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Australia was never quite on our 2 year Asia and Europe trip itinerary. Somehow though, several months into our trip our timetable and route changed drastically.
Since my parents wanted to celebrate my mom’s birthday in Australia in mid January, naturally we had to add this new country into our trip plans.
My family moved to Australia from Russia in 1992 and we lived there until 1997 so we still have lots of friends and family in the Sydney area. What better place to all get together for a birthday celebration right?
When thinking of the perfect birthday gift I wanted to do something memorable for my mom. I did also get her a few standard gifts, you know the face creams, silk scarves, heart shaped rocks, but I wanted to do something particularly special.
A Sydney harbor bridge climb for the two of us sounded like just the thing. The Sydney Harbor Bridge is an iconic landmark and can be seen from many different parts of the city. The bridge climb allows you to walk along the arch of the bridge to the center, providing magnificent views of the harbor and the surrounding area.
My uncle who joined us in Australia also hopped on board so that morning the three of us made our way down to the bridge for our climb. Our standard vacation day in Australia normally started with the popping of a champagne bottle but we were in a hurry that day and didn’t have time for a drink. Good thing too, because at the bridge climb they breathalyzed everyone and I imagine if we had had those drinks we might not have been allowed on the climb.
After changing into our goofy looking space suits, testing out our harness belts, and depositing all our belongings in lockers our group of 7 made our way to the start line.
Our tour guide did a great job of keeping us entertained with past bridge climb horror stories, such as the 15 year old girl who wet herself and soiled her pants before even climbing the arch itself, so we were all getting a bit nervous.
With sweaty palms we climbed our first set of stairs – a straight up vertical ladder that even had me a bit uneasy.
As I looked down to see my mom about to start her climb, I noticed the fear in her eyes. I thought, this is is, she’s going to turn around and refuse the climb. With whooping words of encouragement I saw the blood rushing back to her face and she made it. After three more of those vertical staircases and a lot of deep breathes and gulps we had made it up to the level where the arch itself starts.
Now this is where the climb finally got a lot easier.
On the arch itself, the steeps are less steep and wider than what we had just climbed.
With a fresh breeze blowing and the whole harbor opening up to us, we made it step by step to the top of the bridge.
The views are indeed incredible. Simply spectacular. With the sun shining above us and a clear blue sky ahead you could see for miles.
A truly unforgettable experience.
With our tour guide cracking jokes and sharing the history of the bridge and the city itself along the way, the walk up was light hearted and enjoyable.
A group photo at the top shows how happy we all really were. If you’re wondering why we’ve got those strange expressions on our faces it’s because our guide insisted we scream ‘Sydney’ at the tops of our lungs while he was clicking away.
Overall the three of us fully enjoyed the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb experience. Though it does come at the steep cost of 235 AUD per person it did make for an unforgettable and thrilling birthday present for my mom.
**All photos were taken by the crew of the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb since no personal cameras were allowed on the climb.