Despite swearing off bridges for the foreseeable future after a bungy jump in Queenstown, it was too hard to resist the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb when some very lovely friends gifted it to us during our travels! I have to admit, given my dislike of heights, I was slightly apprehensive at the prospect of being so far off the ground in a harness for a second time. I wasn’t about to miss the stunning views of Sydney Harbour so I consoled myself with the thought that at least this time we were climbing the bridge and not jumping off it!
We scheduled our bridge climb for our first Monday in Sydney and, due to the pre climb alcohol breath test, vowed to stay off the champagne the evening before. The weather forecast was looking good for our early morning climb and I was feeling especially brave so we were all set for the big day!
Bridge Climb Prep
We arrived at the Bridge Climb Centre for our 8am climb and were introduced to the rest of our group and given our very cool bridge climb jumpsuits (I actually do think they were pretty cool, I’m tempted to splash out on a onesie for myself and recreate the look!). Our instructor taught us how to loop our harness onto the bridge and we did a few practice runs on the indoor ladders and platforms.
We were good to go!
The climb began with everyone latching onto the bridge and crossing some catwalks before reaching the ladders to the upper arch. It was surreal climbing in the middle of the highway traffic with cars and trucks rattling past. We were able to communicate through our headsets and our guide was great fun and relayed a wealth of interesting facts about the history of the bridge. As we ascended the arch we were rewarded with outstanding views of the Harbour and the magnificent Sydney Opera House. I’m almost certain we made the morning traffic report as well, bonus!
We made it to the summit taking some time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings along the way. I really wished we could have brought a camera to take our own photos but, understandably due to the risk of dropping something on the traffic underneath, only secured items necessary for the climb are allowed to be carried.
We crossed over to the Darling Harbour side to begin our descent back to the climb centre. All too quickly we were back on firm ground and I had to part with my fabulous jumpsuit. We’d conquered the iconic coat hanger and 1,332 steps in the process! In the words of Miley Cyrus: it ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the cliiiiiimb!
It’s a long way up…
At the beginning of the climb I was a bit nervous given my slight dislike of heights but I was pleasantly surprised. Safety is paramount with the Bridge Climb operators and, with the harness fastened to the bridge, I always felt secure. Our leader was an absolute gem and made sure I was OK with the height numerous times. In the end it wasn’t a problem at all.
The Bridge Climb is definitely one of those amazing and unique experiences which we strive to find on our travels. It was really awe-inspiring climbing the massive structure of the bridge and enjoying the spectacular views of Sydney from the summit. The staff are great and the tour leader was funny and interesting. There is a significant amount of preparation – getting suited up and harnessed and practising the technique – but the process is efficient and goes quite quickly.
It’s an expensive outing with our bridge climb costing nearly AUD 500 for the two of us. This price only includes a group photo and, let’s be honest, who really wants a picture with 12 random strangers at the top of a bridge! We spent an additional AUD 50 on 3 images of us taken during the climb and, unless you have willpower of steel (which we don’t!), you’re likely to purchase the pictures. We didn’t keep the cap (it wasn’t quite as cool as the jumpsuit) and never made it to the Pylon lookout (we would have loved to but we didn’t have the time), both of which were included in the price.
In our opinion it’s a fantastic and unmissable experience if you have the budget. We had a lovely moment at the summit where we thought ‘We’re at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge, WOW!’. Our friends chose perfectly with this present!