Should you do Story Bridge Adventure Climb? Yes. The answer is a resounding yes. There you go, you don’t need to read the rest of this article if you’re short on time.
I completed the Story Bridge Adventure Climb in August 2020. I have to admit, being a Brisbane local for 5.5 years, it was never very high on my list, as often tourist attractions in your own town can be. However, after Story Bridge Adventure Climb reopened after lockdown, I thought now is better than ever to experience all the things I had listed as ‘yeah one day I’m sure I’ll get to that’ while supporting our local tourism industry at the same time. My friend, Emily, and I were both blown away, not only to see Brisbane from a unique perspective, but to learn so much about the history of the city and the bridge itself.
We booked the twilight climb (5:20pm as it was winter), meaning the sun was setting behind the Brisbane skyscrapers as we were ascending, and we enjoyed the city lights for the majority of the climb.
First things first – we wore free moving clothes (e.g. active wear) and enclosed shoes. When you check in, you’re given a grey & blue jumpsuit that goes over your clothes. These are incredibly light but surprisingly keep you very warm, which was great as we weren’t sure whether we needed to bring a jumper (we didn’t). We had to remove all jewellery (including watches) and any necessities like glasses were connected to your jumpsuit to stop them falling on the passing cars should they slide off while up on the climb.
Unfortunately (although understandably) you are unable to bring your own camera equipment. All of these photos were taken by our guide Adam and purchased as part of photo package (about $24AUD) at the end of the climb.
After we got into our jumpsuits and were harnessed up, we were ready to go.
We approached Story Bridge from underneath on the Kangaroo Point side of the Brisbane River. Ascending up narrow stairs, you slowly came level with the passing cars (apparently 91,000 cars cross Story Bridge everyday!), before ascending further up the long arms of the bridge.
Along the way, we stopped and learnt about Story Bridge and Brisbane City and how both were built and developed. We learnt really interesting things such as (what is now known as) the Story Bridge Hotel in Kangaroo Point was originally meant to be demolished in line with the Bridge development. However upon learning this the bridge workers went on strike to save the hotel, meaning the road linking to the bridge was redesigned to go around the hotel.
We also learnt that the sharp cliff face behind Felons Brewing Co, was actually cut to shape and the material was used to build Customs House. We learnt how New Farm suburb got its name (hilariously, by being the site where a new farm was built… very creative) and how, although it was built using the same method as the Brooklyn Bridge, only 3 people had died in the construction of Story Bridge (although they had boats permanently stationed in the river for the workers that fell to quickly go and pick them up before they drowned, which apparently saved lives… crazy).
In addition to learning about the history and quirks, which left us with a deeper appreciation for Brisbane than what we had had a few hours earlier, it was absolutely stunning to view the twinkling city lights from a much greater height than you get from passing through on the footpath below.
From start to finish, the experience took 2 hours. We ate beforehand, which was recommended, as it meant we weren’t famished by the end of it. If you are scared of heights but still want to do it, I do recommend. The guide makes you feel very comfortable and keeps a special eye out if anyone is afraid. I would also recommend going on the twilight or night climb, so you’re not as focused on the distance between the river and you.
I’d highly recommend taking a few hours out to explore Brisbane from a different angle. You won’t regret it!
You can book your own Story Bridge Adventure Climb directly from their official website: Book a Climb.
If you are interested in this, you may also be interested in