The Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne
In many ways, the Eureka Skydeck is your classic observation tower experience – ace views of the city and surrounds from all angles. But it ramps things up considerably with The Edge, a giant glass box that protrudes from the side, almost 300m up. And yes, it’s glass all the way round, including the floor. Look straight down if you dare, and prepare to gulp. See eurekaskydeck.com.au
The CN Tower Edgewalk, Toronto
Canada’s tallest tower ramps up the whole observation deck terror thing considerably by taking you outside, protected from falling by a harness, clip and rope combo. What’s more, the Edgewalk staff are somewhat masochistic, goading guests into putting feet half way over the edge or lean forward doing Superman poses. It’s a non-trivial 356 metres down, too… See edgewalkcntower.ca
The Skyjump, Auckland
Auckland’s Skytower also does the get outside at a ridiculous height thing, but it’s only 192 metres up. However, Auckland trumps Toronto here by letting the truly intrepid jump off the edge. The Skyjump is essentially base jumping, albeit controlled by a thin wire that stops you splatting into the concrete at the bottom. See skywalk.co.nz
The Mérida Cable Car, Venezuela
Reopening in 2016 after several years of being closed, this mammoth Venezuelan cable car connects the city of Merida to the 4,756 metre tall Espejo Peak. In doing so, it travels 12.5km – the second-longest cable car journey on earth. But it’s how far up it goes that makes it more than a little terrifying – it’s currently the highest cable car on the planet, and it climbs more than 3,000 metres.
The Nevis, New Zealand
Perhaps worse than dangling over a gorge in a tiny cable car is knowing that, very soon, you’re going to have to jump out of it. At 134 metres, the Nevis bungy jump in New Zealand is no longer the world’s highest – that honour goes to the Macau Tower – but the sheer visceral horror of the remote, dangling location ramps up the fear factor by several degrees. See bungy.co.nz
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney
The BridgeClimb can be filed under the category of “not nearly as bad as you think it’s going to be”, largely because remarkably little time on the grand walk to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is spent looking directly down. Therefore, once 134m up on top of the Coathanger, the sensation tends to be wonder, staring out at the 360 degree panorama, rather than trepidation at falling all that way down into the drink. See bridgeclimb.com
The Langkawi SkyBridge, Malaysia
Other bridges manage to be much scarier without having to resort to harnesses and clipping systems. At the top of the Machinchang mountain, and supported seemingly magically by a single 82m pylon, the Langkawi SkyBridge curves around the summit, suspended in thin air, with a sheer drop of about 100 metres below. See panoramalangkawi.com/skybridge
Step Into The Void, France
If the cable car up the Mont Blanc massif to Aiguille du Midi at 3,777 metres isn’t quite enough, Step Into The Void at 3,842 metres should do the trick. It’s another class box, but this time jutting off the edge of a mountain, rather than a tower. It’s around 1,000 metres directly down, surrounded by some of the highest mountains and most spectacular glaciers in Europe. See Chamonix.net
The Coiling Dragon Cliff Skywalk, China
One step up from a box on the side of a mountain is a glass-bottomed walkway wrapped around the side of a mountain, seemingly held up by voodoo. That’s what you get at Tianmen Mountain, in the north of China’s Hunan province. Around 1.6km long, and 1,400 metres up, it’s a brutal test of nerve.
The Pemberton Climbing Trees, Western Australia
There’s a difference between standing at a height and having to climb up there. And that’s why the three climbing trees near Pemberton in south-west WA are arguably the scariest experience of all. The only way up the Gloucester Tree, Diamond Tree and Bicentennial Tree is via a series of spiralling metal pegs around the side. There’s no protection, and they’re between 51 metres and 75 metres tall. Every step is a nerve-shredder.