It might not be the stairway to heaven but you also can’t check out anytime you like on the SkyPoint Climb. Once you’re on your way up the stairs to the top of the tallest building on the Gold Coast, attached to a safety rail with a handful of other travellers, you’re set to reach the highest point on the Gold Coast on top of Q1.
The SkyPoint Climb and SkyPoint Observation Deck are part of the SkyPoint complex at Q1 which is still one of the tallest residential towers in the world at 77 floors and 322.5 metres high. It’s at the Observation Deck that you get to appreciate the stunning 360-degree views of the Gold Coast and beyond. With the SkyPoint Climb, you also get to step outside and see the view without the glass and feel the wind on your face.
It takes less than a minute to walk from the Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise to Q1 where the SkyPoint Climb is located. As I step inside the SkyPoint Climb office at the base of the Q1 building with my family, I am keeping an eye on the dark clouds outside, hoping they hold off for another hour or two. A staff member greets us with a warm smile and announce that we have a personal tour as some of the other climbers in our group are running late and are now doing a later climb.
She also informs us there’s no need not worry about the weather as the office uses an expensive state-of-the-art weather observation tool that tells them whether the tour is good to go (and when it’s not). Luckily for us, the weather is clearing despite what the sky looks like, so it’s a thumbs up for our climb.
We are introduced to our bright and cheery Climb Leader, Georgia, who will be taking us up to the top of Q1 and equally enthusiastic Assisting Climb Leader, Jake, who helps to kit us out in our climbing gear and performs double checks to ensure we are locked in tight, safe, and ready to go.
Our guides run us through the safety checklist and give us a breathalyser test as they can’t have anyone over 0.5 on the tour for safety. As it’s early morning, there’s no chance of us having a few chardonnays at brekky instead of orange juice so we’re in the clear. If you don’t like the heat, an early morning or twilight tour is the way to go as it can get hot on top of the building. Even then, it’s still a good idea to wear sunscreen on your face and the back of your neck.
We’re given a branded SkyClimb cap which has an anchor clip that sunglasses etc can be attached to and which then doubles as a SkyClimb souvenir when you leave. Our guides take us through the suiting up process which includes grey overalls and harnesses with multiple connections and safety clips. After cross-checking all our gear, we proceed to the elevators in Q1 for a very fast ride up to level 77. They’re some of the fastest in Australia and have you at the top in under a minute and also come with a monitor on the ceiling so you can watch the ascent.
Stepping onto the SkyPoint Observation Deck, we receive lots of attention from fellow visitors as we proceed to the airlock doors that lead to the SkyPoint Climb stairs and platform. It is at this point that you might get a little nervous but fear not as in reality it’s just a set of stairs and a platform attached to a building, albeit a very tall building. The fact you’re 78 floors above the bustling streets of Surfers Paradise below when you’re standing on the platform is nothing to worry about, especially with a very capable and entertaining guide to talk you through any sections you find a bit challenging.
We take our time as we attach our harnesses to a guide rail and proceed with Georgia up the stairs to the top platform. We frequently stop at points along the way so Georgia can point out landmarks and tell a few tales about Q1 and what is arguably the Gold Coast’s most famous strip of sand. Along the way, she sets up different photo opportunities that get the best out of the SkyClimb experience and the view. If you want to, you can lean right out over the edge of the building to look down at the streets below and get a great photo (all completely safe, don’t worry) or, if you aren’t feeling that adventurous, you can sit on the stairs and check out the view.
Georgia also tells us about the best times to experience the view if we wish to return to SkyPoint. Along with the obvious sunrise and sunset SkyPoint climbs, she also suggests climbing during whale season and also doing the climb during storm season when storms start brewing far away in the distance and the lightning show is superb. If you don’t want to do the climb again, the Observation Deck stays open even when a storm is raging outside. You can see the lightning around the Gold Coast and feel your hair stand on end.
As an extra highlight while at the very top of Q1, we get to see the surf lifesavers at Surfers Paradise conducting a rescue drill with the SLS helicopter, jet skis and zodiacs. We take in the action of the ‘rescue’ and also take our time at the top where Georgia takes lots of family and solo shots, all of which are available for sale at the gift shop on return. You also get a free souvenir photo included as part of your climb experience. It’s amazing to look all the way down the side of the building to the big lagoon pool area at Q1 below. The time passes all too quickly and it is time for us to descend down the stairs and exit back to the Observation Deck.
We do another quick ride in the elevator and back to the SkyPoint Climb HQ for our gear return and also photo assessment. Luckily we all come out looking happy and relaxed while leaning over the edge some 78 stories high. It’s a credit to Georgia’s photography skills and the way she was able to make us all feel confident to get the most out of our climb.
As part of the SkyPoint Climb, we are also given tickets to access the Observation Deck for a different view of the Gold Coast that’s just as spectacular in its own way. I wish those storm clouds had hung around and delivered a bit of action after our climb! If you’re wondering whether the SkyPoint Climb is worth doing and offers value for money, there is no need. Combined with excellent guides that had us laughing and happy for our entire adventure, this made for a truly memorable Gold Coast experience.
Disclosure: The writer did the tour as a guest of SkyClimb and highly recommends it as a ‘must do’ for local and international travellers visiting the Gold Coast.
Looking for some things to do on the Gold Coast? Some of our favourite Gold Coast activities include hot air ballooning, whale watching, jet boating, visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or David Fleay Wildlife Park, indoor skydiving with iFly, bushwalking in the Gold Coast’s national parks, SkyPoint Climb, exploring the Gold Coast’s markets, checking out the local cafe scene, and enjoying the Gold Coast for free. There’s also plenty of fun to be had if you visit the Gold Coast in winter or have some wet weather.