Harbour Bridge, Sydney
THE quintessential portrait of Sydney starts with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, as photographed from MacQuarie's chair. There's no more poignant and representative image of this great city than these two world-famous images. The previous tip discussed the Opera House....
But for the more adventurous sort, we can talk about Sydney's Harbour Bridge...
From a cartological standpoint, the Sydney Harbour Bridge connects Dawes Point and the Rocks in Sydney to North Sydney, via the Bradfield Highway. The bridge was completed in 1932 and is 1,132 meters long. It accomodates pedestrian walkways, and only requires less than an hour to walk across and back. You'll be rewarded with another spectacular look at downtown Sydney, and you'll get a breath of fresh harbor air as you do so. Now, as you may know, you may CLIMB the Harbour Bridge, for an even more scintillating look at Sydney. But, if that sounds a bit athletic, you might want to stop off at the Pylon Lookout, which is on the SE pylon of the bridge. For about A$5 (adults), you can walk up about 200 steps to a point some 100 meters high, which affords a great view.
OK, the pylon will get you a "little high" at the Harbour Bridge. For info on getting "extremely high" at the Harbour Bridge, see the following tip. ; )
A lot of friends when visiting Sydney always ask if we can cross the famous "coathanger " Harbour bridge...my advise to travellers in Sydney..get a train across and walk back.(thats the budget way).The first stop over the bridge from the city is MILSONS POINT STATION..any train going to the northern suburbs of Sydney stops at Milsons Point..when travelling across the bridge by train sit upstairs ..as the trains are "double decker" that way you will get the best view..The acess to the footpath across the bridge is easily reached by stairs outside the Milsons Point Railway Station.. The views from the bridge walkway are excellent and good photos of the Opera House , the Quay, and the cities panorama are taken from here..Also many photos of the Harbour Bridge can be taken from Milsons point also..the walkway over the bridge will take you back to "The Rocks" area of Sydney ...right by Circular Quay for train or ferry travel.
There is a bridge walk that you can do to the top of the span...but its very expensive..
All right, kids... the previous tip spoke of Sydney's Harbour Bridge, and even told you of a way to improve your view of the city FROM the bridge via the Pylon Lookout.
Now, we get serious. As you've heard, you are allowed to actually CLIMB the Harbour Bridge. That's right....you can freaking climb the bridge, on TOP of it. Shudder....
So, if you're the super adventurous type, or if your friends are pressuring you to try and you can't find a way to save face, here's the scoop. As for the Aussiedoug angle, here it is... Doug's wife Kerry bought him a gift climb of the Harbour for Christmas. Doug still hasn't cashed it in, for a variety of reasons. All of them seemed good to me, but still.... Doug's gotta climb this bridge pretty soon, or Kerry's out a pile of money.
People have been allowed to climb the bridge since 1998. The experience takes about 3 hours. You check in at BridgeClimb, over at the SE part of the bridge. Climbers leave in small groups every 10 minutes or so. You wear a bridge suit, you're harnessed to a line. You are also breath-tested for alcohol and are banned from carrying ANYTHING, including cameras. The cost for a daylight climb is around A$200 for adults (as of 2011, per my VT pal mallyak), and a bit less for kids aged 12-16. Twilight climbs are more.
OK two things.... I hear the climb is spectacular. And second, I can't relate personal experience. Two reasons are that it's pricy AND I hate that ban on cameras. Hell, if I'm climbing the darned bridge, I want a photo.
But, the biggest reason that I did not climb is that my daughter wanted no part of the endeavor. And this trip to Oz was, mostly, HER dream trip. I'd never have thought of leaving her below for a three hour climb. (Sounds a bit like that "three hour tour" on Gilligan's Island, doesn't it?)
If you want to climb the bridge, book early. It fills up fast.
AND, if you'd like to climb it CHEAP, you might contact Aussiedoug and make him an offer on that gift certificate of his. : )
The Bridge climb is a memorable experience. Everyone regardless of age should give it a try. It was the most wonderful experiece for us.
You are attached with a harness and are climbing ladders and steep stairs. Meanwhile you look down and there is traffic rushing through on the street below you. The traffic makes the bridge shake a little, but you forget about that once you're up there. Rafi was scared of height but I dragged him up there and now he wants to do it again :) Avg price is around $150.00 per person, depending on which tour you want to take.
P.S See if you can recognise the people in black :)
Today I went into town (aussiespeak for going into the city) with the express purpose of walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge & catching the ferry back to Circular Quay. Seemed like the ideal morning out with beautiful blue skys, very few clouds in the sky & a maximum temperature of a bit over 25 Celsius.
Well the best laid plans of mice & me do indeed often go astray. Bu t not too badly in this case.
I was a bit late starting & taking lots of photos before I'd actually stepped foot on the Bridge walkway didn't help (either did stopping at Rozelle on the way in for brunch. lol!)
So at 11.30 I started off enjoying the blue sky & dazzling lateish Spring sunshine (yes forgot my hat didn't I!!!). A mere 5 minutes or so into the walk I came upon a sign saying Pylon Lookout so thinking to myself, "This could lead to some more beautiful photo opportunities" I decided to climb the 200 steps to get up to the Pylon Lookout.
And well worth it, it was for sure! Excellent views in all directions. Some great photos (if only my memory card reader & computer would co-operate I'd be able to tell!). Also very informative recreations using dummies & props to show us a little of what it was like for the workers without today's much stricter Occupation , Health & Safety standards.
You will get a lot of information about the facts e.g. It's a 2 hinged single span steel arch bridge, 1149m lon (including approach spans).
The hinges are necessary because on very hot day it can expand up to 18 cm. And lots more. It isn't a case of information overload though & there are some gr8 photos to go with it. My photo here is taken from one of theirs.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most well known and photographed landmarks. It is the world's largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres above the harbour.
Fondly known by the locals as the 'Coathanger', the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrated its 70th birthday in 2002, with its official opening in March 1932.
For the adventurous and intrepid it is possible to climb to the top of the bridge under strict supervision. Don't take any liquid courage before the climb because you will be breath tested for alcohol before being allowed to participate.
For anyone interested, here are some interesting facts and figures -
Length of arch span 503m
Height of top of arch 134m above mean sea level
Height to top of aircraft beacon 141m above mean sea level
Width of deck 49m
Clearance for shipping 49m
Height of pylons 89 metres above mean sea level
Base of each abutment tower 68m across and 48m long (two pylons rest on each abutment tower)
Total length of bridge 1149m including approach spans
Bearing pins Each of the four pins measures 4.2m long and 368mm in diameter
Thrust on bearings Under maximum load approximately 20,000 tonnes on each bearing
Number of rivets Approximately 6,000,000
Largest rivet Weighed 3.5 kilograms and was 395mm long
Longest hanger 58.8m
Shortest hanger 7.3m
Total weight of steelwork 52,800 tonnes including arch and mild steel approach spans
Weight of arch 39,000 tonnes
Rock excavated for foundations 122,000 cubic metres
Concrete used for bridge 95,000 cubic metres
Granite facing used on pylons and piers 17,000 cubic metres
Allowance for deck expansion 420mm
Allowance for arch expansion The arch may rise or fall 18cm due to heating or cooling
Number of panels in arch 28, each 18.28m wide
Record tonnage erected 589 tonnes of steelwork was erected on the arch in one day on 26 November 1929
Paint required 272,000 litres of paint were required to give the Bridge its initial three coats
The only reason I would even fathom the idea of climbing a bridge was because I saw people doing it on the Travel Channel. I told myself, if I ever go to Sydney, I am going to do that. Apparently, thousands of other people must have seen the same tv special, because thousands of people do this every year. Several celebrities have done it also, so that makes me feel kinda special.
It is a unforgettable experience, and I advise you to book online well in advance. IT is a popular attraction.
The whole process takes about 3.5 hours. You check in, get dressed in these windbreaker body suits( I went during their winter season, so it might be a different getup if you go during the summertime.), gather your equipment and go through a quick training class (so you know how to work you equipment), then you head out towards the bridge with your personal guide. There are usually 10 people to a group and it is best if you are up front near the guide, versus all the way in the back of the pack where you feel somewhat forgotten.
Be prepared to climb up steep ladders and cross catwalks...then prepare for the amazing view!
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also known as the 'Coathanger', was opened on March 19, 1932 by Premier Jack Lang, after six years of construction. It is the world's largest (but not longest as thats the New River Gorge in the USA) steel arch bridge, and also with its beautiful harbour location, has become a renowned international symbol of Australia.
The bridge was made of steel and contains 6 million hand driven rivets. The surface area that requires painting is equal to about the surface area of 60 sports fields. Its total length including approach spans is 1149 metres and its arch span is 503 metres. The top of the arch is 134 metres above sea level and the clearance for shipping under the deck is a spacious 49 metres. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch. The 49 metre wide deck makes Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest Longspan Bridge in the world.
This is certainly one of the most photographed bridges on this planet: the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The bridge was completed in 1932 linking CBD with the Northern parts of town.
If you're brave enough you can climb the bridge, otherwise you just walk or drive over it.
If you have some spare money and fancy climbing the Harbour bridge you can! Just sign up well in advance and get a time on which you can climb the bridge. Great views guarenteed and I'm sure the walk is a thrill aswell. I haven't done this myself, but I did walk from one side of the bridge to the other side.
If you don't have enough money to spend either you could also visit one of the towers on the bridge. This will take you quite high too, and gives you grand views of Circular Quay and the harbour!
Throughout the landscape of Sydney, one of the most dominant views is that of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Originally designed in the early 1900's to span the harbour from North to South, the Harbour Bridge is a wonderful feat of architecture, as well as a mainstay in the Sydney skyline. Still operational today, the span is 1650 feet, and it is tall enough to allow ships to pass under it without obstruction.
It is very popular for people to climb, although the price tag of such a climb seemed a little unrealistic for my pocketbook and time! I enjoyed viewing it up close from the Rocks, and also from afar such as this picture from the Opera House area!
I could almost rewrite the intro to my Paris - The Seine & its Bridges Tip and say that you must see The Sydney harbour Bridge - our veritable coathanger, from all sides and from all angles.
The attached photois is taken from Cumberland Street not far from where you climb the steps to walk across the Harbour Bridge to Milsons Point & Kirribilli and only a few minutes from where you check in to do the Bridge Climb.
If you're interested in doing the Bridge climb then the current prices till March 2006 are as follows:-
Rates valid from 1 September 2005 to 31 March 2006 (excluding peak periods)
Exclusive Dawn Day or Night Twilight
Monday-Sunday Monday-Friday Saturday-Sunday Monday-Sunday
Adult $295 $165 $185 $245
Child $195 $100 $125 $185
PEAK PERIOD RATES
Rates valid from 25 December 2005 to 8 January 2006
Exclusive Dawn Day or Night Twilight
Monday-Sunday Monday-Sunday Monday-Sunday
Adult $295 $200 $260
Child $195 $130 $190
I think when you convert US dollars & Euros & Japanese Yen the prices don't seem quite so bad after all. I'd love to do this climb, but I'm afraid of heights & I'd hate to freeze half-way up. Now that would be embarassing, not to mention terrifying (the master of understatement strikes again. lol!)
One of the main sights is the Harbour Bridge. There are many cool spots to get a good view of it. You can take the Manly ferry and you'll have a cool view from the water. From Circular Quay you can have a cool view aswell. If you walk through the Rocks area and walk under the bridge to the other side there is a sort of platform and you can view the bridge from the other side. The best place to make a picture is probably from Mrs. Maquarie Point in the Royal Botanic Gardens. You can frame both the Opera House and the Bridge into one picture.
The Harbour Bridge is a steel bridge connecting Sydney with the North Shore. It is one of the most recognizable Sydney landmarks along with the Opera House. I like the arched steel of the bridge and thing it is quite beautiful.
It's fun to watch people walk on top of the bridge (the Bridge Walk). I could never do that, I have a fear of heights and they don't let you bring your own camera.
Just do it. So long as you're not deathly afraid of heights or afraid of moderately strenuous activity. I did it. I'm no where near 'moderately fit,' as the requirements say.
They also take a breathalyzer test to see if you've been drinking, so don't drink a thing because once you've bought your ticket, it's non-refundable.
Trust me. Adventure is not my middle name, but I did it. I complained a lot beforehand, but I was glad afterwards. They do not allow cameras, but the do take pictures for you and of course you buy those at the all important gift shop. It's cool. One shot has the Sydney Opera House in the background, another shot is of Sydney's skyline. Nighttime pictures look better. My opinion only.
They climb day and at night, but I think they cap it at 7pm.