Brisbane's Steepest Streets

Here's a clue worth noting: if you happen across a street with a somewhat alarming incline and a handrail along its footpath, there's every likelihood you're staring at one of Brisbane's steepest streets.

For if there's one thing Brisbane can compete with on a world and San Francisco-scale, it's the extreme hilliness of some of its suburban thoroughfares. Unfortunately there are no little cable cars to romantically whisk you to the apex of these streets and no Tony Bennett crooning eternally about them, yet they are a charming addition to our city as well as a kind of nature's treadmill.

So where do you go to find these versions of Brisbane's very own Kilimanjaro? Well, a good place to start is Toowong's own Gower St, reputedly Brisbane's steepest and which, for the mathematically inclined, has a 31 percent slope at a gasp-inducing angle of 17.4 degrees.

So mightily steep is this street that removal trucks have regularly lost their contents, Jack and Jill like, down the hill, as has just about any other vehicle that has attempted to deliver household objects such as timber planks (for similar thrills in Toowong, look to Eton St).

Zig Zag Street sign in Red Hill Brisbane

Close behind are a selection of Paddington and Red Hill calf-burning beauties: In Red Hill alone you can hike Pitt St, Nott St, Stoneleigh St (even dogs have been observed pausing halfway up and refusing to advance any further on this one), Jay, Murray and Zig Zag (famous as the locale of Nick Earls' book of the same name) Sts. 

Neighbouring Paddington has its own share, with Reading, Glamorgan and Norwood Tce regularly leaving its pedestrians breathless.

St Lucia provides a decent brain-oxygenating opportunity for student and lecturer residents on Bishop St and Highview Tce or a repartee to Toowong for another breath-taker – Eton St.

Across the river there's no need to climb the Kangaroo Point cliffs to get some near vertical action with Ellis St rising to the challenge and scattered around town you'll find Chaprowe St, The Gap, Prior St in Tarragindi, Sankey St in Highgate Hill, Prospect St Wynnum and either Broadhurst or Hampton St in Kelvin Grove.

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