Something that is on thousands of bucket lists across the world is seeing the sights of Sydney from on high. In fact, it was on our bucket list from the beginning. Sitting in a cold kitchen in the UK in December 2015, we were so generously promised tickets so that we could go climbing the Sydney Harbour bridge as a Christmas present the following year.
We could barely even comprehend all the things we would see between the two points. How much of the world we would have travelled. We’ve seen Machu Picchu and Las Vegas since that moment we were clutching our coffee to stop our fingers going numb.
the build up
Still, the day we woke up to climb the Harbour Bridge was a magical one. Full of excitement and tinglyness. It kind of marked the beginning of the end. Ticking off all the most important (for us) things to do in Australia would mark the end of our fantastic year abroad.
Arriving at the bridge climb centre, there were so many people milling about. Those that had been up and come down, and those who were excited to begin the ascent. The Centre is in the middle of the Rocks district in Sydney, which is an awesome place to hang out for the day. Just make sure you eat something before the climb and don’t partake in any afternoon beers in the sun (yes, they DO breathalyse you). breath
We filled in our disclaimer forms and then climbed into our very attractive blue boiler suits and then replaced our flip flops with the trainers we had brought with us. We stuffed everything else into a locker because unfortunately you can’t take anything up there.
After being taken to a warehouse next door, we were fitted with harnesses, radios, hats and a hankie. Everything has to be attached to you using cables – to make sure they don’t fly off into the distance. Thankfully, everyone passed the initial test of a practice course using the harness safety system.
Our guide, Sam, was a fantastic guy. He remembered all of our names after hearing them once and was knowledgeable and frankly, hilarious. He got us all to line up and then we hooked ourselves onto the safety system. It’s designed so that once you hook on, you can’t get off again for the next two hours – so make sure you choose who you’re next to wisely!
We walked under the bridge for a while, marveling at the roads below and the lapping of the water against the harbour walls. There were a few tight squeezes, but everyone managed.
Then, we started to climb. First up several ladders to take us to the top side of the bridge. Once we were there, we were standing on the arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! The view was already incredible, but we still had to make it to the highest point by climbing more stairs.
Sam stopped us occasionally to tell us about the history of the bridge, or Sydney in general. There were plenty of opportunities for photos, but sadly we had not been allowed to take our camera with us. We received one group shot for free, but were required to pay for the others.
A great achievement
We finally reached the top and stopped for a moment to cheer and congratulate ourselves on a great achievement. Some people had been nervous to start with, and others had gradually started getting anxious as we got further from the ground.
All good things come to and end and we made our way down the other side. The sun was just starting to set and the sky was turning a beautiful orange colour. We stripped off all of our gear (although we got to keep the hat) and I was surprised to find myself incredibly pleased to be back on solid ground.
All in all climbing the Sydney harbour bridge was a fantastic experience and we are eternally grateful to my Mum who generously gifted us the tickets.
Have you been climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge? What did you think? What has been your biggest bucket list cross-off to date? Let us know in the comments below!