First step hardest bridge to cross on abseil

There's a fleeting thought one has when about to step off a 33m-high platform above the Brisbane River: "Don't do it!".

It's the primal drive for self-preservation that freezes arm muscles and causes legs to tremble.

The drone of cars travelling over the Story Bridge above does little to ease the nerves.

The faces of my two guides, James and Jack, beaming broad smiles back at me, are also little comfort.

In this moment of trepidation, my mind morphs their grinning faces into the hardened stares of Captain Flint and his sidekick Long John Silver about to force me from the plank.

Less than 24 hours earlier, standing safely in an office high rise across the river, I had proudly dismissed any suggestion of fear before my colleagues.

In fact, I had no great expectations of the newest Story Bridge Adventure Climb - the Abseil Climb.

I anticipated it would be little more than a leisurely morning stroll followed by a rare bout of exercise.

But, I confess, I underestimated it.


Now, staring down the white face of a concrete pylon beneath the Story Bridge, I am regretting my initial impudence.

The Abseil Climb has been in the works for two years due to a lengthy development approval process and renovations needed on the heritage-listed bridge.

Abseilers first walk to the 80m peak of the Story Bridge and then down the opposite side to one of its pylons above Kangaroo Point's Captain Burke Park.

From there, they zip down the anchor pier on the southern side of the bridge.

The abseil climb opens to the public on December 10, after operators received 4000 expressions of interest.

I had little desire to climb a structure I see daily from the window of my city office.

However, getting up close and personal with the Brisbane landmark brings surprises.

There's a deeper appreciation for the impressive steel structure after touching the large screws and bolts during the first leg of the climb.

And high above roadway, with a breeze in your hair, the bird's-eye view of Brisbane is spectacular.

Despite being born and bred in this city, only now do I consider myself a true Brisbanite.

With one deep breath, I launch myself from the top of the pylon, release the rope and I'm zipping towards the soft grass below.

It's surprisingly exhilarating.

The adrenaline rush is unexpected, but welcomed.

There's also a real sense of achievement, although I'm told children aged 10 have gone before me with less panic and colourful language.

“It's for school kids, grannies and everything in between,” says instructor Bradley Craig.

But I say, don't underestimate it.


The Abseil Climb starts from $119 and $101.50 concession, but special deals are available occasionally. Special rates also apply for group bookings.

Fast Facts

Climbs depart from Story Bridge Adventure Climb headquarters at 170 Main Street, Kangaroo Point, and climbers are requested to arrive 15 minutes prior to their climb start time.

All climbers are provided with a fully enclosed climb suit and are required to wear fully enclosed rubber soled footwear.

The Abseil Climb takes approximately 2.5 hours.

Marissa Calligeros abseiled as a guest of Story Bridge Adventure Climb