Travels and Tours Australia – Day 18: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Travels and Tours Australia - Day 18: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Things to do in Sydney

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Private Half Day Sydney Tour – North To Manly Beach

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Sydney Harbour Highlights Kayaking Adventure

Sydney City Highlights Half Day Afternoon Private Charter Tour

The Art of Macro – Sydney Photography Workshop

Morning Sydney Sights and Harbour Lunch Cruise


<< Go to Day 17 of Road Trip Australia

Day 18: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

My alarm wakes me up nice and early. Not only do I need to check out of the hostel, but I need to get on the phone and check if my Bridge Climb has been confirmed. I know it may sound silly, but the Bridge Climb is nearly as integral for me to the Sydney Experience as watching a show in the Opera House. Ever since my Dad managed to do the climb, I had decided that I wanted to as well. Just the opportunity to see the view of the Harbour from double the height of the Sydney Opera House was enticing.

However, my phobia of edges made the prospect equally daunting. Though I knew nothing would really go wrong, part of me was hoping that they would renegade the idea and I could use the excuse that at least I had tried. Thankfully, upon calling the Bridge Climb office, I learn that I am booked to do the 2 pm Express Climb – a new route that takes in both the middle tier and upper level – all in less time than the two exclusive routes. I am excited at the prospect of not having to walk on the upper edge throughout the climb, along with the opportunity to stand at the summit. I spend my morning wandering around Sydney’s CBD. I have to admit that as CBD’s go, Sydney’s is not my favourite. A rather cold presence in comparison to some of Australia’s other centers, it is far more business-focused with tourists centering around neighbouring areas and making use of the stunning Botanical Gardens, sensational Harbour and trendy Rocks.

I end up walking along Oxford Street and stopping for lunch on Crown Street. The morning has simply flown by in a buzz of anticipation. Before I know it, I am stood in line at the Bridge Climb center picking up my pass. I am given a Bridge Climb cap and told to wait till my departure is announced. I do as I am told and fill time in the mini-museum dedicated to the history of the bridge. Soon enough my departure arrives and I am taken through to the pre-departure chamber. In the room, I am asked to fill out my details and take a breathalyzer test. I pass (not a surprise given that it is 2 pm and I have not drunk a drop), and I move through to the uniform room, where I am handed my jumpsuit. After a quick change, we are given the rest of our equipment in record time and head towards the bridge. I am placed at the front, directly behind our super friendly guide and with just a lanyard to keep me from blowing away, the expedition up the bridge’s side commences. It is this first walk that is the most daunting.

With solid ground, a fall beneath our feet, the holey ground upon which we walk means that every step reveals the distance between you and the floor. However, once this short walk is complete, we make our way up the side, wide solid iron beneath our feet, only the side views intimate how high we have reached. Surprisingly, the lack of viewing distance beneath our feet adds security and I breeze my way to the top. Once here, my legs shake a little. We are exposed and the wind is blowing. However, not wanting to show my nerves, I take a deep breath and just avoid looking down. I nearly stumble as we cross over the bridge. Beneath me are more lines of traffic than I’d care to imagine. I want to close my eyes and imagine I am elsewhere, but at the same time, the notion of being on top of the world is so enticing that I keep them wide open.

I sigh from relief as we make our way back down. I have loved the experience, but to be descending once again seems safe. However, on the descent, we learn that 16 people died during construction and that one worker, who had amazingly survived, fell from the path we are taking. I try not to focus on these facts and tell myself that I have not fallen so far and that I will make it safely back into the center. Which of course I do. Buzzing from having completed the climb, though, with slightly achy limbs, I treat myself to a naughty Frappucino on the way to the campervan and start my journey towards my final stop, Canberra. With the climb having taken over two hours and a good 40-minute walk to my campervan, the sunset is not far away and my intention of sleeping overnight in Canberra seems flawed.

I decided to just see how far I get. At first, it seems like a major case of bad timing, with the rush hour traffic kicking in, I barely move out of Sydney within the first hour and a half. My petrol is flashing red and I envision a revisit to the Daly Waters debacle when I thankfully spot a service station. With the tank full and the traffic dying down, I make good ground and decide to pull over at a rest stop. I notice a large kangaroo munching away in the dark. I decide not to disturb it, and jump in the back of the van. I am exhausted. I intend to have an hour’s rest and complete my drive, but before I know it I am in the land of nod.

Travel to Western Australia

Go to Day 19 of Road Trip Australia >>