On Saturday, it was time to use my birthday voucher for the Brisbane Story Bridge Climb.
The bridge climb headquarters are located physically under the Story Bridge on Main Street. When I arrived, I was taken aback by how professional the premises were. For some reason, I had a mental picture that it would, to some extent, be a bit of a backyard type operation – I was very wrong. When you walk in the doors, it’s new, clean, tidy and has a very professional feel.
The climb was scheduled for 5:00pm and we were instructed to be at the headquarters at least 15 minutes prior. Once inside, you hand in your voucher, receive a ticket in its place and take a seat. Shortly, your climb leader will arrive – we had a bloke named Steve and he was excellent.
Your instructor will take you through all the formalities, such as a breath test and indemnity statements. While we waited for everyone to be breath tested (same rules as a car, 0.05 limit) – we went around in a circle and introduced ourselves and grabbed one of the jump suits. Soon enough, we’re downstairs fitting a belt style climbing harness, attaching our accessories and going through how the safety equipment works.
The bridge climb itself was an experience. You start off climbing up a spiral staircase to get up to the underside of the bridge, then walk directly under the bridge until you popup on the eastern side at road height. Soon enough you are faced with the first serious section, where you’re ascending to the viewing platform on the main pier. I didn’t check the time exactly, however I suspect it would have been about 6:15pm by this stage. There was still plenty of light and we had an excellent view around Brisbane – we could even see the sand dunes on Stradbroke Island! We stayed up there for 5-10 minutes, enjoyed the view and had a chat with the rest of the group. You then descend from the main pier to the middle of the Story Bridge where you traverse over to the south side. At this stage, you’ve now completed half of the over all distance and you’ll soon be ascending back to the top of the main pier. Before we reached the top again, the sun had already set and the lights of Brisbane city were on – it was a spectacular view! The photo is shot looking south; the city is on my left with airport on my right. From here, you descend the main pier on your way back to the bridge climb headquarters where you de-kit and cool down.
The climb was fantastic and I’d recommend it to anyone. It wasn’t particularly strenuous; we had a couple in the 50-60 year bracket complete it without a hiccup. During the climb, you’re walking on metal grating which you can see through. Steve informed us that it actually causes more problems for height sensitive people than the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, even though their climb is higher; however the walking surface is solid. If you are height sensitive and you think you can overcome it, the experience and views truly are worth your effort.
- The Story Bridge opened on July 6th 1940, after being under construction for approximately 5 years.
- Construction cost was Â£1,492,000. Seven years later, the State Government sold the Story Bridge to the Brisbane City Council for Â£750,000.
- There are 1072 metres between the southern and northern anchor piers which spans 282 metres of water.
- At its highest point, the Story Bridge is 74 metres tall or approximately 22 stories and 24 metres wide.
- There were 12000 tonnes of structural steel, 1650 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 1.5 million rivets used.
- You’ll step up 1100 stairs during the climb.