Celebrating its 80th birthday this year, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Sydney’s most photographed landmarks. Sighting the incredible steel structure for the first time is sure to take your breath away. As a child, this author has clear memories of the first time he saw the famous arch. But don’t just admire the construction from one angle, check it out from a variety of different perspectives.
Here’s our Top 10 suggestions to appreciate the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Walk or Cycle
Offering incredible views of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River, the path on the east side of the bridge is reserved for pedestrians while the strip on the west side caters exclusively for cyclists. Eager enthusiasts are welcome to walk or cycle at any time of the day or night from the Rocks to Kirribilli.
One of the great city-based adrenaline activities is scaling the famous arch all the way to the top – 134 metres from the water. Regardless of which climb you choose – the Express, Discovery or the traditional Bridge Climb – the views across the city are astonishing.
Take the Ferry
Departing from Circular Quay on the east side of the Bridge, the Parramatta River Ferry passes under the Bridge as it heads up the river to historic Parramatta. Not only can you see the undercarriage of the Bridge but you can also appreciate the structure from a distance. For another perspective take the ferry from Manly and be guided through Sydney Harbour towards the Bridge.
Scenic Helicopter Flight
Take a dedicated helicopter flight over Sydney harbour for a bird’s eye view of the Bridge, the Opera House and Fort Denison. This is a great way to appreciate the true beauty of the harbour city.
From a Building
As the tallest buildings in the city, Sydney Tower and Australia Square are great places to admire the view while enjoying a cocktail or dinner. However we think the Shangri-La Hotel, which has an imposing location over the expressway offers a particularly interesting perspective on the SHB.
The park on Observatory Hill was recently made famous in the 2011 series of Underbelly, when through computer-imagery, the construction of the Bridge was seen in the background. Observatory Hill hasn’t changed since the 1920’s and is a great place to chill from the city hustle.
On the north side, take a creative shot through the famous smiling face of Luna Park with the Bridge in the background. And while you’re there, you may as well have some fun on the rides or stroll across to Bradfield Park and position yourself directly under the road.
For the Panorama
For a fantastic panoramic photo opportunity, high tail to Watsons Bay or the elevated suburb of Dover Heights. Both suburbs are located on South Head and present the opportunity of facing the bridge from a distance.
Take the Train
The north shore train line runs across the Bridge, offering public transport to commuters travelling between the north and south side of Sydney. For sight-seers, sit in the carriage’s top section at a window to admire the view as the train whisks along the tracks.
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Reputed to be the best place to watch the Sydney fireworks on New Year’s Eve is the outcrop in the Botanic Gardens known as Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The Bridge is always the centrepiece of the fireworks, so why not appreciate the view during the day. And don’t forget to have a rest on the famed rock chair.