The thrill of SkyPoint climb!

After witnessing the spectacular Sunrise covered in the last post, we were lined-up to undertake Australia’s highest external building climb in the first batch at 7AM. When we reached, we got to know (to our surprise) were the only ones who registered for this time of the hour…and i must say that was a blessing since the guide was solely dedicated to us 🙂

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The building itself it referred to as Q1, and had a Q1 observation deck when it opened up in 2005. After a couple of acquisitions, the Australia’s only beachside observation deck was rebranded as SkyPoint Climb. They have an express elevator that takes you 77 floors up in just 43 seconds and you can actually watch the statistics live as you go up on a big screen fitted in the ceiling of the elevator.

Once at the deck, we were safely harnessed to a purpose-build rail system and taken out to walk up the steps. As we started climbing with the guide, we stopped at each step to experience the thrill and the 360 panoramic views of the Gold Coast region – from the surf to the hinterland and even beyond. We were not allowed cameras; the guide clicks pictures for you, which you can purchase later (only one picture per person is free).

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As we reached the platform at the top, a cool 270 meters above the sea level, we could actually live the adventure and the excitement took a whole new high. We were immersed in the stunning views of golden sands, lush, tropical mountains and the Gold Coast’s city scape at our feet.

YourPhoto_0003YourPhoto_0010You can’t blink your eyes looking at the spectacular beauty! We didn’t rush through as the entire pedestal was available to us.

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The next was to come all the way down from the other end of the building, and we took our own sweet time, as you can imagine. The entire trip takes about 90 minutes though.

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One at the bottom, we unstrapped ourselves as another exciting part awaited us – breakfast at their cafe (included in our ticket price) on 77th floor, overlooking what we experienced earlier from outside. We were very busy relishing the food there, so didn’t take any pictures.

As one says everything good has to end at some point, we took our memories, went back to the hotel, packed our bags and left for the Airport for our next destination, Sydney!

Gold Coast, a paradise on earth!

Though we saw much more in Melbourne than what i have written about, but for the time being i will take you to the coastal city of Gold Coast, famous for its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife and much more. We were there primarily for its beaches and climbing one of the tallest buildings in Australia.

We like to plan ahead and had all bookings for flights and hotels completed from the U.S. itself. For our flights in Australia, we chose Virgin Atlantic.

Here’s both of us on our way to Gold Cost from Melbourne early Oct.

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After landing at Coolangatta Airport in Gold Coast, to reach our destination Surfers Paradise, we took a Bus to the BroadBeach South and then the G:link train, which is a major attraction in itself. A couple of shots while in transit:

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I must say staying at the Grand Chancellor hotel in Surfers Paradise was an awesome experience. It is not exactly at the beach, but not far from it either. After we checked-in, i couldn’t hold myself from grabbing the stunning views from the balcony 🙂

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Surfers Paradise is a very popular tourist destination in GC, and we had a great time in the evening enjoying its beach, boardwalk, marketplace and night life 🙂

GC has one of the finest beaches i have been to till date! The quality and softness of sand, and its color are a few of the reasons. Just for the context, i covered 13 beaches in the U.S. and Australia in 2015 alone!

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Up next would be the most thrilling adventure one can hope for, undertaking Australia’s highest external building climb, with breathtaking views of the Gold Coast region. Leaving you with its view from the shore for now:

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You can follow me on Instagram @the_learning_step to see many more pics