Today I finally got to climb the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. I was supposed to climb it with a friend back in 2000 before I realized my flight out of Sydney was leaving in the morning, so I had to cancel mine while my friend actually got to go to hers. Life could be cruel sometimes. So after 8 long years and 5 trips to Sydney later, I hope to cross this off my Life-To-Do-List.

I went with 3 of my younger siblings, one who is terrified of height. We picked the twilight climb so we will get to see the sunset from up there. We arrived 15 minutes before the climb. There are pictures of celebrities on the wall who have done the climb in the past including Will Smith, Matt Damon, Al Gore, Sir Richard Branson, Nicole Kidman, etc.

The whole experience will take around 3 1/2 hours, about 1 hour of which will be spent on safety prep, putting the gear on, and a trial climb up and down on a small stairs. We are not allowed to wear anything on our wrist or to bring anything with us on this climb. The harbour bridge is the busiest highway in Australia. I can only imagine some punks go on this climb and start dropping something from the bridge onto the highway and cause an accident below. We are given a one-piece track-suit, a safety belt (similar to the one people use for rock climbing except this one only goes around the waist), a safety latch that attaches to the belt and to the rail alongside the bridge, a fleece and a raincoat in a small bag that goes behind the belt in case we get cold or it rains (it’s been raining in Sydney in the last few days), a head piece that attaches to a main radio unit so we can listen to the guide during the climb, and a headlight. I am amazed with the safety they take. Every piece of safety instruments we wear are attached to either the belt or the one-piece tracksuit including glasses and hats.

We started the climb at the bottom part of the bridge just below the highway. The guide explained some of the history of the city including the story where James Cook (discoverer of Australia) first arrived in Australia. The view of Sydney Opera House is amazing from up here. I wish they offer bungy-jumping (also on the Life’s To-Do-List). We then had to climb the stairs so we could actually start climbing the arch of the bridge. It wasn’t too hard. My siblings were struggling a bit. They are not in shape. Shame on them. 😉

When we got to the top (bottom of the arch) before the actual climb, cars were zooming by on the bridge. It’s pretty similar to the walk on the Golden Gate Bridge where you are only a few feet from the road itself. The climb was amazing. The view was breathtaking. I could almost see the entire city except those that were blocked by the skyscrapper. The weather was perfect.

It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top. Well, we stopped a lot along the way to enjoy the view and to listen to some stories about the thing that we saw. At the highest point, we were about 134 metres from the sea-level. The sunset on the western end were amazing. I virtually saw the sun disappear on the horizon. Too bad I couldn’t bring the camera with me. That would have made a beautiful wallpaper. The sky turned dark on our way down so it’s time to put the headlight on. I don’t think it helps though because we could still see pretty much anything. But hey, I don’t get a lot of chances to wear these gears all at the same time. The descend down took longer because the group in front of us were really slow.

When we arrived back, we were given opportunities to purchase the pictures the guide took of us. We received a free group picture. Everything else is not FREE. You can purchase the images in CD or you can have them printed out in 6 x 8, 10 x 12, and frame (if I remember it correctly). I have no use for printed photos since I am all-digital in my photo collections. It costs AU$ 64.95 for the first 4 pictures and AU$ 5.00 for each additional. It actually helps going in a big group because you can make one single purchase instead of multiple individual purchases.

The whole experience was amazing. Yes, it is pretty expensive at AU$ 249 a person but it is worth it. Will I do it again? May be.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Doing the Thizzle Dance at the top of Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Group pics at the highest point before our descend down.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
With my siblings.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
City View of Sydney on the background.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
These are the steps we climbed.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The View of Sydney Opera House from the Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The descend on the west end of the bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
The descend at dawn with the City View on the background.

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