There is very little I fear more than heights. And this experience was a 297-metre tall reminder of that. It isn’t quite as tall as the Q1 Building in the Gold Coast (I will link to that post in this one) but it is Australia’s second tallest building and is a very impressive tower.
The building I am referring to is the Eureka Tower. It is located on Melbourne’s South Bank and dominates the skyline. The 88th floor observation deck can be accessed by the public with a ticket for $20.
It isn’t a post office as you may have been led to believe by the title. It is an apartment building however as I was walking around the observation deck and pretty much hugging the wall until I calmed down, I found this.
Sadly I didn’t post anything, but this wasn’t the purpose of my visit. Nor did I know it was here at all. But at least ‘Visit Australia’s highest postbox’ can be ticked off the list and it was a pretty cool find.
So to get a little bit more comfortable with the heights, I did a few laps of the observation deck. But I am just going to post the pictures in chronological order so for anyone that knows the city, if I seem to jump from one side to another, I probably did. Some of the shots look more shaded, as we were behind tinted glass. Other shots are more clear and with one portion being outdoors behind some netting, there are photos not taken from behind any glass at all.
The reflections made it a little tricky at times, but I did what I could.
So the above freaked me out. This ride is called The Edge. Watching those on it really made me have a ‘never in a million years’ moment as the room slowly leaves the building and suspends tourists almost 984ft above the city.
This is Susan, my friend from Peru that secretly bought two tickets for that ride.
I met Susan in the first hostel I stayed at when I arrived. We both arrived pretty much the same time and have kept in contact since. Sadly she flew back to Peru a few days back but we made the most of our time together, with a trip to the Great Ocean Road I posted about recently and then this.
Below you can see a video of the ride in action. Notice how the windows change from being opaque to fully clear during the transition. When the room is extending outwards, the rider cannot see out. It is only when the room is fully exposed that the windows become clear.
I was adamant that I wasn’t going to do it. The fact that I felt uneasy being up there at all was enough for me to come to the conclusion that nothing would convince me to get in that box. I am the kind of person that thinks of 101 ways that this could end in disaster and instead of enjoying such a moment, wait for said disaster to strike.
That is what anxiety is like. I am someone that has suffered anxiety in my 20’s, something that I haven’t had growing up. I have always been an obsessive (I have always had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, even to the point of needing medication in my teens) and as the OCD aspect is more manageable now, I feel the anxiety aspect has remained and increased in intensity.
What I have never been able to understand is how people get thrills out of these kinds of situations. Riding roller coasters too, I cannot think of anything more horrific than being held against my will and thrown about until the ride comes to an end. But then I considered the fact that not everyone has anxiety to this extent, and probably need such rides to get the same rush I have had sitting down staring at a wall. I don’t need a ride to get my adrenaline pumping, I get it for free and often at the strangest times.
The video of the ride was taken in the outdoor portion of the observation tower. From here the views were the clearest as the camera could be placed right next to the mesh and see right out to the horizon. Below, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the various other sports stadiums can be seen.
Binoculars look right onto the stadiums and with the big screen of the MCG facing our way, if there was in fact a game on you would be able to follow along by looking in that direction. Here I am recording the view I had looking right at the stadium.
And looking north, the high rises of the CBD. One of the tallest buildings you can see is in fact where I work, with a great view of the Eureka Building.
Above, the Shrine of Remembrance can be seen. This is a memorial to war veterans and I visited not too long ago and captured a great view of the skyline. I posted this picture on Instagram linked below for those that follow me there, you might have seen it already.
It was amazing to see the views of the surrounding area, and so many locations I have seen the Eureka Building from near and far. The only down side to the whole experience was my fear. Similar to my experience in the Q1 tower that I posted about here, I quickly got over the fear. But I am nowhere near comfortable enough to do the outdoor climb that my sister did in the Gold Coast, that level of bravery seems to be a million miles away. I don’t mind being indoors, its the thought of that little extra level of vulnerability that I just cannot overcome, even though I know it is incredibly safe.
The Edge is different though. Although the room does slowly leave the building, half of it remains always indoors. If I really wanted to stay in that room throughout I could, and I could stick my head out if I wanted to. After much sweating and foot-tapping, I agreed to put on the yellow wristband they give you (that says ‘I survived the Edge‘ despite putting it on before knowing if you were going to), the funny shoe covers and went into the dark, indoor section of the ride. I knew there wasn’t a sheer drop underneath me and that the floor wouldn’t just suddenly turn see-through, if I wanted to walk on it I could make my way onto it. As everyone else stood on the glass floor (including Susan) I contemplated whether or not I could manage it. The staff member controlling the movement reassured me that it ‘wasn’t that bad’ and because I had the option to come and go as I pleased I felt a lot more comfortable about the whole ordeal.
So I did it, although I still look terrified in the picture. I can safely say it was nowhere near as bad as I feared… one reason was the glass was a little more hazy as you can see above and also the metal below our feet, if it was all glass that would be a different story.
Thank you Susan for helping me get to that point!!
I guess my advice would be as much as something seems terrifying in the moment, that moment will pass and the future will be full of moments you were pleased to have done it. That, or endless moments you kick yourself and wish you did. It is true that in the end you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did, and for this reason alone overcoming a fear is so satisfying.
Whatever you are doing in life, say yes more than you say no to things. Memories are so much better than what if’s, and memories are evidence of a life lived.
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