Listening to the conversation of tourists, in bars,
on boats, at the opera house even, all I heard were enthusiastic memories
of the trip. Indeed many local people have also taken the trip –
for someone I spoke to with a wild youth, it was the chance to climb the
bridge legally and soberly for the first time!
Bridge Climb pays the greatest attention to detail and
lays out strict guidelines – for instance you cannot climb drunk and a breath test
will be conducted to check this. Nor can you take accessories (which
may fall off) up and passing by a metal detector is another task. The half
hour preparation is ruthlessly efficient. Equipment is given out –
raincoats, fleeces, torches and gloves if necessary, a pair of overalls
owing much to 70’s motor mechanic’s taste, radio and harness.
The latter attaches you to a cable the whole way up the bridge. A
bit of light training is then done, showing how the harness works and
performing a practice climb. Radio check in order, a group of
about ten, strides forth to the bridge.
The climb is in fact very gentle, children from 12 years
on can go and a number of elderly people regularly take the trip.
After an initial set of ladders and a scurry across a walkway beneath the
road, a gentle sloping pathway takes you all the way to the top.
Radio’s on the windy bridge enables your group leader to pass on various
anecdotes about the bridge and it’s construction. For instance did
you know a ghost called George resides near the railway tracks which cross
the bridge? Or that hot welders were thrown across to workers fixing
the rivets? The group leader is also in possession of a digital
camera. Several times on the way up and down there is a pose for
photos. A group shot is included as a part of the package and the
others are offered for sale immediately after the tour. Photo’s
are worthwhile as the view’s are stunning. On the one side is a
fantastic view of the opera house, harbor and the sky scrapers of the
city. On the other the city stretches on and you can spot points of
interest like the Olympic village and on a clear day look at the stunning
Blue Mountains. We went up just as the sun was setting and got to
experience the view by day, twilight and the evocative night with the
lights of the city shining up at us.
Three hours after you began training, the group descends
past the train tracks and back to the center. Leaving you feeling
grateful for first class organization of a wonderful experience. And
wondering if you should go back a second time? Tours are held
throughout the day and at night time as well. Be warned however,
they are only cancelled in high winds and during electrical storms.
Rain does not warrant a cancellation so it’s a good idea to check the
weather reports before booking – standing on top of a bridge in the
pouring rain can be few people’s idea of fun.
The Bridge Walk
Phone: (61) 2 9252 0077
Fax: (61) 2 940 1122
# # #
After completing a degree in Anthropology at the University
of Edinburgh and traveling extensively across Africa, Asia and the Middle East
Emma Lewis settled down working for a publishing house in London. The travel
bug loomed again and she set off with her boyfriend in tow to live in Singapore, and explore the surrounding region.
Emma's great hobby is food, she equally enjoys cooking and having food cooked for
her in restaurants and she has taken a number of cooking courses to help
her on my way. (More about this writer).