Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sydney Harbour Bridge

In honor of our interview with Curtis Stone, I wanted to flashback to my travels in Australia. Australia has been a special place for me for a long time. I went there in 2003 on my first extended overseas travel journey. I had a very rough year prior to that trip and was happy to escape to the furthest point on earth away from where I lived. I often refer to this as the time I ran away from home. I was with my grandmother and also my friend Tina for a four-week journey to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. 

A stay in Sydney was part of the journey and one of the activities that Tina and I did there was climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At that time (and really still today) I am always up for an adventure. This is still a very popular sightseeing activity in the city. We decided that we wanted to climb during the sunset spot to get the most amazing views of the city at dusk. We took the safety class and then suited up for out climb. You are required to wear their suit and cannot carry anything with you that is not clipped to the suit because if anything fell it could shatter a car window or actually kill someone on the bridge. We also had to wear a harness that attached us to the bridge itself and we were all attached together as well so we had to stay together in our group.

We latched on to the Climb Base below the Bradfield Highway. We walked below the road-deck until reaching the South-East Pylon. There we went up four ladders to the start of the upper arch. With the Summit in your sight, the journey continues along the Bridge’s upper arch on the Opera House side until we hit the top. After a Summit celebration with your group, we crossed to the Darling Harbour side of the bridge to make the descent to Climb Base. The whole journey takes about 3.5 hours.

Climbing the 1332 steps was a rigorous activity. I also quickly learned that being in the last position in the chain was not ideal. By the time I caught up to the group during the rest periods it was time to move again so I literally climbed with what felt like no breaks. Even though I was out of breathe, the views at the Summit were absolutely worth it. 

We saw the gorgeous sunset at the Summit and also quickly learned that at twilight all of the fruit bats from the Royal Botanical Gardens take flight and come over the bridge. I literally hit the ground as hundreds of them swarmed and flew by. It was a pretty funny sight. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sydney. They also now even offer expedited treks on the bridge that last 1.5-2 hours but you do not reach the summit.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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