13

When searching with Google for "Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge", pretty much every result say it costs $185.

Only Wikivoyage talks about a free climb (although they also talk about the one above):

You can walk over the bridge. The views are great and admission is free. On the southern side the entrance is hard to find. The entrance on the western side is on Fort St near Observatory Hill. On the eastern side the entrance is on Cumberland St, but if coming from the city Cumberland St is closed at the Wynyard side. Walk along Harrington St and follow the small, hardly noticeable signs past Susannah Place. You can also get the lift up to the Cahill Expressway from Circular Quay, and walk around in about 10 minutes. Don't follow the road signs or any roadway on to the Bridge. You may be intercepted by police before you meet a worse fate with the traffic. The entrance at the northern side is easy to find, about 30 m south of the Milsons Point Station. There is no way to access the bridge by foot without using stairs. There are many flights at Milsons Point and Cumberland St, and two flights from the Cahill down to the bridge platform. If you aren't good with stairs, take the walk next to the harbour. If you want to drive to the walk, there is extremely limited parking in Cumberland St and around the Rocks. Limited 2 hr meter parking is also available near the northern entrance at Milsons Point. The walk is often busy, but there are no queues or crowds. You can walk one way, and take the train the other way if you wish.

Is it the same thing, just without the group/coaching?
Or is it a "light" version, that is - not going to the top?

Climbers on the top of the bridge

  • As an aside, let us know in Travel Chat when you're in Sydney, if you want to meet up, or see Meet other Travel.SE members? – Mark Mayo Dec 3 '14 at 11:56
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    Perhaps also worth noting is the Pylon Lookout on the southern end of the bridge. Sure, it's less thrilling and not really a climb (although there will be stairs to conquer), but if it's a nice view and/or photo opportunity you're after, it may be a good option for just $13/adult (concessions available for students, seniors & children aged < 13). – MH. Dec 3 '14 at 14:02
  • @MH. ah yes, I was trying to remember where that was, thought there was a bar attached or something. – Mark Mayo Dec 3 '14 at 14:11
36

It's definitely not the same thing.

There are two 'routes'. One is along the pedestrian walkway on the bridge. Same height as the traffic and trains.

Pedestrian walkway on Sydney Harbour Bridge (source: Wikipedia)

The other is over the 'arch' of the bridge, which is the one you pay $185 for. You get safety lines, can't take anything up with you (including cameras, I gather) and you have a guide. You cannot do this on your own, unless you're a sanctioned city worker.

Indeed, it's ILLEGAL to climb over (or UP) the arch of the bridge. Some people still try and do that, but it usually doesn't end well - example here of a guy's photos, and here where a guy climbing with rope brought traffic to a halt.

So to summarise - what Wikivoyage is talking about is actually my commute - you can walk, train or bus (or drive/taxi) across the bridge. The flat part.

The bridge climb is the official tour, which requires harnesses, suits, and can only be done under supervision, and for $185 (regular current price).

Hope that helps!

15

I was in Sydney last year for a visit and thought about doing the Harbour Bridge walk. It's undoubtedly a great experience, but it's expensive and you're not allowed to take your own camera with you.

I was advised instead to go to the Pylon Lookout (http://www.sydney.com.au/pylon-lookout.htm) which is a fraction of the cost at $AU 13, and also has a fascinating museum all about the construction of the bridge. The view from the top is as good as you'll get on the bridge walk, and you can take as many pics as you want. You can also spend as much time as you want admiring the view, compared to the walk which keeps to a strict schedule.

Interesting fact - Paul Hogan, aka Crocodile Dundee, worked as a rigger on the bridge before becoming an actor... :-)

View from Pylon Lookout (Mitch Ames, Wikimedia Commons, CC-SA 4):

enter image description here

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    Even if you spend the money to climb the bridge yourself, do the Pylon climb. They'll give you a free coupon for it. You can get good harbour pictures and also pictures of other people doing the climb, which you can show to other people to explain what you did. – Kate Gregory Dec 3 '14 at 16:53
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    My wife and I did the climb, and paid extra to be at the top at sunset, and then more for the souvenir photos. They have a well-organized process that strips and redresses you in their bridge-grey jumpsuits and metal detectors to make sure that no unauthorized equipment goes up. The only loose personal property they permit is eyeglasses, and those need to be tethered (which they supplied). Expensive, but cheap compared to the price of the whole vacation and airfair from the states. It is probably a "do once" thing. – RBerteig Dec 4 '14 at 2:18
  • Another advantage of the Pylon lookout is that it's better for those scared of heights. – Andrew Grimm Sep 14 '17 at 13:19
1

Like helicoptering over the Grand Canyon, or any other seemingly expensive but unusual thing you do on holiday, you have to ask yourself "I've spent x thousands of dollars getting here. Is $185 really going to put me off doing the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb?"

I didn't know it was so popular so the only slot available was at crack of dawn with a before sunrise start. Well worth it though.

One last thing: You also can't take up a blood alcohol level above a certain limit. One guy in our party had been out drinking the night before and was refused permission to go, and he didn't get a refund!

  • This doesn't answer the question. – AndyT Sep 15 '17 at 11:31
  • It does answer the question - in the sense of "there's no need to be so obsessed with saving $ on your already expensive holiday". Also, I didn't feel the need to repeat Mark Mayo's excellent answer. – Nick Feb 15 '18 at 20:02
  • No, it doesn't answer the question. The question is "Can you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for free?". The acceptable answers to that are either "Yes" or "No", with an explanation. As you said, this was all covered by Mark Mayo's answer, meaning there was no need for you to answer at all. What you've written is a comment, but you've put it in the answer box. This is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. If you don't understand the difference, please take the tour. – AndyT Feb 16 '18 at 9:26

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