‘Hey Bridge, how about doing the Sydney Bridge Climb then?’ Ok, enough of the jokes, but thinking about it, I must be one of the few ‘poms’ not actually working there to have climbed it three times! It’s not because I’m crazy – it’s because there are four different ways to climb this famous bridge and endless ‘best times of the day’ to experience it depending on your schedule and mood. Whatever the case, whatever the weather conditions, I can personally guarantee the stunning views from the top are worth the effort. It’s got to be done!
A word of warning first though – everyone is required to take a breathalyser test beforehand (yes even me) so you might want to take it easy the night before or hold off on those afternoon beers! Next you’re provided with a full climbing suit that fits easily over what you are wearing. Be sure to come prepared wearing supportive, sensible shoes (flip-flops are a big no-no!) Hats and sunglasses are allowed, but you are required to use the straps provided. Once in your climbing suit, it’s off to the prepping room where you’ll be fitted with a harness and given the choice to take gloves, handkerchief and jacket depending on the weather. All of these items are attached to your suit or harness; your safety is their top priority. You really feel you’re about to do something extra special.
What time of day should I do the climb?
1) Early birds – a dawn climb allows you to watch the sun rise on the horizon as the busy city begins to kick into gear for the day.
2) Day time – from 10am to 4pm is the most popular period as the Australian sunshine illuminates the landscape as far as the eye can see, from the hustle and bustle of the city to the picturesque blues of the ocean.
3) Twilight climb – perfect if you’d like a more dramatic and romantic atmosphere. Picture the scene….. the sun setting whilst the moon also shows its face; the stunning colours of the sky make the climb at this time a truly unforgettable experience. Believe it or not many couples have even got married from the top – what an amazing experience that must be!
4) Night climb – for people who want to see the incandescent illuminations of the city and especially the Opera house when it’s dark.
What type of climb should I consider?
Alongside a choice of departure time there are also three different options to consider when choosing a route depending on your stamina, nerves and time restraints. The ‘Original Climb’ takes three and a half hours, with groups of 14 and an instructor to provide support and take photographs. The route features just over 1,300 steps, and begins below the traffic deck before ascending the upper arch past the Opera House, and descending on the Darling Harbour side. The ‘Discovery Climb’ takes a route across the lower arches before ascending a ladder to the apex. This is ideal for those who are nervous in high, wide-open spaces and provides a dramatic view of the bridge’s internal structures;with 1,000 steps, this route is also shorter than the original bridge climb. The ‘Express Climb’ stops less frequently and is most appropriate for relatively fit people with limited time. The main objective here is to get to the top as quickly as possible to take in those views.
Whichever route you take and at whatever time of day you climb it Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately known as the ‘Coathanger’, has become an emblem of Sydney life and everything that is great about Australia. No wonder it’s become one of the most popular attractions for both tourists and locals alike.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you include this ‘must do’ memorable experience in your Sydney itinerary. Contact me in the first instance for advice and further information or and book as part of your itinerary with one of our travel partners or book directly with Sydney Bridge Climb.