Oprah’s done it, so has Prince Harry, Nicole Kidman, and even Robert De Niro; they’ve all taken the 1,332 steps that separate those who prefer to stand on solid ground from the brave climbers atop of the curved metallic arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134 metres above the water.
I wanted to be one of those climbers at the top of the bridge.
Decked out in a sexy ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge Grey’ – yes, that’s a real colour – jumpsuit and sprinkled with accessories – a bumbag containing a fleece jumper, headset, a head brand with a head light and a belt which will help keep you secured to the bridge throughout your climb – I was ready to take on the bridge.
Standing at the base of the bridge I stopped and looking up the climb. The experience seemed to become more daunting just for the sheer size of the bridge. Why had I decided to do this again?
Climbing up the first set of stairs I begun to think the next few hours were going to be easy. This opinion quickly changed, I was soon ducking and twisting past pylons and I could hear the rush of the cars – trying to get out of the city after day of work or into the city for a night out – and the trains rushing by overhead.
As my head popped above the level of the road deck a train screeched past to my right and cars whizzed by on my left. I was startled and momentarily got distracted from what I was doing. There was so much chaos going around and all I could think of was to continue up the ladder to get away from it.
As the ladders ended and the steps up the graceful arch of the bridge began I could feel my excitement rise. I was away from the chaos and standing above Sydney Harbour, the city sprawling in every direction and the harbour continuing it’s busy pace below me, unaware of the group of people ascending under the twilight sky.
Just as my calves began to cramp I felt the ground even out before my feet. Looking up from my feet I let out a small sigh of relief – I’d made it to the top. As the rest of the group took their final steps we all clambered around the railing looking out over the harbours water and relaxing a little knowing the climb was over and a lazy descent would follow.
Through my headset our Climb Leader was narrating what we were seeing to the East. The gaping mouth welcoming visitors to Luna Park – originally established in Glenelg, South Australia; North Sydney Olympic Pool – at one time home to many of Australia’s world record breaking swims; tucked behind the trees somewhere was Kirribilli House – the Sydney home of Australia’s Prime Minister, the little island in the middle of the harbour was Fort Dennison – Sydney’s last line of defence; and of course the city of Sydney whose skyscrapers glistened in the slowly dimming light.
I leaned against the railing looking out over the harbour trying to create an imprint in my mind of this moment, this view. Sydney isn’t my favourite city in Australia but I can’t argue that it is one of the most beautiful.
As the sun sunk lower to the West the city lights began to turn on. First the neon signs atop the cities skyscrapers, then the street lights popping on street by street. Cars turned on their lights as they crossed the bridge, appearing like yellow or red hazed lines from where I was standing whilst the trains spotlights broke through the darkness, illuminating everything around.
Finally as the sun was all but a faint orange glow on the horizon a call came through our headsets, it was time to make our descent. Crossing across the top of the bridge, we descended on the western side but now it was all about enjoying the experience, the view, the people as the evenings wind whipped us playfully telling us to get down from the bridge and cement the new friendships created by the climb over beers in the local pub… or at least that’s what I read into it!
Do you want to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
3 Cumberland Street,
The Rocks, NSW
Phone: +61 (02) 8274 7777
- Open to anyone over the age of 10.
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is open 24 hours a day, 363 days a year. The earliest dawn climbs depart at 3:15am.
- All climbs have different prices depending on time of day but all range between $188 and $298
- The Express Climb: 2 hours and 15 minutes
- The Discovery Climb: 3.5 hours. Explore the inner workings of the Bridge.
- The Bridge Climb: 3.5 hours. Uninterrupted views as you climb the outer arch all the way to the summit.
Keen to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge but not sure what else to do? Perhaps kayaking on Sydney Harbour is more your forte or surfing at Bondi Beach – but did you can do it all from the comfort of your home?
Get a sneak peek of some of Sydney’s top experiences by using the new 360˚ video developed by Visit Sydney, and you can put your head in the game!
This trip was made possible with thanks to Destination NSW and Visit Sydney.
A huge thank you must also go to Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb for allowing me to take part in a climb.
As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve taken the climb three times now and paid for it myself so I know it’s well worth the investment!