Sydney Harbour Bridge
12 reviews from the community
Review of "Sydney Harbour Bridge"
As many of you may know, I live in the beautiful harbour side city of Sydney, resplendent with its Opera House, magnificent city skyline and of course The Sydney Harbour Bridge or ‘The old coat hanger’ as it’s sometimes known. I used to live on the North Shore of Sydney and drove over the bridge every day, occasionally looking up and seeing some grey lumps on the side which on second glance appeared to be people. I was well aware of the ‘Bridge Climb’, an organised ascent of the bridge where you are strapped on to the bridge via a wire and led by a trained group leader. You climb up to the very top and have pictures taken and admire the breath taking view before climbing back down on the opposite side which gives you a superb city view. Despite my knowledge of the whole thing I’d never actually done it in three years of living here until last week. I had some friends down from Queensland and one of them was very keen so I went on to the web site and paid $169 AUD each or about 70 quid and booked for an evening bridge climb last Friday night. In the peak season you can expect to wait weeks for a climb but i booked ours just a week before.We arrived at the bridge climb base at 5.05pm. We were let into a room, introduced to our group leaders and issued with a very unflattering grey boiler suit. We got changed, left our belongings in the lockers and started the safety induction. First of all we were breathalysed; they don’t let any one on the bridge with a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.05%. All of our group of 8 successfully passed and we were taken to another room where we were issued with our kit. Anything you take unto the bridge must be fastened to you. The horrid grey suit has all number of clips and loops and onto these are fastened a utility belt, a radio, a headset, any glasses (sun or prescription) a fleece, (it’s autumn here and getting a bit nippy at night ) a beanie if you want on and a hankie that goes round your wrist and up your sleave. All hair clips must be taken out and you are allowed a plain elastic hair tie if, like me, you are sporting a pony tail. Once suited and booted you are taken to the climbing simulator, which has the ladders and the same harness mechanism as the bridge. A line on your belt clips on to a wire that runs the length of the walk. Once latched on you are in the same order for the duration on the climb.
With all the safety checks taken care of it’s time to head out onto the bridge. You emerge through a sandstone tunnel onto a cat walk which is like a narrow wooden plank. There is a rail, and you’re strapped on all the time. At the beginning of the walk you are about 10 meters up and well underneath the road deck of the bridge. After making your way along the bridge and in and out of the massive beams you come to a series of ladders. We have already been drilled about ladder etiquette and we climbed up between four lanes of motorway whizzing underneath us. It’s quite exhilarating but I always felt safe, even though it was now dark.Once you’ve scaled the ladders you come out onto the lowest point of the arch of the bridge. There are no more ladders now, just a gentle slope for about ½ hour till you reach the Australian flag at the peak of the arch. On the way you stop for photos, the group photo is included in the price but the individual photos are an optional extra. At the highest point the bridge is 134m above sea level, that’s the same height as the top of the London Eye. The view is stunning. On the night of our climb there was a magnificent almost full moon and the night was still and balmy, perfect conditions. The Opera House was lit up below us and as we turned the corner to go down the opposite side the dazzling city lights sprawled out in front of us. From the top we could see the Olympic stadium in the distance which is about 25k’s out of the city. Even though it was dark we could just about make out where the Blue Mountains started way off to the west. All through the climb our group leader shared her knowledge of the bridge with us, she told us about the 16 men that lost their lives building the bridge and she told us that although the city skyline is impressive now, 75 years ago the bridge was by far the highest thing around. We were also told a bit about the way the bridge was constructed and our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.
The whole experience takes about three hours, with the first hour mainly taken up with the safety checks. At the bottom you collect your photo and a certificate with the date on. The bridge is 75 years old this year so it was nice to do it and have the diamond logo’s on the certificate and picture.I had a great time climbing the bridge, I just don’t’ know why it’s taken me so long to do it. I’d recommend it to anyone and although it’s not cheap it’s well worth the money. Safety is paramount and they welcome nervous people and vertigo sufferers. They guides are trained to handle these people in particular. In our group no-one really appeared that nervous but the guide went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable with our equipment and happy to set out on the climb.
Five out of five from me.
Product Information : Sydney Harbour Bridge
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 25/02/2001