Climbing Skypoint At Q1 – 5th Tallest Residential Building In The World

It was my last week in Australia for my third project before going back home, I planned a 3 days vacation which combine my time in lieu at work and few vacation leaves. As per my project schedule it was my last week at work as well, but because of my planned vacation, the last week become my vacation week, my last day at the project ended a week earlier.

I was really excited in my holiday plan in Gold Coast in Queensland, I stayed in Australia for 14 months and never been to Gold Coast until my last week in my project in Australia happened.

In my 3 days holiday, I was not able to squeeze in a tour on my first day as it was the same day of my flight from Melbourne to Gold Coast. I took the earliest flight to Gold Coast but unfortunately even taking earliest flight will not guarantee that I will make it to the tours available because of timing is so close to each other.

After I landed at Coolangatta Airport or Gold Coast Airport , I bought a ticket where it combines airport bus return, local busses around Gold Coast and busses to theme parks at Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle. The airport shuttle bus took me to my accommodation at Meriton Service Apartments Broadbeach wherein I was booked for 3 days.

My first day activity was unplanned and because I am traveling solo, though Gold Coast is famous of theme parks I did not planned to go to any of it because of the main reason that theme parks are not place for a solo travelers. I haven’t tried going to Carnivals alone, because for me, theme parks are places together with friends and families or I may go there if it’s part of the tour that I booked.

After I arrived at the hotel, I did check what’s on in Gold Coast that I can take in the afternoon with the aim to maximize my time until I found Skypoint brochure. I was curious on climbing adventure in the tower ads then I decided to try it. From Broadbeach accommodation, I took local bus and Q1 building which is located in prime location in Surfers Paradise. From bus stop , I walked to reach Q1.

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Q1 Building (from the beach)

At the ground floor, I found the Skypoint Climb store where I bought my ticket for the adventure climb. Because the climb has schedule and I was a bit earlier on the schedule, I went up to Skypoint Observation Deck (entrance included in the climb) which located at 77 to 78 floor. When I hopped in to the elevator, I experienced one of the fastest elevator, we reached the observation deck around 47 seconds and at the ceiling of the elevator, you can see the top and visualize how fast the elevator travels from the bottom to the top and vice versa.

At the Skypoint Observation Deck, I had a great time enjoying 360 degree view of Gold Coast. I saw a beautiful coastline, the city itself and the surrounding nearby mountains and hills in the area. I can’t imagine I was in the tower and seeing all of the views that I only see in TV.

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IMG_5166Around Gold Coast From Skypoint Observation Deck (Before Sunset)

I went down again when the time is almost near for the climb. Then I met the other people who will join the same climb. Our guide met the group and went inside the Skypoint store and there she gave us overview or introduction to the climb activity. Then, told us to prepare ourselves by getting our safety suits and harness equipments, she taught us wearing the stuff while giving useful information of safety climb. Why we were wearing safety uniforms and harness? Because we will climb the top most part of the Q1 building which is outside the observation deck. The idea is already scary and what about the actual feeling at the summit of the tallest building in Australia?

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IMG_5183Around Gold Coast From Skypoint Observation Deck (Night Time)

We were at 77th Floor where we started the climb and we went outside to reach the summit of the building. Our guide helped us and instructed us to put the harness in the grill where it fits and connected us so we will not be fall no matter what happened. We followed the stairs track and we went around the area and the crow’s nest which is the summit of the climb. While we were climbing the stairs, there were part of the climb we looked downward to the ground and other parts of Gold Coast area. We posed in various areas for photo shot. We witness the sunset while climbing the summit and we experienced the cold breeze outside the building.

After spending sometime at the summit. We descent the area and went back to 77th floor. That’s how we ended our Skypoint climb. I sensed that all of us in the group enjoyed the climb adventure.That was the first climb I did in a building and I had a great time. I bought one photo as my souvenir and another free photo which is a group shot for all of us at the summit. Most of the photos shared here were captured at the Skypoint Observation Deck.

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Trekking and Bush Walking at Wilsons Prom

I had been in Australia, specifically in Melbourne for more than a year, but I it was only last May this year that I got a chance to visit Wilsons Promontory National Park (Wilsons Prom or The Prom) . One of the reason why it took me so long to visit this beautiful park was because there is only one tour company that offers a day tour in this amazing park from Melbourne and it only happens during Wednesday and Sunday of the week (sometimes during Friday in summer season). I am not really available every Sunday (only free in some special occasion) and I am working during weekdays. What are my options? File a vacation leave on Wednesday. It was my third assignment in Melbourne and it was my last two weeks in Melbourne as well. My overtime at work has been filed up and I am a person who prefers to offset my working time to a leisure time especially if I am outside my country home.

The overtime that filed-up during deployment in my project, I was able to offset and used it to see Wilsons Prom. Last May 14, 2014, I was book on one day tour for this park and I was honestly excited, it’s been so long since I was with mountain or hills and I really missed it. My last climb that I did back home was last October 2012, a little bit trek in Red Center (Ayers Rock, Kata Juta, Kings Canyon) last March 2013 and in Grampians last July 2013.

It was Wednesday, I woke-up and prepared myself early, though I was a bit of nervous, because I knew for myself that it maybe difficult for me since I was not really physically active and fit for the climb. Because of my eagerness to see great scenery in my tour and because its nature trip which I really love, it did not stopped me to push this tour. The tourist bus came to my hotel where I was staying in Melbourne and dropped us to their office to gather other tourist that will join the same tour.

After few minutes passed, we hit the road to Wilson Prom. Since the The Prom Park is the southern most point of mainland Australia, it took us around four hours to reach the vicinity area of Mount Oberon where the tour starts. The park is part of Gippsland, one of the areas of Victoria that I haven’t really explored yet. One thing that I observed along the way, I can say that Gippsland is a country place in Victoria, most of the things that I saw are farms. I saw similar settings when I went to Howqua Valley and this scenery made me feel relax and calm. I like the scenery because life in the city is really tiring. I felt re-energize every time I will be out-of-town with nature.

We drove halfway of Mount Oberon from the Wilson Promontory Road to Car Park (which part of the mountain), and we trekked half or lesser up to the summit of the mountain. The trek was not the same to my previous climb back home, because the trail is a road that one vehicle can pass through it, I don’t need to crawl or hang to tree branches and roots. The ascent was literally walking in steady incline road and it was difficult for me since I am not used to exercise. I think I was the last person to reach the summit because I did not put pressure to myself to be with my group, most of them were fast and I knew that it was really easy for them. I felt again being like asthmatic that I always catch my breath, but I knew that it was normal for me because I am always like that in the first part of my every climb.

IMG_4941Walking trail track

IMG_4939Boulder Part before the summit of Mount Oberon

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Some views while climbing the boulder before summit

While ascending, I appreciated the nature and felt the fresh air, then thought that kind of feeling cannot be experience while living in the city. The road trail were ended  and the boulder part of the summit appears, the good thing about it is that trail has handrail that made the climb easier. The weather was great and I was able to reach the peak. Though I was tired but the view that I saw at the top was stunning that I felt every fatigue that I had while on my way to the summit were all gone. From the peak, I saw the following panoramic views of some coastline of Wilson Prom peninsula, bays, beaches and some islands. After spending sometime for photos, we had our lunch in the summit and took some time to rest while enjoying the views.

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IMG_4891Norman Bay, Norman Beach, Pillar Point, Squeaky Beach
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IMG_4923Mount Oberon Summit Panoramic Views

After sometime, our tourist guide decided to descend the mountain, then we moved to another area and discussed the next activity that we will be doing around Wilson Prom. The plan was to walk in two beaches around the area namely Norman Beach and Squeaky Beach. From the car park where we ended the hike in Mount Oberon , we drove to Norman Beach car park area. And from there we did walk in the beach.  It’s in Norman beach where we found the beautiful waves coming to the coast at the summit of Mount Oberon. After enjoying few minutes of taking photos in Norman bay we moved to another parking area where we did a little bit of trek to go around Pillar Point where the Tidal River track and Squeaky Beach Track are joined. During the walk and trek I saw the beautiful river of Tidal River when crossed it from Tidal River Track. Aside from panoramic and scenic view of the river, I did enjoy as well the views of the coastline until we reach Squeaky Beach.

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Some Snapshots at Norman Beach

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IMG_5011Some birds at Norman Beach Car Park

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IMG_5017Bridge in Tidal River

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IMG_5023Tidal River

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IMG_5038Panoramic View With Tidal River

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IMG_5045Panoramic View of Norman Beach

IMG_5047Panoramic View of Squeaky Beach

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IMG_5054Panoramic View of Squeaky Beach

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IMG_5056Squeaky Beach Track

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IMG_5063Squeaky Beach Track

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IMG_5137Panoramic View of Squeaky Beach

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IMG_5145Near Squeaky Beach

IMG_5147Squeaky Beach Car Park

After bush walk and beach walk, the tour was finished and before we totally left Wilsons Prom, we stopped in one area in the national park after we saw animals beside the road, we saw wombats and kangaroos and I enjoyed watching wombats because they were hiding and avoiding people. Wombat is an animal that is nice to hug like a teddy bear.

I also learned that name of the national park was came from Thomas Wilson (when he was honored by their friends namely Matthew Flinders and George Bass – Explorers who discovered one part or another of Australia).