The thrill of climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge

Oprah and her travel buddies at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Oprah did it, and 83-year-old Lloyd Poulton did it too, and one couple got married on it. In fact over 2.7 million people have had a blast climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge for the best view in town, not to mention conquering a fear of heights.

The tourist company that organises the climbs, BridgeClimb Sydney, recently welcomed back their most frequent climber, Lloyd, for his 40th climb. Since Lloyd’s first climb in 2001 he has had almost 200 photos taken, climbed over 52,000 steps, walked 62 kilometres and spent more than 135 hours scaling our famous bridge. Lloyd says: “You haven’t seen the last of me yet.” He’s planning his 41st climb for his 84th birthday on Sunday, October 2.

Veteran bridge climber 83-year-old Lloyd Poulton

Over 2.7 million people from over 137 countries have climbed the bridge since it opened in 1932. BridgeClimb is considered a must-do tourist attraction in Sydney. How many of us Sydney residents just drive over it and don’t even look up with an admiring glance, I wonder.  One couple got married on it.  Stephen Tierney and Claire Tullan, from the UK, were married on the summit in 2008, dressed in the very unglamorous but compulsory bridge suits. I won’t call them jump suits. BridgeClimb has helped thousands of climbers overcome their fear of heights, also known as acrophobia. That’s me!

For the duration of the climb, you are attached to a static line on the bridge. During the climb, participants walk along flat, inclined mesh catwalks; climb up and down four flights of stairs; climb 465 widely spaced steps on the arches; and step over, duck under and squeeze through girders. There are hand rails along the route providing support all the way to the top.

Our gorgeous harbour changes its mood and colours constantly, and the climbs are done at dawn, in daylight, at dusk and at night. BridgeClimb operates in all Sydney weather conditions, except electrical storms and gale force winds. Challenging weather conditions add an extra thrill.

  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most recognisable symbols of Australia.
  • It may not be the longest steel-arch bridge in the world, but it is the largest and widest
  • At 48.8 metres wide, the Guinness Book of Records lists it as the widest long span bridge in the world
  • The highest point of the arch is 134 metres
  • It carries eight vehicle lanes, two train lines, a footpath and a cycleway
  • An average of around 161,000 vehicles use the bridge each day
  • Climbing prices vary a lot, but it’s about $A208 per adult and $A138 for a child aged 10-15.

4 thoughts on “The thrill of climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge

  1. This would be a good way to get over my mortal fear of heights, but I’m too scared to think about looking down even if I did make it all the way to the top. It looks very high up. What do they do if people get up there and FREEZE with fear??


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