected to the safety rail the only way to come off was at the end of our climb. Phew!
Unfortunately on these types of activities you can’t take your own camera or mobile phone on the climb, in case you dropped it, so most of the photos in this post are courtesy of Rach and SkyPoint.
We made our way to the starting point of our climb on level 77 via the high speed elevator. It’s one of Australia’s fastest and took us from ground floor to Level 77 in 42 seconds.
It was time to summit SkyPoint.
We were now a nerve wracking 240 meters above street level.
Rach gave us some further instructions, and after exiting the building we were in position to begin our climb to the summit.
In front of us were 298 stairs that would take us to the summit and back.
Treading slowly at first and gripping my harness tight, with each new step I became more comfortable and felt very secure with the internal handrail guiding me skywards.
Within no time I was really enjoying the experience, even turning around and looking down to take in the incredible views and wondered why I was even nervous in the first place – compared to skydiving this was easy!
But then came the step-out sections.
About half-way up the climb you have the opportunity to un-clip part of your harness which lengthens your attachment to the inner handrail and gives you more freedom to move around.
It’s at this point you can step onto these other steps directly on the edge of the building. From here you can lean over the edge and look straight down the 270 metre sheer vertical drop.
This is optional. But I decided what the heck.
Tentatively I got down on one knee and leaned over. It was a LONG way down. I knew I was safe and was firmly secured by the other attachment on my harness, but it still gave me shivers.
It felt like no time before we reached the summit, and the reward was just how I imagined, incredible views over the Gold Coast.
But before we could fully relax, there was one more test of my nerves.
The lean-back section.
Rach again instructed us to un-clip that part of our harness that gave us more length and she demonstrated the lean-back.
Letting go of the inner handrail and turning her back to the vertical drop, she put her heels on the edge of the building and lent back over the edge with two hands in the air and just the harness holding her weight – oh boy!
It came to my turn. Again this is optional, but I wanted to try. Legs shaking I stood on the edge, let go of one hand, but I just couldn’t force myself to lean right back and fully-trust in the harness.
I said with what felt like a fake smile on my face – “you know what, I’m happy to just be up here admiring the views!”
Caz however, she stepped to the edge without a worry in the world.
And then we embraced for a team hug.
Finally we got to relax on the summit deck and appreciate the incredible views up and down the famous coastline and over the canals to the lush hinterland.
We’ve been to the Gold Coast many times, but never seen it from this perspective. To be looking down on the iconic Gold Coast skyline was breathtaking, and I’ve never seen the water in the ocean look so blue and clear.
Looking south we could clearly see all the way to Coolangatta.
To the north we overlooked the second highest building, Soul at 243 metres, and up past the Broadwater.
And to the west we overlooked the million dollar homes on the many canals and the hinterland.
Whilst at the summit Rach chatted to us about the history of the Gold Coast and pointed out some points of interest. Did you know the Gold Coast has a canal system bigger than Venice in Italy? Me either.
We had enough time at the summit to take some creative shots, like laying down with our backs over the edge, and of course the compulsory group shot.
SkyPoint Observation Deck
The SkyPoint climb lasts 90 minutes from beginning to end.
Once we descended and stripped down from our climb outfit, Caz and I took advantage of the free access back up to level 77 and the SkyPoint Observation Deck.
We wanted to make the most of the views and relax with a drink at the Seventy7 Cafe & Bar. I’ve had better coffee, but I don’t think I’ve had a better view.
I took these photos through the glass:
If you have friends or family with you who are not climbers, they can actually watch you do the climb through the glass roof panel from the Observation Deck which is pretty cool.
Either way, don’t miss out on experiencing the best view on the Gold Coast. I’m sure it won’t be that scary for you, and Rach and the guys at SkyPoint will show you a fun time!