For our 9th wedding anniversary, I surprised Craig with a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I booked us in for a twilight climb. It was $213 per person which sounds kind of expensive but all the money goes towards the upkeep of the bridge.
There are cheaper options, such as a day time climb or an evening climb but I thought dusk would be the best option as you start climbing during the daylight and by the time you return it was dark. It was in November and daylight savings had started, therefore making sunset later at approximately 8pm. Our climb commenced at 6.30pm which ensured we were out on the bridge by 7.30pm.
The actual climb took about one hour. The pre-climb introduction also takes approximately one hour. Climbs depart every 30 mins and there are 3 groups on the bridge at various stages whilst you are out there. At the beginning you are required to fill out a medical disclaimer and then put on your grey jumpsuit, remove all jewellery and place all belongs in a locker. You are unable to take a camera or anything up on the bridge with you, this is a security measure to ensure no one drops anything which would fall on to the traffic below.
Once you are out on the bridge, you are attached to a safety line to make sure that you don’t fall onto the traffic below. You also have a set of headphones so that the tour leader is able to communicate with you. The tour leaders are extremely knowledgeable and provide an informative and entertaining commentary through out the climb. The bridge was opened to the public in 1932 and the commentary involves stories about people that worked on the bridge and the history of how it was built and how many people lost their lives during its construction. I wont spoil it for you, but there was not nearly as many lives lost as I had expected which is fantastic.
There are stops at 3 different locations throughout the climb where they take photos which you can purchase at the end for a highly inflated price but like most people we bought them all! The photos are aimed for maximum views of the Sydney skyline ensuring the Opera House is included. When we got to the top of the bridge we turned around to take in the awesome view and we were lucky enough to have a fireworks display going off over the Sydney Opera House. So we stood at the top of the bridge and watched the display for nearly 15 mins and had photos with the fireworks in the background. The tour leader said that we were very lucky as that was a very rare occurrence and strangely enough no one could work out what the reason for the fireworks was, just lucky I suppose.
Overall it was one of the best experiences I have ever had and would I do it again – in a heart beat! Whilst very expensive I still think it was worth every cent and the fact that we had an awesome tour group leader was just icing on the cake. It a once in a life time experience and I recommend doing it for anyone who’s in town. It was at the top of my bucket list and having lived in Sydney for 2 years, I said to Craig that I’m not going back to Melbourne until I tick it off!
While we didn’t take the kids on this experience due to the cost, we have found Sydney a great city for visiting with kids. Some of my favourite activities are Taronga Zoo, Madame Tussard’s at Darling Harbour and if you’re happy to go a little further afield a visit to Summer Bay, where Home and Away is filmed!
We lived in Sydney for a few years when the kids were younger, we have a few friends up there that we regularly visit. It really is a very pretty city and while I’m happy to be home, I do really miss it sometimes.
Sal & Co.