Editors' Picks

BridgeClimb Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway, Dawes Point NSW 2000, Australia

(61 2) 8274-7777

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One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions for Aussies and “internationals” alike is a climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest single arch steel bridge in the world. Locals affectionately refer to it as the coathanger because of its shape, and many consider scaling it a rite of passage for Sydney lovers. While daring teenagers used to climb the bridge for fun, security was beefed up after 9/11, and the only way to ascend the arches now is on an official BridgeClimb. Paul Cave, a Harbour Bridge lover, organized the first official climb for a YPO World Congress in 1989; it was such a thrilling success that he was determined to open the experience to others; and after nine years of persuading civic officials, he launched BridgeClimb. More than two and half million climbers have made the trek, and it has been ranked by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top ten most thrilling experiences along with running with the bulls in Pamplona.

Dozens of climbs are made each day, but it’s best to reserve one in advance. All climbers are given a special bridge suit and safety instruction and are clipped on to a wire. Among the climb options are the BridgeClimb Express, which consists of fourteen people in a group, takes two hours and fifteen minutes and covers the inner arch of the bridge, not the top one, though it does include some time on the summit. The Discovery Climb takes three and a half hours and allows those in a group of fourteen to climb a staircase between the two arches and hear an in-depth history of the bridge. The BridgeClimb, also three and a half hours, is for the most adventurous climbers as it travels along the top arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with 360-degree views all the way up to the summit 134 meters above the harbor. In addition, there are special twilight and sunrise climbs on the first Saturday of every month. Daytime, twilight and night climbs run daily with opening hours adjusting by season.

Note: Climbers must pass an alcohol breath test before the BridgeClimb, so be sure not to have any alcoholic beverage before your climb.

Who Should Go: Those looking for stunning views and a memorable urban adventure.

Who Should Not Go: Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to make the BridgeClimb; nor women who are more than 24 weeks pregnant, people with broken bones, those who are prone to seizures or who have had surgery within the past six months. People who are afraid of heights or have a hard time with stairs should not consider the BridgeClimb.

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

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