The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb as a tourist attraction has been operating for 17 years and it had been on our bucket list for quite some time. Together with four of our friends, we made a booking for mid-afternoon that would take us into the twilight hours as we climbed the bridge.
It was a late winters’ afternoon, as we stepped out into the daylight, onto the criss-crossing girders of the arch of the bridge, the rays of the sun were radiating like a fan, through the white clouds, spreading its rays over the Gladesville Bridge and Parramatta in the distance. Standing on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the waters of the harbour were silver and the gentle shafts of sunlight painted a moving masterpiece on this magnificent harbour and the suburbs lining its shores.
The scene before us was spectacular. Looking into the late afternoon sun, the suburbs were in shadow and the bright silver water of the harbour snaked its way in all directions like the tenticles of giant octopus.
We had had lunch at the Walsh Bay Pier Café and watched the ferries, and small craft sailing beneath this beautiful “Giant Coathanger” that Sydneysiders lovingly call the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From a distance we could see the climbers in single file on the bridge, looking like a line of ants heading to their nest.
We spent an hour getting our kit on, jumpsuit, radio and head phones so we could hear our directions and commentary from Chloe our leader. We also were given a rain jacket, a warm jacket, and we needed to leave behind in lockers, cameras, phones, watches, rings, earrings and anything that we could drop down onto the traffic below. For safety, our attachment lead around our waists was to be hooked up to a steel rope that trails our route on our journey.
The most difficult part of the climb, are the ladders which take us from ground level underneath up to the beginning of the arch. As we step out onto the east side of the arch, the view of the harbour and city is spectacular. The Opera House with its sets of sails looking out of the Harbour is below us and we watch as the ferries berth at Circular Quay. Chloe our tour guide, points out Kirribilli House, the Sydney home of the Governor General. The Sea Princess cruise ship sails below us out through the Heads, on her journey north. What an experience as a “Tall Ship” sails into the harbour and passes beneath us, all the while helicopters are flying above us.
Unfortunately, a climber is not permitted to take anything loose on the climb with them, that includes cameras. These photos are not taken by me but are part of the package that we purchased. We did participate in the sunset climb, and this is exactly what we witnessed, a beautiful sunset over Parramatta.