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Regarding what to visit in Australia, Sydney Harbour Bridge comes at the top list. Referred by locals as “the Bridge”, it’s one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. Its popularity comes from the fact that it’s the world’s largest steel arch and widest long-span bridge, according to Guinness World Records. Please keep reading to marvel at its wonder.
History of Sydney Harbour Bridge
As early as 1815, there were first plans to construct a bridge in Sydney Harbour. Due to various reasons, the ultimate construction plan was just approved 100 years later. NSW Legislative Council blocked John Bradfield’s proposal, including the appointed chief engineer and construction bill during World War I.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge history continued in 1921 when Bradfield picked up his work again and proposed a new plan. A year later, a UK-based company, Dorman Long and Co, was given the design and construction contract because of their expertise in building such bridges.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge construction officially started on 28 July 1923 and cost over AU£10 million. Around 1,400 workers were employed to complete the building, which took over eight years.
The height of Sydney Harbour Bridge reached up to 134 meters (440 feet) above sea level when it was completed. And the length of Sydney Harbour Bridge measured 1,149 meters (3,769 feet). With the measurement, the bridge immediately becomes easily recognizable, even today.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Opening
The bridge was regarded as an engineering wonder when it was brought to completion in 1932. After taking more than eight years to complete the construction, thousands of people flocked to Sydney to witness the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The inauguration, however, was upstaged by Francis de Groot, an Irishman who happened to be the fascist New Guard organization’s member. He raced out of the crowd on a borrowed horse and cut the ceremonial ribbon with a sword even before NSW premier Jack Lang could do so.
De Groot proclaimed the bridge open in the name of NSW’s honorable and good citizens. His political beliefs clashed with Jack Lang’s. He believed the NSW governor, Sir Philip Game, should have been the one to inaugurate the bridge. The situation was finally settled after police dragged him down and arrested him.
Despite the scene, the opening celebration became the biggest public event in Sydney’s history. Considering the Sydney Harbour Bridge dimensions and its beauty, the infrastructure has become a memorable symbol of Sydney and Australia across the globe.
Fascinating Facts About The Sydney Harbour Bridge
The magnificent steel bridge in Sydney Harbour is more than a transport route. It has plenty of fascinating secrets ready to be unveiled. Let’s find out below!
1. The Bridge is Almost a Century Years Old!
The construction started in 1923 and was completed in 1932 after over eight years of arduous labor. The bridge will formally commemorate its 100th anniversary in 2032.
2. It Employed 1,400 Workers for Over Eight Years!
The construction took more than eight years and 1,400 workers to complete. However, 16 of the workers lost their lives in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
3. It’s The Largest Steel Arch Bridge in The World!
Massive is the correct word to describe the bridge. The enormous 134-meter-tall bridge extended 503 meters across the city’s harbor; hence, it’s the largest one in the world.
4. It’s Being Painted Frequently!
The bridge is painted frequently to protect the structure from harsh weather and keep it looking new. Since the bridge is so big, it takes two robots and 100 people to paint it.
5. Paul Hogan was Once a Rigger on The Sydney Bridge!
Paul Hogan, an Australian actor, was once a rigger on the bridge. He and his coworkers were in charge of setting up platforms and providing the painting crews with secured access to the bridge.
6. People can Climb The Bridge’s Arch!
Since 1998, visitors can climb up the arch on the bridge. The peak gives you a stunning view of Sydney and its famous landmarks.
7. The Bridge’s Arch Often Changes!
The arch’s height of the bridge can change depending on the atmospheric conditions. In certain situations, the height can reach up to 18 cm.
8. Most of The Bridge’s Steel was Imported from The UK
A substantial number of the steel needed to build the bridge—nearly 80%—came from the UK, which required it to travel halfway across the globe before being utilized.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Australia is undoubtedly a paradise on earth for thrill-seekers, and the Sydney bridge is no exception. If you plan to climb the bridge arch, you need to prepare yourself for the physically demanding journey that takes around 2.5 hours-climb at the very least.
Then, how much are the climb tickets on the Sydney bridge? There are six packages to choose from: Bridgeclimb Unlocked, Summit, Ultimate, Summit Insider, Burrawa, and Special Occasions. Tickets for adults range from $248 to $408, while for children start from $139 to $293.
Is there any weight limit to climbing the bridge? There is no weight limit to be eligible for climbing the arch. They have a large-sized safety suit measuring 152 cm (60 inches) around the middle, and it’s perfect for plus-size visitors.
What about the age limit? The Bridge climb is an all-ages unforgettable experience. It’s open for visitors above the age of 75. For visitors with children, the kids must be 8 years old or above and at least 1.2 meters tall.
Are there any restrictions and requirements? A doctor’s note is required for visitors under 24 weeks of pregnancy, above 75, and with any pre-existing medical conditions. Wearing comfortable clothing is advised since the climb can last up to 3 hours. Cameras, mobile devices, video equipment, and jewelry are also not allowed on the climb for safety and security reasons.
Intrigued to marvel at the beauty of Sydney through the arch peak of Sydney Harbour Bridge? Prepare the accommodations and, most of all, your physical stamina. You will be able to see the city and other Sydney travel destinations like Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. Of course, you should also pay a visit after climbing down the Bridge.
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