When I wrote my main review on the Sydney Harbour Bridge I deliberately focused on the history of the bridge and admiring it from anywhere other than its upper heights. I did not want a negative commentary on climbing (to the top) to detract the visitor from enjoying what is one of Sydney’s top sites. Accordingly, I have decided to write here separately on the bridge climb.
The main bridge/ summit climb which takes you right up to the top of the arch, 134 metres above mean sea level on the Opera House side comes in various packages. Given all the preparatory briefings, etc, etc the ‘experience’ takes around 3.5 hours. A sampler climb which only takes you half way up takes 1.5 hours (over half the cost).
While I have no doubt the view from the top of the bridge would be spectacular I recommend against the bridge climb for three reasons:
1. Because of what I consider to be absolute rip-off prices (see below).
2. You cannot take your own camera up and apart from a single full group photograph included in the cost you will have to pay for additional photos which will be taken on your ascent.
3. You can get excellent views of the harbour, etc from various other locations at a lot lower cost.
Of course it is up to you to decide if you want to climb it or not so in the interest of fair reporting I will let you know that Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Ferguson, Cathy Freeman, Kylie Minogue and Kostya Tszyu have all climbed the bridge. I doubt if any of these would have been overly troubled by the cost, if indeed they were asked to pay at all.
For those wishing to do the climb.
Bridge climb hours of operation
Daily: Pre dawn to night – so varies.
Climb Costs (June 2017)
The cost varies depending on time of day and day of week and are quotes in Australian dollars.
Dawn (not daily) – watch the sun rise – $378
Daytime – after dawn to pre twilight – $293 – $308
Twilight – $358 -$378
Night – $253 -$268
(lower price weekdays – higher weekends)
Child rates about 2/3rd adult rates.
Access to the Bridge climb is via the Bridge Climb reception centre at 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks.
Fun alternative ways to enjoy the bridge:
There are many options:-
Walk or cycle across the bridge for free
Take the train across for a few dollars – While the train runs on the ‘wrong side’ of the bridge you can still see though to the Opera House side.
Take a ferry under the bridge and admire it from the harbour – highly recommended.
Do the Pylon Climb instead for a fraction of the cost – details on my Harbour Bridge – Pylon Climb review.
While I have not done it (as I have not done the climb) you can also take a 20 minute helicopter ride which covers an area much wider than just around the bridge for around A$200 per person. As I have not done it I can’t recommend an operator – there are a few if you google the subject.