It’s fair to say I’m not the biggest fan of heights. I’ve been up the CN Tower and the Empire State Building, but not climbed the steps myself. Fortunately, you can simply zip up to the top of those in an elevator. So in Sydney, I did something a little crazier and did the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. It’s certainly a bucket list item I was very pleased to tick off.
The Rocks, Sydney
I woke up bright and early in preparation for my climb. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb kicks off from The Rocks. The Rocks is Sydney’s historic region where it’s colourful convict past began. It’s located harbour side and boasts wonderful views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It’s where European settlement began, and nowadays juxtaposes the historic with the new. You can wander down the cobbled streets and find bustling restaurants, bars, and markets.
The Rocks is where you embark on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I chose the Classic Bridge Climb. It’s around 3.5 hours long, 1,332 steps, and you normally have around 14 people in your group. The classic climb will take you all the way up to the upper arch, and you can choose from going at dawn, in the day, at twilight or at night. There’s also a Bridge Climb Express, which is a little shorter and has fewer stops. It’s perfect for those with less time but a greater level of fitness. A Bridge Climb sampler takes you halfway to the top, perfect for those afraid of heights but not wanting to miss out.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
As my family already climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge on their visit to Australia last year, I went solo! I was a little nervous about this beforehand but was soon assured it’s nothing to worry about. In fact, 4 million people have done the climb which takes you 134 metres above sea level.
Upon entry to the bridge climb area, you see dozens of pictures of celebrities. So many of them have previously completed the climb, including Oprah Winfrey, the Hoff, Richard Branson, and a whole host of impressive movie stars. Your group is then shown into a room to effectively sign lives away, and to learn about all the safety procedures. You then receive a rather dashing boiler suit for the climb. It’s actually designed in colours that blend in to the bridge so as to not distract drivers crossing it. You even get a little headlight and a hanky attached to your suit for safety. As you can probably guess, you’re not allowed to take a camera, hence the lack of photos on this post. Once harnessed, we began the climb.
Embarking on the Climb
Although I do have a slight fear of heights, it honestly wasn’t too bad. Our guide asked if any of us were afraid, and took good care of those who were. The only slightly uncomfortable bits included walking across mesh where you can see through to the bottom. At one point, you also climb some slightly awkward ladders whilst at traffic level. This means you pop your head through adjacent to the noise of cars rushing by. It’s nothing too alarming though and is brief, and the views are totally worth it. Once you’ve reached the appropriate height by ladders, you climb across the bridge which is truly amazing. It offers such an iconic view.
Reaching the Top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
There are incredible views, particularly if you climb across at twilight, which I was lucky enough to do. Your guide will explain some of the general history and trivia of what you can see. There are also photo opportunities at the top. We then got to watch the sun go down and soaked up the incredible atmosphere. We watched the city lights switch on as the sun slowly popped out of sight. It was seriously magical! It’s also very romantic, and our guide said around 2000 proposals have taken place at the top. Maybe one day I won’t be climbing the bridge alone, who knows!?
As it was St. Patrick’s Day when I chose to do my climb, the Sydney Opera House was green in special honour. It made my climb all the more memorable. We then began our descent in the dark. Fear not, you have headlamps to guide the way, and the staff are super helpful at getting you down safely. The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb was an incredible experience, and definitely a highlight of my trip so far. If you’re in Sydney, make sure you do it.
Have you done the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb? What did you make of the experience?