Walking on flat ground is great, but if you really want to level up your fitness, you need to go up—preferably up at about a 90 degree angle on some of Brisbane’s best stair runs. Yes, you may avoid the stairs at all costs when there’s literally any other option when out and about, but if you’re looking to get your lungs burning and your thighs screaming, there’s nothing like running up and down a lengthy set of stairs multiple times.
To help you tackle your fitness goals, we’ve rounded up five of the toughest stair runs to tackle in Brisbane—don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Kangaroo Point Stairs
Well we had to start with the obvious. Just about everyone who’s ever tried to embrace outdoor fitness in Brisbane knows of this narrow stone staircase, which takes you from the bottom of the Kangaroo Point cliffs up to River Terrace, where stellar views of the city skyline await. You’ll be much too busy trying not to keel over after climbing up 107 steps to take in the view though—just try not wobble into anyone coming up on your way back down.
Wilson Outlook Reserve Stairs
Howard Smith Wharves
You’ve probably taken the elevator from Wilson Outlook Reserve down to Howard Smith Wharves and back up again many a time—but did you know there’s a stair option? You definitely won’t want to attempt the 120 stairs on a Saturday night after a few too many beers at Felons, but if you’re running the New Farm Riverwalk, taking a detour to this cliff-hugging staircase will take your workout to the next level.
This staircase between Turbot Street and Wickham Terrace in the CBD is unmissable thanks to its bright red paint job, which is cheery enough to make you think they’re not at all steep. Don’t let the colour, or the seemingly gradual incline, fool you—the OG Jacob’s Ladder might have been a stairway to heaven, but by the time you’re halfway up these 80 steps, you’ll be thinking they’re more like a stairway to hell.
It may only be 900m long, but this short, all-uphill trail is no walk in the park, with a steep incline starting right from Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. You’re allowed to take your four-legged friends on this one, but you might just end up carrying them—you’ve been warned. Combine it with one of the multiple connecting trails if you want to extend the loop and really burn some calories.
Stairs Of Death
Alright, technically this uphill climb in the Springwood Conservation Park is called the Gorge Discovery Circuit, but one attempt is all it will take for you to start calling it by its more popular name, the Stairs of Death. Starting from the entry to the park on Jardine Drive, the stairs make up the first half of the circuit, and once you’ve made your way up, puffing and wheezing the whole way, you can either continue on a more gradual incline to the top, or head back down to do it all again.
Image credit: Grant McKenzie