Photography Magazine

Climbing The Q1 Building In Surfers Paradise

By Littlebckpacker @littlebckpacker

DCIM100GOPROBefore I arrived on the Gold Coast, Vicky had sent us the first day’s itinerary. We landed at lunch after a full day of travelling only to be thrown in to not one but two afternoon activities! The first was jet boating the second was a climb on top of the Q1 building, the tallest building on the Gold Coast. Passing the time in Melbourne airport that morning I had stupidly googled the climb to find out more. It looked TERRIFYING and being completed jet lagged I was feeling rather nervous about it all.

The climb entailed us exiting the building at the top and then climbing up and down some stairs around the edge of the building. Now I’ve skydived before and was not the least bit nervous but as we got kitted up for our climb my nerves were all over the place. All I could think of was standing in the glass box of the Chicago Willis Tower or walking out on the bridge for the bungee jump In South Africa. I just hated looking down to see the ground so far away.

Eventually we made our way up in the lift and to the exit door, we had opted for the twilight climb and the sky was looking glorious! This was a welcome distraction to my nerves as we had to attach our runners on to the bar and start the steep climb up the first set of stairs. That was probably the worst bit; once we had scrambled up this flight everything seemed a little less scary. The stairs were fully over the top of the building so there was no having to look directly down at the ground. We kept our eyes on the horizon as we ascended up the right side of the building. With every move you had to remember to pull your pulley along with you, having hold of this reminded me I was firmly attached.
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Jodie our guide was less attached as she whizzed around us, taking pictures and chatting to every member of the group. She couldn’t stop telling us how much she loved her job and how being up here every day made her feel alive. She had so much information to tell us about the Gold Coast and Q1 building too. She certainly did a great job of distracting us all from our fears and really made the whole thing enjoyable.

Yes I did just describe the Q1 climb as enjoyable and as we approached the mid-point (also the highest part) Jodie decided it was time we all tried something properly scary. This involved putting our feet on the edge of the platform, leaning backwards and then letting go of everything to put our hands in the hair. It was terrifying and out of the six of us, I was the only one to complete the challenge.

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After that heart pumping experience it was all quite calm and relaxing afterwards. We stayed on the top platform watching the sun set over the Gold Coast and the lights come on in the city. With so many other high rise buildings the city certainly looked exciting as night fell. We ascended down the stairs on the other side of the building, taking our time to really take it all in this time. We had all certainly relaxed at this point and really didn’t want to come down. This was such a turnaround from our nerves and protests at having to do such a ridiculous thing at the start.
Due to an event taking place on the top floor that night we weren’t able to visit the observational deck. However because we were visitors of the Gold Coast Tourism Board a special arrangement was made for us to take our cameras up on the climb with us. This activity was part of my I’m A Backpacker competition prize with I was not asked to write about these activities and all opinions are my own.


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