Would you pay $1600 to sleep on a bed hanging off a cliff?

Josh Dutton
News Reporter


An Airbnb is offering accommodation which probably isn’t for the faint of heart.

For about $1600 a night, two people can enjoy the view of the Mount Buffalo gorge, in Victoria’s northeast, from a portaledge – a type of deployable platform.

The portaledge is suspended off the mountain’s north wall about 270 metres from the ground.

Host Andrew Dawson, who has about 25 years experience as a mountain climber, said he’s been offering the accommodation for about four years.

Guests at this Airbnb can enjoy views over the side of Mount Buffalo in Victoria via a propelled portaledge over the side of the cliff. Source: Airbnb/ Andrew Dawson

“As a climber it’s always something I wanted to try myself,” he said.

“I bought a portaledge and people became interested so we turned it into a commercial venture.

“It’s pretty unique and offers something only most rock climbers ever experience.”

Mr Dawson and other crew members stay camped at the top in case guests need help or food delivered. They are given breakfast as part of their stay.

A cover is also available to shelter guests from the elements, but Mr Dawson said people never really ask for it “as they want to be out there feeling the exposure and enjoying the views”.

He said it’s best to enjoy it between November and April due to the weather.

The portaledge is propelled from the top of the cliff. Crew are on hand camping at the top in case help is needed. Source: Airbnb/ Andrew Dawson

Guests are also provided with detailed instructions on technical and safety matters before beginning the descent for their stay.

They’re given radios, a whistle and have their phones checked before going down the side of the cliff. All abseiling equipment is included.

“It’s run with standard equipment,” Mr Dawson said.

“But we go through training to make sure people feel comfortable.”

The portaledge is about 270 metres from the ground. Source: Airbnb/ Andrew Dawson

Mr Dawson said he’s had plenty of guests over the years with people mainly aged in their 30s.

“Most recently we had a wedding anniversary on the ledge and we also had a proposal,” he said.

“It’s often couples who visit and they normally just stay overnight.”

As for what to do when natures calls, guests are given plastic bottles and other urinary devices to relieve themselves.

The view while a guest sleeps. Source: Airbnb/ Andrew Dawson

“You could also go over the ledge,” Mr Dawson said.

“But people don’t really do that. We also haven’t had to deal with too many number twos either. For that we normally bring people back up to use the facilities.”

Mr Dawson added he has public liability insurance. He’s also licensed with Parks Victoria.

As for whether you should stay if you’re afraid of heights, Mr Dawson said it only makes the experience more interesting.

“You really come to appreciate being over the side of the cliff,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be super exciting if that was lost on you.”

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A man uses his stay to pop the question. Source: Andrew Dawson