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Sydney Sights

Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • Cumberland St. Map It
  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 01/15/2014

Fodor's Review

There are several ways to experience the bridge and its spectacular views. The third option is to walk to the midpoint of the bridge to take in the views free of charge, but be sure to take the eastern footpath, which overlooks the Sydney Opera House. Access is via the stairs on Cumberland Street (near the BridgeClimb meeting point) and close to the Shangri-La Hotel.

South East Pylon. To reach this city-side pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, walk along the

bridge's pedestrian pathway. Acess is from stairs on Cumberland Street, The Rocks (near Bridgeclimb). This structure houses a display on the bridge's construction, and you can climb the 200 steps to the lookout and its unbeatable harbor panorama. Cumberland St. 02/9240–1100. www.pylonlookout.com.au. A$11. Daily 10–5.

BridgeClimb tour. Another (more expensive) option—not for those afraid of heights—is the BridgeClimb tour, which takes you on a guided walking tour to the very top of Harbour Bridge, 439 feet above sea level. The cost is A$198 per person for a night climb midweek and A$235 for a day climb, with slightly higher prices on weekends. Sydney Harbour Bridge. 02/8274–7777. www.bridgeclimb.com.

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Sight Information

Address:

Cumberland St., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Map It

Updated 01/15/2014

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Apr 17, 2013

Dawn Bridge Climb

My spouse and I participated in the Sydney Harbour Bridge dawn bridge climb at 4:05 am. The dawn climb is only available on the first Saturday morning of the month, so we thought that was it a case of being in the right place at the right time. However, it meant rising extremely early. For our 4:05 am climb, we were asked to arrive 15 minutes early. (There was even one group that departed before us at 4:00 am.) The entire climbing process lasts about

3.5 hours, so we did not finish until approximately 7:30 am. We were able to book our bridge climb on-line from home a few weeks prior to our trip, and we paid about $300 per person. We also pre-ordered the photography package for another $100, which included 12 images taken of us on the climb as well as some bonus scenery shots. You cannot take your own camera with you, but your guide takes photos of the group members, and you can buy single images after the climb for about $15 per photograph. With our package, the guide took three photos of us (together) in four different locations on the climb. (If you do not pre-purchase the package, the photographer only takes one photo of you in each location.) You can have multiple people in each shot if you climbed with a spouse, family, or group of friends. At the end of the climb, every climber receives an identical group photograph (included free of charge), along with a souvenir baseball cap. You walk along the outer arch of the bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 440 feet above Sydney Harbour. Your guide escorts you in groups (up to 14 climbers) to the summit of the bridge, where you enjoy 360-degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains, and the Harbour city surroundings. Along the way, your guide explains the bridge's history, and the construction of this incredible feat of engineering. You can touch the steel and rivets and examine the amazing iconic structure up close. You must wear fully-enclosed rubber-soled shoes (such as running or hiking shoes) for the climb; we specifically asked if we could wear Keen sandals with toe protection and straps on the back, and we were told that we could not. (They provide footwear if you do not have it, although no one in our group needed it, and we did not see it amongst the rest of the climbing equipment.) You cannot carry any personal items (except for eyeglasses and sunglasses, which are clipped onto your climbing suit) on the climb, and you must pass through a metal detector. Lockers are available for your valuables. You must wear a special bridge climb jumpsuit, and they also loan you a heavy fleece, wind pants (which are necessary if it is cold or raining), gloves, hat, and handkerchief, all of which are fastened onto the climbing suit. We are not small people, but they had plenty of gear available to fit us. You spend about an hour participating in a comprehensive briefing and safety demonstration, followed by an hour walk to the top of the bridge. Our climb lasted a bit longer, because we waited at the top for the sun to rise (hence, the dawn climb). We thought the dawn climb was a great opportunity, although it was more expensive than the other climb options (and not available daily) because we got to view the city in the darkness AND in the light. There are no bathrooms after you leave the base center, which means about 2.5 hours between bathroom breaks, but there are a few water fountains along the way before you actually start climbing the arches. The bridge climb operates in all kinds of weather conditions, except electrical storms and extremely high wind. They say that challenging weather conditions add an extra sense of adventure and exhilaration. We first heard about this bridge climb about 10 years ago when friends of ours went to Sydney and participated, so it was something that we had anticipated for a long time. Although it was enjoyable, it did not provide the adrenaline rush that we had expected (you are SO tethered in to the lines on the bridge that there is absolutely no danger of falling). We are glad that we did it, but the $700 cost (two climbs plus the photo package) make it a really pricey 3-hour adventure. REMINDER: RESTRICT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE in the hours before you climb; you MUST pass a breathalyzer test, and they are quite strict and serious about it. One climber in our group was prevented from climbing; she was a girl in her early 20s who was climbing along with her sister and parents, and the rest of her group had to climb without her or risk losing the fees that they had paid.

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Jan 15, 2010

Sydney Harbour Bridge Review

We did the bridge in fall 2007 and it was a fantastic experience. We climbed from the lower arch then up the top, which allows you to see the amazing bridge structure. We did the day climb but friends had the night climb with sunset over the opera house and said it was very romantic. The only hic is the price, it's quite expensive. Overall it's a must do even if you're not too fit, the pace is quite slow.

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Jan 11, 2007

Beautiful views of Sydney

Walk across the Sydney bridge if you have time. It doesn't take long and you get great picture opportunites.

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