SYdney: Climbing the Bridge

posted in: New South Wales

Okay, we didn’t really get to do the bridge climb.  For the official climb you have to be at least 10 years old, which is only half of us.  Plus, it’s pricey.  I hope all the kids will do it one day, and Sean and I would love to also, so hopefully we’ll all get the chance on some future trip. Instead we climbed to the Pylon Lookout, which was the perfect way for us to experience the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a family.  There are 200 stairs with a 360 degree view at the top, and exhibits along the way to tell you about the history of the bridge. We did a lot of walking to get there.  We took the train into town, had a look at the opera house, then walked to the bridge, stopping on the way for some lunch.  It’s really not all that much walking, but when you’ve got hungry kids and you are trying to keep track of them on busy city streets, it’s stressful and that makes it seem longer! Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes?Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Lots of info on the bridge before you get to the top.  It opened in 1932 and took eight years to build.  They built the north and south half a the same time and joined them in the middle.  It took eight days to join the two halves of the bridge.  I bet there were a lot of people holding their breath that week! Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_arch_bridge_spans Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_arch_bridge_spans Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? At the time the bridge opened it was nearly the longest steel arch bridge, missing out by just 63cm.  It’s now number six on the list. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? This story made me laugh, it’s not something I’ve heard before. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? We finally made it to the top level and had our first glimpse from the top.  More info awaited us before we made it outside. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? The view from the top! See the train crossing the bridge?  It’s on the very right.  Our train-obsessed toddler was so thrilled to see multiple trains while we were up there.  ‘Tain, tain!’ He would have happily stayed there all day and watched the trains cross the bridge.  When we later rode the ferry he was ecstatic to see the train crossing the bridge again, from a view under the bridge. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Looking back into Circular Quay.  See all the ferries?  And the docks?  Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Looking toward the bridge.  (Um, obviously.)  On the ledges there were lines which were guides to point out local landmarks and buildings.  Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? See the bridge climbers?  All in blue.  They go up in groups, pausing along the way to learn about the history of the bridge from their guide.  We saw at least a dozen groups start their climb.  At more than $250 per adult and dozens of group per day, I imagine they are raking it in.  You can even get married on the bridge if you’re so inclined (pun intended.) Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes?Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? A view of the opera house.  We’d been over there earlier that morning, so we pointed out to the kids how far we’d walked.  We could even see the building where we’d had lunch.  This harbour is very busy, so many boats headed in different directions. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? We were there long enough that the kids started to get bored.  Time for one last look! Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes?Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes?Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? This was the limit of the safety equipment for the men who built the bridge.  Sixteen people died during construction, but only two of those deaths were from falls. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? One last room with an exhibit and some gorgeous stained glass windows.  There was a video showing scenes from the opening of the bridge.  How neat it must have been to have the bridge open after all the years of debate followed by all the years of construction! Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Then we forced the kids to walk all the way across the bridge where we caught the train on the other side. I’m certain they don’t get how iconic this bridge is.  Little TurboBug climbed every one of those 200 steps inside the pylon on his own.  That’s a lot of steps, so he got to hitch a ride across the bridge. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes?Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Most of the day had been a bit overcast, but at one point I glance back toward the opera house and the sun had come out which made for a pretty picture. Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? Even prettier with a bit of filtering. (I think so, anyway, I love the colour of the sky!) Sydney: Climbing the Bridge ~ How Many More Minutes? So glad we did this!  It was a great way to ‘experience’ the bridge without doing the climb.  Plus we got to see the opera house and Circular Quay, and walk through the streets a bit.  And we survived public transportation in Sydney with four kids!  You can imagine we were all exhausted by the end of the day. Fortunately we were staying at a caravan park in Sydney which is close to a train station, so it was an easy journey home to our caravan.

3 Responses

  1. […] day we went to the Pylon Lookout we first walked over by the opera house.  You can’t go there and not go see the opera […]

  2. […] or something on JitterBug’s forehead.  It isn’t your computer screen! Hey, look, we were inside that pylon!  We walked across that bridge!  If you zoom out on this map you’ll see that the […]

  3. […] As I took a picture of this I thought it seemed familiar.  We saw another of these at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, though it didn’t have the heritage designation. Although it wasn’t one of those great, fun, […]

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