Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

On my first two visits to Australia I consciously chose not to do the Harbour Bridge Climb, deciding it was too expensive to be justified. However, I recently had a change of heart and decided that it was a Sydney experience I didn't want to miss. Since then I've been looking for opportunities when I could suggest the climb to visiting friends!

When you arrive for the climb you spend the first forty-five minutes getting kitted out. They take safety very seriously. To protect you and users on the bridge below you have to wear a boiler suit (so nothing can fall out of your pockets) and a safety harness that you use to clip onto the bridge at all times. They've also thought of virtually anything else that you might need, hats, gloves, fleeces, waterproofs and even handkerchiefs. Everything is clipped onto you at least twice to prevent any danger of something being dropped onto the cars below. It's all pretty well designed and thought through, but you do end up carrying about 5kg in extra weight!

We then walked out onto the bridge and to the top of the arch. I was hoping to tell you it was a stunning experience, but frankly I was a bit disappointed. Is it because you've seen the bridge from so many different angles already that one more doesn't really excite? Or perhaps it could be that the most dramatic views of Sydney include both the Bridge and Opera house, and you want to be seeing the view, not standing on it? Has all the safety gear taken away any possible element of thrill and excitement? Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

The most disappointing element for me was the information we got from the guide. An eighty your old bridge must have lots of interesting anecdotes and facts surrounding it. A great tour guide could have entertained and taught us all something. What we got was a fairly minimal script being read out to us.

Overall it wasn't a bad experience, but it didn't have the wow factor that I was hoping for. At $200 it certainly isn't cheap. I'll probably advise future guests visiting Sydney not to bother and to spend their money climbing the Harbour Bridge Pylon (post soon) and having a drink at the Shangri-La or Summit Bar. They'll have just as good a time and come away with change.


  1. Awww that's a bummer that you didn't have an enjoyable experience. When my bf and I went, we went during twilight and got the most amazing views and pictures.

    Like most touristy things, it is quite expensive, I know it sucks and you might feel jipped but at least you don't have to do it again.. When did you go? It looks quite cloudy, maybe you would have enjoyed it with better weather?

  2. We went in the morning, there was absolutely torrential raining while we were getting kitted up, but luckily the clouds cleared as we started to climb.

    I think you are right that it could have been a more magical experience if the weather had been better or you had a dramatic sunset.

  3. Aww shame you didn't have as great of an experience as was anticipated. I keep looking at it as a to do thing but totally agree with you that I can't seem to justify the price tag per person!

    (By the way, nice to meet you on Saturday! =) )