Kids ask the best questions. So we’ve started a series of posts that arm adults with interesting facts about a ranges of travel icons. Let’s start in Sydney. What do you really know about one of the worlds most famous bridges, the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
To kick off, here are three facts most of us know.
- Colloquially they call the Sydney Harbour Bridge the ‘Coathanger.’
- You can walk it, bike it and climb it.
- It graces many a postcard and lures many an overseas tourist.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is big, brilliant and an Australian icon with an intriguing history. It boasts the best views of the Harbour, from Luna Park to the Opera House and on to the Blue Mountains.
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is great for families with kids aged 8 and older. With a prices for kids starting at A$208, I often get asked if it’s worth doing with younger kids. The answer is yes. But more about that later. For now, let’s get into the Sydney Harbour Bridge facts.
10 fun facts about the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Get those leg muscles burning! To reach the top of the Harbour Bridge takes 1332 steps. Test yourself by picking one of the BridgeClimb routes to the summit.
2. Step aside, Eiffel Tower. The bridge is made of more than 550,000 individual pieces of steel. It weighs
approximately 52,000 tonnes, which is roughly equivalent to seven Eiffel Towers.
3. 31 weddings have unfolded on the bridge, as well as thousands of marriage proposals.
4. Construction on the bridge started in July 1923, and the bridge officially opened in 1932.
5. At the opening, a General on a horse swopped in and cut the ribbon with his sword, stealing the show from the
Mayor! He was later arrested.
6. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel bridge, but sadly not the longest.
7. Upon its opening, it used to cost a car 6 pence to cross the bridge. In 1932, Wirth’s Circus transported six
elephants across, paying 2 pence per elephant!
8. The top of the bridge stands at a lofty 134 metres above the water of Sydney Harbour.
9. It took an enormous 272,000 litres of paint to complete the first three coats of the bridge.
10. Sydney Harbour Bridge is no stranger to superstardom. A photogenic icon itself, it has also seen the likes of Prince Harry, Oprah, Kylie Minogue and the entire Tottenham Hotspurs football team climb its frame!
We love this slice of our Sydney history.
Things to do on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
There are so many ways to enjoy the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Watch it famously light up with the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Witness it from the water on a ferry ride to Manly or Taronga Zoo.
Walk across on the secure pedestrian path on the eastern side, from Milson’s Point train station to The Rocks or vice versa. Cycle across on the bike path on the eastern side
Facts about climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge with kids
Brave the heights for the astonishing views and once-in-a-lifetime experience of the BridgeClimb. There are different routes you can take depending on your time limit and budget. Check out their website to snap up any special deals running. And they’re usually pretty good about having family deals that are valid during school holidays.
Children 8 years and older and taller than 1.2 metres can conquer the climb. Children aged 8 to 15 years must be accompanied by an adult, who can only accompany three children at a time. Read up on our review on whether the Bridge Climb is worthwhile with kids.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.