The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most iconic man-made landmarks in Australia. If you’ve ever seen a postcard or a movie that takes place in Sydney, you’ve most likely seen this bridge dominating the skyline. Tourists from all over the world each year flock here to climb the bridge via “BridgeClimb Sydney” and check this experience off of their bucket list.
While BridgeClimb Sydney is a major and very popular attraction, it also comes with quite the price tag that may surprise some travelers. There are several different options including an express climb, a climb sampler, sunset, and night options. I personally chose to do the standard BridgeClimb during the day with a start time of 5:25 pm which cost me 323 AUD (Dec. 2018). In my opinion, the price is pretty steep. Considering I booked my trip to Australia mostly on points and paid about 1/10 the “sticker” price of this caliber trip, I decided to treat myself to this experience.
I wanted to walk away from this knowing I accomplished the following:
- Enjoyed amazing views throughout
- Captured BOMB photos at the top
- Satisfied my appetite for heights and thrill
- Did something that I can’t do every day or anywhere else
First and foremost, I found the online booking process to be super easy and straight forward. The instructions made it very clear that the time of the booking was not the time of the actual climb, rather check-in time. The entire process of check-in, safety briefing, equipment prep, climb, and descent is about 3 ½ hours.
When I arrived, check-in was very simple and quick. There is also a cafe at check-in which allows you to get a last minute snack prior to the climb. The entire prep process takes over an hour which I found to be an appropriate amount of time.
You’re not allowed to take anything on the climb, including cell phones and cameras. This was almost a deal breaker for me before I booked. While I do enjoy living in the moment, I also love having photographic memories I can look back on for the rest of my life. Without being in control of my photos and only seeing them after descending, how could I be sure I got “the shot?” The thought of spending over 300 AUD only to have lipstick on my teeth and/or a booger in my nose in all my pictures was enough to send my heart racing. I also originally thought this was just a ploy to get more money out of customers, forcing them to buy the photo packages offered or to walk away with no pics. Despite not being able to take my own camera up top, I proceeded to book and spent extra time on my makeup that evening to make sure my face was on point!
After experiencing the climb, I agree with their decision to not let people bring their phones and cameras. While the climb did not feel dangerous to me, I could see it being a major safety issue allowing people to bring their own electronics. If someone were to drop something off the top, it could hit the cars on the bridge below. I also liked that no one was distracted so we were all able to pay attention to where we were going which allowed the climb to progress with no unnecessary delays.
5:25 pm was the perfect booking slot for me. I did research online to find out what time sunset began during that time of year and which side of the sky the sun would be in. Therefore, my “money shot” with the Opera House in the background had perfect lighting. Not only was the lighting perfect, but the temperature was great for the climb. I didn’t work up a sweat like I probably would have if I climbed at 12 noon. I even got lucky enough to see the full sunset right before I finished my descent.
My Checklist Summary:
- I definitely enjoyed amazing views from start to finish. I chose the perfect time of day which allowed me to see the city while there was still light out, but also catch the sunset. It was the best of both worlds without paying for the experience twice.
- My photos turned out AMAZING! I wasn’t shy about asking to take two more photos at the top and adjusting my hair just to be sure. The photographers do a really good job and the photo quality is great.
- I satisfied my appetite for heights with this climb. However, as someone who has gone skydiving before, I didn’t consider this to be thrilling and I’m okay with that. If you are afraid of heights, it may be a thrill to you. The majority of the climb is basically like walking up a very long and steep staircase (1,332 steps to be exact) so don’t be intimidated; you aren’t scaling the bridge.
- There’s only one Sydney Harbour Bridge and Australia is so far from New York City where I live. If I travel that far, I might as well take advantage of the opportunity. Sydney is not the easiest nor quickest place to get to so it made sense for me to check this off the list now.
Now, the 1 million dollar question is: was it worth it?
Yes. I really enjoyed it and I feel like I would have regretted leaving Sydney without doing the BridgeClimb. While a bit pricey, I had no complaints. The customer service was excellent, the experience was well organized, the views were outstanding, and my pictures are amazing! The USD to AUD exchange rate at the time worked to my advantage as the price was $230 USD. I do think this is the most I’d be willing to pay for this so hopefully, the price doesn’t rise in the future.
Would I do it again?
I wouldn’t pay full price to do it again. It’s a one and done sort of activity for me at this price point but I have no regrets!
Have you ever climbed The Sydney Harbour Bridge? How was your experience? Was it worth it? Would you do it again?