Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is right up there as a “Must Do” for anyone visiting Sydney.

This breathtaking symbol of Australia spans a wonderful chunk of Sydney Harbour with what is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. It’s a truly massive structure.

During your stay you’ll see what locals call “the Coat-Hanger” from many parts of the city, and you’ll probably pass over it by train or car and under it by ferryboat or harbour cruiser.

But nothing beats getting close up and personal with the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Will you go the 'full monty'?

When you DO the Bridge the choice is whether to walk across it, to climb the steps of the South East Pylon to the Pylon Lookout, or to go the “full monty” with BridgeClimb Sydney where you'll be strapped on for the hair-raising journey to the very top of the Bridge arch.

All three choices give you beautiful views of city and harbour - with different levels of excitement. But do you want to keep the wallet intact, open it a little, or a lot?

Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge

You can walk across from the City Centre to the North Shore at any time - and it’s free!

You’ll have views of the world famous Sydney Opera House and you will marvel at the harbour’s beauty. Try the walk in the early evening for sensational vistas as the sun goes down and the city lights up.

You can walk the Bridge in 30 minutes or so – a little more if you’ve the camera out. The views are incredible and you get such an appreciation of the harbour activity and beauty. (Amazingly, many Sydney-siders have yet to do it).

If you’re staying in one of the many hotels in the Sydney CBD you’ll want to start the Bridge walk from that side of the harbour.

So head down to The Rocks and look for the Bridge Stairs located near Gloucester Street and Cumberland Street.

(Maybe drop in first to the Sydney Visitor Centre at The Rocks for a helpful map showing how to access the Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway).

When you reach the stairs they will take you up to the main deck of the Bridge where you can simply walk across to the northern side.

Wear some comfy casual shoes, remember a hat - and of course your camera! Good photo ops abound.

The pedestrian path is on the eastern side of the bridge so the beautiful harbour opens up to you, with views right out to the Sydney Heads from mid-bridge.

Save your $$$ for the restaurant

The Bridge Walk is interesting for all the family and leaves your wallet intact. Return to the CBD by train - it only takes a couple of minutes. Then maybe you’ll be ready to splash out on a restaurant meal - or a show. You'll have saved plenty ...

The Pylon Lookout has been a favourite place for tourists to view Sydney from for decades. Although revamped a few times it remains special.

(Pictured above is the big granite block tower of the South East Pylon taken from the Bridge's pedestrian walkway. The Lookout is at the very top).

Do the Pylon climb if:

  • You're scared of heights - and the thought of the Bridge Climb to the top of the arch turns your stomach. But you can manage normal steps without hassle. (There are 200 to climb here!)
  • You've a child under 10 and they won't let the kid climb to the top of the arch for safety reasons.
  • The wonderful Bridge Climb is just too expensive for your Sydney trip budget.
  • You want to take your own photos or video. (BridgeClimb Sydney won't let you - for safety reasons. For an additional charge they do the photography for you).
  • You want to know more about the history of this grand Harbour Bridge. (There are three levels of interesting historical exhibits to view as you climb inside the South East Pylon to the Lookout on top).
  • You've had some alcohol and you can't pass the Bridge Climb breath test.

NOTE: Go on the Bridge Climb and you get a pass to the Pylon too.

For more info see our Pylon Lookout page.

These guys are on an adrenalin high climbing Sydney Harbour  Bridge. Like everyone who goes on the Bridge Climb they're suited up and safely strapped on to the arch - and having the time of their lives!

Go on, do the Bridge Climb . . .

Not for the faint-hearted is the daring climb to the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

So popular is it that almost three million people - Australians and tourists from all parts of the world - have now experienced the thrill of the climb.

All are suited up with special safety gear and put through a practice routine to get used to the equipment before being allowed to start.

Then out on the Bridge every tourist is strapped on to the outer rim of the arch as they climb to its highest point.

For more info see our Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb page.

Do you speak Chinese?

If you'd like your guides for the climb to be Chinese speakers, check out the Mandarin Bridge Climb page.

Just magic! - Another group of Bridge Climbing tourists rejoice in reaching the 134m zenith of the Bridge.

Return to City Attractions from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

View from The Rocks.


" can see it from every corner of the city, creeping into frame from the oddest angles, like an uncle who wants to get into every snapshot. From a distance it has a kind of gallant restraint, majestic but not assertive, but up close it is all might. It soars above you, so high that you could pass a ten-storey building beneath it, and looks like the heaviest thing on earth. Everything that is in it – the stone blocks in its four towers, the latticework of girders, the metal plates, the six-million rivets (with heads like halved apples) – is the biggest of its type you have ever seen... This is a great bridge.      ”

American travel-writer Bill Bryson's impressions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in his book "Down Under", (2000).

The Pylon Lookout

Views from the Lookout atop the South East Pylon ... where you can take photos and videos to your heart's content.

Bridge Facts

The Sydney Harbour Bridge cost more than $1.5 billion to build (in today’s money).

Construction began in 1924 and the contract was for 4.2 million pounds Australian. (Actually 4,217,721 pounds 11 shillings and 10 pence!).

It took 1,400 men eight years to complete the bridge, using 53,000 tonnes of steel.

To hold everything together nicely, six million hand driven steel rivets were used. The largest of these weighed 3.5kg and were 39.5cm long.

It was not until 1988 that tolls paid off the Bridge loan.

In the early years 11,000 cars crossed the bridge daily. Today, it's more than 160,000.