The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
“What do I do for Valentine’s Day?” I was asking myself. I wanted to do something memorable on the day of love. “Why not cross off one of the bucket list items?” I thought and decided to scan my bucket list (which was about 6 pages then). In one little corner of the list, I found – The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Perfect plan! I booked the ‘Day climb’ for ’14 February 2015′.
PIN for later reference
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Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the steel arch bridge in Sydney Central Business District (CBD), connecting the CBD and North Shore. The bridge carries trains, vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. It is about 134 m tall and is World’s sixth-longest arch bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was added to the Australian National Heritage List in the year 2007.
Bridge Climb in Sydney is a tourist attraction where one can climb the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climbing the bridge offers a 360 degrees panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour. Started in the year 1998, Bridge Climb became legal and allowed the tourists to climb the bridge.
The Bridge Climb activity has received numerous awards with the recent one being in 2016, where the activity was awarded as the Best Guided Tour in Australia by Australian Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.
Note: An alternate and cheaper way to view the panoramic views of the harbour is to visit the Pylon lookout. The cost to go to the Pylon lookout is AUD 19 per adult and has 200 steps to get to the lookout.
The online booking process with BridgeClimb is very easy. There are various climb types and the cost of the Bridge Climb depends on the type and the timings of the climb.
- Address: 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000.
Note: The climb at twilight costs more. So one tip I can give is to book the time slot that is just before the twilight time. This way you can experience the sunset at a lesser cost. Say for example, if the twilight starts at 4:30 PM, book a slot at 3:45 PM (example) that way you can enjoy the dusk colours.
On the day of the climb
The Climb was divided into four systematic stages. The Day Climb had a total of about 1,300 steps with eight set of ladders and it took us about 3.5 hours to complete the climb.
- Stage One was the registration process at the front desk, after which we were approached by a Climb Leader.
- Stage Two was the pre-climb checks, where we were tested for the alcohol levels and were provided with the climb suits.
- Stage Three included the security briefings and the acclimatisation of the ladders with a chord attached to our waist and the railing (Yup! Safety precautions).
- Stage Four, the final stage was the actual climb.
Each climb takes around 3.5 hours including all the above stages.
We started off with a short walk from the main building to the columns of the bridge. Initially, it was difficult to walk with the chord attached to the railing, but after a while, we got accustomed to the chord. We followed the Climb Leader, one behind the other. The columns had a set of four ladders to ascend, which we climbed slowly and steadily – one person per ladder at a time.
On the way, the Climb Leader briefed us about the history of the bridge. Since it was Valentine’s Day, she decided to tell us a romantic love story. The Story was about an old couple who had done the Bridge Climb to celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary (How awesome is that!).
Another story was about a boy who worked on the Pylon lookout watched a girl walking every single day on the path across the lookout. One fine day, the boy gathered some courage and threw a stone wrapped with paper, at her feet. There was a message, asking her for a coffee. Guess what happened next? She accepted the invitation and the rest is history. A story that makes me believe that fairy tales do exist in real life :).
Well coming back to my climb, after a short walk to the columns, a climb of four sets of ladders, a walk on the arch of the bridge, and few more stories later, we were at the peak. We had climbed one of the iconic landmarks of Australia – The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The views of the Harbour and the Opera House were spectacular and eye-catching. With the drizzle of the rain, the day became even more romantic than the normal.
Once we were done with the pictures and the admiration of the views around, we descended from the other side of the bridge, in order to avoid collisions with the other groups scheduled to do the climb.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Absolutely Yes. Sydney is one of the safest cities in Australia and traveling in Sydney CBD is easy and safe. However, like any other place, be cautious especially at nights and trust your instincts.
Once you reach the Bridge Climb building, then be rest assured that the Bridge Climb is very safe for all travelers not just the solo female travelers.
My day of love was definitely a memorable one and I promise to remind myself with the story narrated by the Climb Leader, whenever I lose faith in love <3. The Bridge Climb is totally worth it if you are visiting Sydney and it is one of those bucket list items that you definitely want to tick off when in Sydney. I would definitely recommend it as one of the must-dos in Sydney.
- 10 days in Sydney
- 24 hours in Sydney