Sydney – Day 1 – Part 1
I just got back from a 2 week family vacation to Australia to visit some family and friends for the first time. And I just had to check something off my bucket list: Climb the Sydney Bridge. This was pretty much the very first thing I did after arriving in Sydney. I made reservation online the night before on the Sydney Bridge Climb website for the earliest time available. 9:55am on Monday September 7.
We woke up early the next day to drive out to the city from the eastern suburbs where we were staying to the Rocks area and checked in a little early. I waited until the day before to make reservations because I wanted to make sure we did the Sydney Bridge Climb on a nice day since climbs are open in rain or shine.
The Bridge Climb ranges from AU$148 to $368. The price range depends on which climb you choose. There is the Bridge Climb Sampler which only takes you half way up the bridge (AU$148) or the Bridge Climb during the day (AU$258), night (AU$218), twilight (AU$318), or dawn (AU$358). We went with the day Bridge Climb and ended up paying US$188 per person (~AU$267).
It’s a pretty expensive experience, but it’s pretty much a 3 hour excursion and a once in a life time experience. Well unless you want to go back to try the other options as well. They actually have themed climbs and of course climbs for weddings etc.
After getting dropped off, we went inside to check in. Got our tickets, and wandered around the gift shop and picked up a cup of coffee. Mom decided she didn’t want to do the Bridge Climb because she is actually afraid of heights, so she and Auntie (Mom’s best friend who lives in Sydney) decided to hangout in the City and enjoy some coffee.
I was honestly getting very nervous as we were waiting because I have a fear of bridges and I used to be terrified to be on bridges. I’ve gotten a lot better with bridges over the years and slowly learned to just not think about it. Which makes it almost crazy to think that I’m going to climb this bridge.
When 9:55am rolled around, everyone with the 9:55am Bridge Climb entered into a small room where we were given a quick briefing. Everyone one signed release forms and confirmed that we did not have any medical issues and if anyone needed to bring any medication with them during the Bridge Climb. A quick breathalyzer test to make sure no one has been drinking, and then a few more rules on what we can wear and cannot bring with us during the climb.
Next, get suited up for the Bridge Climb. We were handed our jumpsuit and then guided into the changing rooms. Don’t wear anything too thick under the jumpsuit and of course make sure you don’t have any loose items in your pockets. They provide lockers for everyone. The only personal item you can bring is a pair of sunglasses, though they do add the glasses string cord thing to them and then attach them to your jumpsuit.
After getting suited up, you walk though a metal detector. It feels very serious. And they obviously take it very serious. They don’t want anything falling off the bridge since there are lots of cars below us and if we drop anything, that can cause an accident or injuries.
Then it’s time to get into the harness and accessorize. The harness is simply wrapped around your waist with a few hooks and strings here and there and then a pocket in the back for the radio. That is all that’s going to make sure we are safe on the bridge. As mentioned earlier, people climb the bridge rain or shin and they have accessories ready for any type of weather. So depending on the weather there will be more accessories for you to attach to your jump suite and harness. As you can see in the picture above, Dad is wearing the hat (which we get to keep), a handkerchief on his left wrist, and he’s still wearing the headset on his head. Yuntiha and I took off the hat and headset for pictures.
It was a 3 hour Bridge Climb, though the first hour is the prep time. After getting suited up and accessorized, it’s training time. The most difficult part of the climb is the actually climb to get to the top railings of the bridge where you have to climb 4 consecutive sets of ladders. So the training shows you how you are latched onto the bridge with your harness and that only one person should be on the latter at a time. I was kind of freaking out after the “practice” climb.
And now, we finally head out onto the bridge. We start the Bridge Climb going through the Pylon building and the lower part of the bridge. You’re pretty much walking some of the beams of the bridge with a couple planks of wood as our walkway. It’s actually a pretty narrow walkway. We slowly see views of the harbor along our walk and then we start walking over the water. It was hard to enjoy the view thinking about where are these ladders!
Ok, the ladders were much scarier the the practice ones! It was more then double the height of the little practice ones we had and there are cars driving along the side of the ladder and there is the height situation, as you go up there isn’t much around you except for the metal ladder and parts of the bridge. After hitting my knee a few times on the ladder and 4 flights of the ladder, we finally made it to the top of the bridge. I mean we’re literally standing on top of the bridge (though not quite at the highest point of the bridge yet).
And the view was breath taking. This was pretty much my inaugural view of Sydney.
Our Climb Leader Maria was our tour guide and photographer, so when we made it to the top of the ladder she made sure to take pictures for us (and of course pictures for everyone else in our group too). And from here it’s a hike up to the top top of the Sydney Bridge. We made a couple stops along the way for pictures, a mist machine, and a little detour.
Because they were re-painting part of the bridge we had to take a little detour to the other side of the bridge. This was actually pretty scary because we are near the very top top of the bridge as we walked across, it was an open mesh pathway. If you look down you’ll clearly see cars driving across the narrow bridge below. I held my breath and walked as fast as could with light foot steps.
And when we were finally at the very top top of the bridge, we had to walk across again to get to the harbor side of the bridge. But this bridge looked much sturdier then the previous one we crossed on our little detour. It also wide enough for all 3 three of us to take a couple pictures.
And once everyone was across, we got a group picture with everyone in our group in it. We got that picture printed out for us for free.
As for the rest of the pictures, we bought a thumb drive with all of the pictures.
It was worth every penny of the climb. It feels expensive, but the experience was well worth it.