A Travellerspoint blog

Sydney Harbour Bridge - Review

BridgeClimb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge

sunny 17 °C

THEY say a picture paints a thousand words.
But neither the photographs nor the words on this page can do justice to the spectacular experience that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb.
Overcoming a mild case of vertigo and parting with the reassuring firmness of solid ground is worth it for the scenery - which on a clear day allows you to see out to the Blue Mountains on one side and to the ocean on the other.
My friend Fay and I decided that on arrival in Sydney, Australia, one of the best ways to take in the stunning city which never wears a frown was to scale one of its oldest and best-known landmarks.
Built between 1924 and 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is as magnificent in stature as we’ve all been led to believe.

Me on the bridge.

Me on the bridge.

Celebrities who have taken on the BridgeClimb include Daniel Radcliffe, Torvill and Dean and the late Steve Irwin. And if it’s good enough for Harry Potter, its good enough for me.
We begin by getting kitted out in grey jumpsuits, baseball caps we get tokeep, safety harnesses and a guide strap which will keep us permanently attached to the bridge as we begin our assent.
Reassuring myself that “it doesn’t look that high really”, we step out from one of the four towers and onto what our tour leader Sal affectionately refers to as “the catwalk”.
If by this, she meant that you were using up one of your nine lives by walking on it, I’d believe her. Because the narrow walkway feels very exposed as we make our way under the roadway and walk metres above the tiny ant people below.
We are lucky enough to pick a picture-perfect clear day and after bypassing some painting works which are taking place, we are quickly heading towards the middle of the bridge and above the harbour waters.
If nature had a paintbox, the best blues were saved for Sydney’s water and sky. Even now, looking back at these pictures, they don’t even begin to fully encapsulate just how incredibly stunning the colours are.
I try to avoid spending too much time looking at the water however, as it is directly below us and frankly, a little too far away for my liking.
But if like me, you get jelly-legs when the ground is incredibly far away, you’ll be reassured to know that the steps up to the top don’t have gaps between them, so it feels more like walking on something solid than I thought it would.
Negotiating a few security gates and doors, we’re soon onto the main part of the bridge and start our climb in earnest.
To our left is the skeleton of the bridge - huge steel supports interwoven above Sydney’s busiest road and to our right is the Sydney Opera House, which we’d visited the previous day.

Fay and I on the bridge. Hurrah!

Fay and I on the bridge. Hurrah!

A total of 52,800 tonnes of steel, 17,000 cubic metres of granite and 95,000 cubic metres of concrete make up the Sydney Harbour Bridge - a fact which once again reassures me that it’s not about to collapse and send me to a perilous death-by-harbour-shark.
We’ve opted for the Express Climb, but at two-and-a-half hours, it is more than enough time to get plenty of posed pictures (you’re not allowed to take your own camera up, but the tour leader gets plenty for you) and take in the scenery without getting too breathless.
And it isn’t long before we’re doing the final steeper steps that lead us to our destination - the peak of the bridge.
We are welcomed by two Australian flags and the best view you will ever see in your entire life. I could never get bored of looking round and seeing the buildings, beaches, waters and people surrounding us. The word “breathtaking” is banned about too much, but this really was.
Anything I say now will only sound cliche, so I’ll leave you with two words - DO IT.

TRAVEL GUIDE
Contact: www.bridgeclimb.com Day climbs are between $248 and $268 for adults and between $168 an $188 for children. Twilight, night and dawn climbs are also available.

Posted by emmaabroad 19:58 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges people sydney australia friends sights bridgeclimb Comments (1)

2nd August 2014- We've arrived!

Arrived in Sydney after leaving Bangkok

sunny 15 °C

Well, what can I say? It has been a MANIC few days!
Arrived in Sydney on Sunday, July 27, and haven't stopped since landing at 7.45am.
Decided the best thing to do was try and stay awake, despite having had about 50mins sleep on the plane. We were picked up by my uncle David and were given Tomlinson's Tours of the area.
We were driven around Sydney Harbour and posed for photos with the bridge and opera house in the background. It was absolutely stunning!
We also went to Bondi and walked on the sand (softest sand EVER) and walked along The Gap - where Sydney's clifftops greet the ocean.
Sunday night was, obviously, collapse in bed.
Monday we went to Bondi again and have a proper wander down the beach, watching dedicated surfers swim and board in what can only be described as FREEZING temperatures. (I dipped my toe in, I can officially say it was cold).
Wrote messages in the sand and just took in all the sights etc. It was heavenly, although a little chilly.
After a quick stop at the Mall we headed back to David's in Redfern for some tea.
Tuesday was spent checking out the magnificent Sydney Opera House. Even now, I can't believe we've seen it now. Just, stunning!
Wednesday was the big day, the Sydney Harbour Bridge BridgeClimb. I'll do a review of that in a separate blog.
Thursday and Friday have been admin days of RSA courses (which you have to do to be able to work with alcohol) and bank accounts and phones. I now have an Aussie phone number and a bank account with the total sum of $20 in it. LOL.
So tonight will be the fun one - a big party at David's house. At the moment I'm supposed to be chopping and peeling things but have torn myself away to write this (and avoid another job!)
First impressions of Sydney - absolutely stunning. Just too spectacular for words. Keep thinking I'm not really here. I wonder when it will finally sink in? Maybe never!
Missing people back home A LOT at the moment and had a little cry earlier emailing someone I miss very much. :-( And also when I messaged my housemate Lucy. MISS YOU WIFE! Big hello to Sally also - whose postcards is winging its way, I promise.
Today is mum's birthday and she is spending it in London with my brother. Was sent a video of her opening her present and getting all teary. Bless. She looked so sweet!
Well folks, I'm off now, as can't avoid the kitchen forever.
Behave yourselves.

Posted by emmaabroad 19:46 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges sydney beach australia friends party bondi redfern Comments (0)

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