I’VE been coming to Brisbane for years now, but I’ve never seen it like this.
The peak of iconic Story Bridge may not be the tallest point in the city, but there was no other place where I could feel on top of the world.
Anywhere I looked, I had 360- degree views of the capital.
To the east was Moreton Bay, to the north we could see the Glasshouse Mountains, out west was Mt Coot-tha and Brisbane Forest Park. Looking south, we saw
Lamington National Park and of course, below us, the Brisbane River.
No doubt about it, the Story Bridge Adventure Climb is a thrilling and unique way to take in the city.
We all know about the bridge, right?
But have you ever walked it?
And I’m not talking about crossing from Kangaroo Point to the city, but up to some of Brisbane’s best views.
The climb is a fantastic opportunity to introduce the city to visitors, and a great way to remind long-time residents why they love this city so much.
Our group of climbers for our night walk was a mixed one.
We had couples, groups of friends and tourists.
One person was celebrating his 50th birthday and some others were doing the climb just to cross it off their bucket list.
For me, this was just a great moment to share with a mate.
The romantic at heart may even find the heady heights to be the perfect place to propose.
Turns out you can even get married up there, if you are so inclined.
The kilometre-long walk began at ground level.
Our tour guide took us through the introductions and safety procedures as quick as he could.
The city was turning on great weather, and we wanted to feel the wind through our hair.
After making our way underneath a suspended walkway below the road above, we eventually came to what appeared to be an endless set of stairs: one of the anchor arms of the bridge.
Looking up, I was surprised that this wasn’t included as some physical challenge on The Biggest Loser this year.
Climbing the stairs had my heart pumping, that’s for sure, but that was from the excitement of taking in the city in a way I did not think possible.
Physically, it was no challenge at all. A bit steep maybe, but definitely suitable for all fitness levels and ages. Those stairs lead to the viewing platform, 80m above the river.
As the sun set, the weather was clear and there was not a cloud in the sky. All the stars in the world seemed to form above us.
I guarantee you there was no better view of Brisbane that night.
For the nervous at heart, rest assured: climbers have a complete sense of security the whole time.
Our climb suits and safety harnesses were loaded with more gear than Batman’s utility belt.
Most importantly, all climbers were attached to a static line for the duration of the climb.
We were stocked up on glasses, lanyard, hats, sunscreen, raincoat and a light for the night walkers.
Our tour guide had an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the bridge and its views.
While we could point in any direction and receive a history lesson, the bridge itself that had the most impressive background.
Through our headsets, the story of the Story Bridge unfolded.
It opened on July 6, 1940, five years after construction started and 14 years after initial recommendations for a river crossing in the vicinity. Essentially, the Story Bridge was one of the then government’s three major public works projects, creating years of employment for many men during the Great Depression.
The Story Bridge is the largest steel bridge designed, fabricated and constructed in Australia by Australians.
It’s also one of only three bridge climbs in the world.
All up, the climb was one kilometre and took two-and-a-half hours.
We always had time to take in and observe the environment.
We were also given three diff-erent photo opportunities on our walk. Of course, a big walk like that creates a big appetite.
Dinner wasn’t too far away, thankfully, at the popular Story Bridge Hotel.
We dined in the Shelter Bar: a nice, casual dining environment with indoor and al-fresco options.
My petite eye fillet went down well, thanks to the large selection of beers on offer.
Across the road from the Story Bridge Hotel is Quest on Story Bridge.
I was surprised by the size of our two-bedroom, two-level apartment.
The apartment was air-conditioned and provided us with a relaxing way to end our busy night.
I barely had time to check out the barbecue facilities, in-house movies and on-site gym.
The Story Bridge Adventure Climb operates seven days a week and offers dawn, day, twilight and night tours.
The writer was a guest of Quest, the Story Bridge Hotel and Story Bridge Climb.