Experience the thrill of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and taking in one of the greatest views of the city and beyond, including the Blue Mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Pacific Ocean.
Bridge Climb Sydney, located in The Rocks, will help you conquer the bridge. Climbs range from 90 minutes to 3.5 hours. Early morning, midday, late afternoon, and nighttime climbs are all possible.
Every day at 3 p.m., a tour is given in Mandarin by a guide who speaks the language. The Bridge Climb Sampler, a climb that can be completed in only 90 minutes, is perfect for time-crunched climbers. You'll take the quick way to the summit.
Bridge Climbers have also ascended the structure in honour of holidays like Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, and Vivid Sydney. If you want to go on a trip up, you must buy tickets in advance. Bridge Climb is located in The Rocks, so head to Cumberland Street to reach there. When travelling west on Cumberland Street, just before the street winds its way under the Harbour Bridge, you'll find Bridge Climb on the western side of the street.
To fully appreciate Sydney, you must take in the city's stunning waterfront, iconic Opera House, and iconic Harbour Bridge. Climbing the Harbour Bridge, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that cannot be missed.
Flying at an altitude of 134 metres (440 feet) above ground, you will be treated to breathtaking panoramas. What follows is a comprehensive guide on crossing the Harbour Bridge in Sydney.
Why Go There
To climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge is to experience one of the city's most recognisable tourist attractions. You may reach the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge on one of three different guided Climbs.
You should check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre while you're in town, as it is the first of its kind and is entirely devoted to the city's most recognisable landmark. The Bridge Exhibition and the state-of-the-art Theater were both added to the recently built Visitor Center in October 2009.
People of all ages will be able to marvel at and learn about the Sydney Harbour Bridge throughout the Exhibition. From the appalling working conditions in the 1920s when construction first began, through the formal and contentious opening ceremony in 1932, and all the way to the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, there is a wealth of fascinating information to be gleaned from learning about the Bridge's construction.
Children will have a blast playing Bridge-building touch-screen games and exploring other engaging exhibitions. Two high-definition movies, each focusing on a different part of the history of the Bridge, are shown continually in the Cinema of the Visitor Centre.
Before You Climb
After arriving at the Bridge Climb office and checking in, you will be taken upstairs for a safety briefing, information about the climb, and a blue jumpsuit outfitted with all the essential safety gear. There, you can start your ascent to success.
When you take in the magnificent sight of the bridge, you may find yourself wondering if you have what it takes to reach the peak. A moderate level of fitness is sufficient. Every day, hundreds of climbers of all ages and sizes go to the area, so long as you have a modicum of fitness and mobility, you should be fine. In addition, there are numerous rest stops to enjoy.
Cell phones and cameras are not permitted on the climb for obvious reasons. But don't worry, since your guide has a camera and will be taking amazing, professional-grade images the whole time. After you reach the summit, you can make your purchase. Photographs of the group and individuals will turn out well against the backdrop of Sydney Harbor and the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Let's say your time in Sydney is limited, and you're concerned about your fitness level. Don't worry. When you get to the top of the bridge, you have a few different paths to go. You can start with the first-ever BridgeClimb if you like. You should expect to spend roughly 3.5 hours on this choice. Four ladders must be climbed in order to reach the top of the outer arch of the bridge via this method.
The BridgeClimb Express is a one-hour-shortened alternative that follows the arch's inside path rather than its outer. The BridgeClimb Sampler is a shorter alternative that takes 1.5 hours and takes you to a great viewing location halfway up the bridge for a group photo before you walk back down.
Climbing Time Of Day
It's easy to find a departure time that works for you, as there are numerous possibilities with groups going at all hours. Those who plan ahead can join the "dawn group," which leaves before dawn to see the sunrise in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Many groups depart during the day, making it easier to secure a reservation at a discounted rate on short notice. Similar to the dawn option, the sunset one allows you to witness beautiful sunsets with vivid hues. In the evening, you can choose to climb at night and take in the city's glittering glow from above.
The Preparation For Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge
Some people wait until their last day in Sydney to book their climb, in the hopes that it will serve as a memorable experience and a fitting send-off to their time in Australia.
When they first arrived at the Climb Base, they were impressed by the military efficiency, professionalism, and attention to detail of the staff there.
They were immediately ushered upstairs to see the rest of the group after they "checked in," and then into a room where they would fill out paperwork, sign a waiver, and take a Breathalyzer test (yes, you do need to be sober for this).
The next step is to change into climbing attire, or "uniform," and get ready for the ascent.
They were quite impressed with how quickly and accurately everything was ready. We entered the spectacular industrial open space, which was stuffed with climbing gear.
As we walked around the metal ring with the hooks, we were each given a harness to wear. The purpose of the ring and the hooks is to make it easier for you to secure your harness on your own.
The Climbing Machine, our leader, walked us through every step of the ascent. It was simple.
After assembling our tools, we put them to use by practising on a little ladder. This is to ensure that you are capable of climbing and descending ladders, latching and unlatching your harness as needed, and, most importantly, following instructions.
Each of us did exceptionally well on the exam, and we were given clearance to depart the Climb Base. As soon as we emerged from the little tunnel and attached our climbing harnesses to the continuous cord, we knew we were good to go.
The Climb and The Bridge
When it comes to buildings, we like to study their background and technical aspects. We've found that this adds a new layer of excitement to our journey and allows us to take in and remember more of the sights, sounds, and learning opportunities along the way.
Please be aware that the following text contains extremely nerdy architectural information. Please use caution.
After decades of dispute over whether a bridge or tunnel should be built to connect both sides of the harbour, the bridge finally opened to traffic in 1932. (Today, they have both).
The bridge measures in at 134 metres (or 440 feet) in height, making it the world's highest arch steel bridge. It also ranks sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world (503m or 1,650ft).
We were thrilled to have the chance to explore the bridge's fascinating architecture and engineering up up and personal.
In those days, steel plates were joined together using rivets to create bridges; one particular bridge has 6 million rivets.
Similar to the construction of the Empire State Building, this span was completed about the same time.
The vision of men heating the rivets on the Empire State Building beams until they became red was seared into our brains.
Once the holes were bored, the rivets were tossed like a softball to a worker who would place them between two plates and use a massive pneumatic rivet gun to smooth out the edges. But we transferred this picture onto the bridge.
As we ascended, Dean enlightened us with a wealth of information about the bridge's history, trivia, and other interesting tidbits. The ascent was an educational opportunity in and of itself, not merely a means to an end (seeing the sights).
We kept on climbing and were pleasantly pleased at how simple it was. Thankfully, there are a few stairways and scaffoldings to help you complete the ascent.
Not only are railings present at various points along the trail, but you may also complete the full walk without ever having to unlatch.
Among our photo chances was a spot roughly equivalent in height to the Pylon Lookout, halfway up the bridge.
Fun fact: There is zero structural connection between the towers and the bridge. Because the bridge appeared "basic" without them, they were created to make it more attractive and noticeable. We think they make the bridge even more magnificent.
The panorama was breathtaking even from that vantage point. Far along Sydney Harbour (also known as Port Jackson) we could make out the Sydney Opera Building, the metropolitan skyline, the government house, the botanical gardens, and more. How did you find out about that?
We stopped for a while at the peak to take in the scenery, snap a few photos, and reflect on our journey. We were all in high spirits and had no signs of fatigue.
The ascent felt more like a stroll than a strenuous effort. Soon after, we descended the bridge's aft section, eventually reaching the climb's starting point without incident.
Is Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge Worth It In The End?
We won't sugarcoat the fact that climbing the bridge is a splurge, but if you're looking for a truly unforgettable experience in Sydney, it's hard to beat.
While we enjoyed ourselves and would definitely do it again, we won't recommend that you follow in our footsteps. What you think of the value of such experiences and how much they cost are two major factors.
Climbing the bridge will cost you a pretty penny, but then again, so will visiting Australia in general. If you want to have a pleasant experience in Sydney or are undertaking a once in a lifetime kind of vacation, by all means, we propose you do it.
But if you're planning on being gone for a while or sticking to a tighter budget, this might not be the best option. Consider that the expense of the ascent may pay for an entire two-week vacation in Southeast Asia.
Pylon Lookouts, which offer similar views of the city at a considerably lower price (about $15), are another option.
Or, if you're seeking for no-cost activities in Sydney, head to Observatory Hill Park for a breathtaking panorama of the harbour and the city.
The Climb Of The Sydney Harbour Bridge: Five Surprising Facts
In Australia, We prioritised walking across the world's largest steel arch bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Since its inception in 1998, BridgeClimb Sydney has become a staple of any trip to Sydney.
Some couples have even gotten proposed or married on top of the Bridge, and one octogenarian resident of Sydney has climbed it 56 times.
We offer three distinct group climbs. Given our time constraints, we opted for the 2.25-hour Express Climb rather than the 3.5-hour standard route.
When you choose the Express Climb, you'll ascend the Bridge through its own framework. Alfie, our group leader, informed us at the summit that we were 440 feet from the water. It's 6.7 seconds, 134 metres, or 6.7 feet, depending on your preference.
The climb was enjoyable, and the views of Sydney and the Opera House were as breathtaking as you'd imagine. But here's something we wasn't prepared for:
It's Not A Really Difficult Climb.
Don't worry if you're not an athlete. You aren't using any ropes or ladders. You basically just use ramps and horizontal catwalks to ascend a series of shallow stairs.
There are many rest breaks along the way where you can catch your breath and learn interesting facts about the Bridge from your guide. Near the very top, as you make your way up to the peak, the stairs get more steep.
There are apparently 1,002 steps, but it felt more like a few hundred. More effort was required physically to ascend the 670 steps to the second level of the Eiffel Tower (likely due to the fact that we were chasing kids and the stairs were steeper). Alfie says it's harder to take the regular route up than the express one (there are 1,332 stages to it).
The Bridge Is Climbable At Night.
Sunrise is another great time to make the ascent. According to Alfie, the best time to climb is at night when you can see Sydney all lit up. Another option he suggested was the twilight ascent, which starts in the daytime and continues well into the night, allowing you to experience the mountain at both sunrise and sunset. Hopefully, a sunset will appear as well.
The Breath Of Every Climber Is Tested
The BAC measurement must be below 0.05%. Of course, you'll also need to attest that your health is excellent on the required medical forms.
The Camera Is Not Allowed.
Lock it up at the base together with your other valuables (jewellery, hair clips, a watch, etc.) that could be lost if they were to come off or be blown away. Your attire consists of a BridgeSuit and, optionally, a BridgeClimb baseball cap, which they will affix to your suit in the event that it flies off, as mine did multiple times.
There is a safety harness involved, and you are tethered to the Bridge at all times. While on the Bridge, you also use headphones and a radio to keep in touch with your group's leader. Surprisingly, there was a fair amount of wind up there, and there were times when even with the radio and headphones, we couldn't hear Alfie. Alfie wasn't just the head of the gang, but also the monitor of safety, the expert on the Bridge's history, and the comic relief. Also, he dabbled in the art of photography and filmmaking.
You Can Record A Free 7-Second Self-Portrait Video On The Bridge.
Bridge Climb participants receive a free group photo, a certificate of completion, a Bridge Climb cap to retain, and free access to the Pylon Lookout, which gives even more breathtaking vistas of Sydney. (You have to fork over some cash if you want a picture of just you on the Bridge.) Rates for climbing might change depending on the type of ascent, as well as the day, week, and year. The $235 we spent on the Express Climb was money well spent.
Visiting the Sydney Harbour Bridge's top is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sydney climbs take 3.5 to 90 minutes. Morning, afternoon, and evening are good times to climb. Hundreds of climbers visit the area daily. Safety considerations prohibit cameras and cellphones on the hike.
The Bridge Climb Express saves an hour by circumnavigating the arch. From the summit, you can see the city's skyline anytime. Climb Base will prepare you for the climb and check equipment. Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's tallest arch steel bridge. The world's sixth-longest spanning-arch bridge opened in 1931. (503m or 1,650ft).
The bridge's towers are purely ornamental and contribute no structural support. We walked across the world's largest steel arch bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Since 1998, Bridge Climb Sydney has become a must-do for visitors. However, visiting Australia, including bridge climbing, might be expensive. Eiffel Tower has 1002 stairs.
The trek offers various chances to rest. Nighttime views from the tower's peak are worth the effort. Participants must wear safety harnesses and be linked to the bridge. Headphones and radio allow for group communication.
- Experience the thrill of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and taking in one of the greatest views of the city and beyond, including the Blue Mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Pacific Ocean.
- Bridge Climb Sydney, located in The Rocks, will help you conquer the bridge.
- To fully appreciate Sydney, you must take in the city's stunning waterfront, iconic Opera House, and iconic Harbour Bridge.
- Climbing the Harbour Bridge, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that cannot be missed.
- To climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge is to experience one of the city's most recognisable tourist attractions.
- You may reach the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge on one of three different guided Climbs.
- After arriving at the Bridge Climb office and checking in, you will be taken upstairs for a safety briefing, information about the climb, and a blue jumpsuit outfitted with all the essential safety gear.
- You have a few different paths to go when you get to the top of the bridge.
- The Preparation For Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge Some people wait until their last day in Sydney to book their climb in the hopes that it will serve as a memorable experience and a fitting send-off to their time in Australia.
- When they first arrived at the Climb Base, they were impressed by the military efficiency, professionalism, and attention to detail of the staff there.
- The bridge measures 134 metres (or 440 feet) in height, making it the world's highest arch steel bridge.
- It also ranks sixth longest spanning-arch bridge worldwide (503m or 1,650ft).
- Similar to the Empire State Building construction, this span was completed at about the same time.
- We won't sugarcoat that climbing the bridge is a splurge, but if you're looking for a truly unforgettable experience in Sydney, it's hard to beat.
- Consider that the expense of the ascent may pay for an entire two-week vacation in Southeast Asia.
- In Australia, We prioritised walking across the world's largest steel arch bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Since its inception in 1998, BridgeClimb Sydney has become a staple of any trip to Sydney.
- There are many rest breaks where you can catch your breath and learn interesting facts about the bridge from your guide.
- Near the very top, the stairs get steeper as you make your way up to the peak.
- More effort was required physically to ascend the 670 steps to the second level of the Eiffel Tower (likely because we were chasing kids and the stairs were steeper).
- Sunrise is another great time to make the ascent.
- Alfie says the best time to climb is at night when you can see Sydney lit up.
- Another option he suggested was the twilight ascent, which starts in the daytime and continues well into the night, allowing you to experience the mountain at sunrise and sunset.
- Of course, you'll also need to attest that your health is excellent on the required medical forms.
- Lock it up at the base with your other valuables (jewellery, hair clips, a watch, etc.)
- There is a safety harness involved, and you are always tethered to the bridge.
- While on the bridge, you also use headphones and a radio to keep in touch with your group's leader.
- BridgeClimb participants receive a free group photo, a certificate of completion, a BridgeClimb cap to retain, and free access to the Pylon Lookout, which gives even more breathtaking vistas of Sydney.
- You have to fork over some cash if you want a picture of you on the bridge.)
FAQs About Sydney
Approximately 2 hours
How long does it take to reach the top of the Bridge from the time of check-in? It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the Summit. This includes time to suit up and complete your pre-climb safety preparation. The descent takes about an hour.
Two structures define Sydney’s skyline: the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. While you may have heard of Bridge Climb – walking over the bridge’s arch to the summit – there's also a completely free Sydney Harbour Bridge walk with equally unmissable views.
There are three ways to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk;
- The free pedestrian walkway at road level
- The low-cost Pylon Lookout, and
- The pricey Bridge Climb tour experience
We’ve tried all three options, and while they each offer amazing views, there are differences to discover which Sydney Harbour Bridge walk is best for you.
You do have to be at least eight years old to climb, but there is no age limit at the other end! As long as you are generally fit and healthy and 1.2m in height, you are welcome to challenge yourself to the Climb.
Adrenaline junkies won't be tested by the climb, but the sheer uniqueness of the experience combined with the insight from climb leaders and the resulting view of the harbour makes the Sydney Bridge Climb worth the cost and effort. As I said in lessons learnt from travelling the world, if in doubt, spend the money.
The scariest part of the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb that takes you some 134 metres to the top of the 84-year-old span is the flat bit at the beginning. Go figure. Once you get into the “skeleton” of the bridge, the climb is easy.