So what do you buy as a treat for your husband, who is afraid of heights, for his 40th birthday? A Sydney Bridge Climb of course!!!! My husband visited Sydney back in 2006 with a couple of friends and his brother and it has always been a regret of his that he never did it then favouring the boozer over the opportunity. His older, possibly more sensible brother, did climb ‘The Coathanger’ and to this day is still one of the most amazing experiences of his life. Knowing it was something he had missed out on last time I did discuss it with him before booking and he was really up for it! See, not as selfish as you probably first thought.
The main thing that we needed to decide on was the time of day that we wanted to do our climb. We decided that we wanted to be at the top of the bridge at sunset therefore we chose to do a twilight climb. We checked the trusty web for sunset times in October and saw that it was scheduled for 7.00pm the day we wanted to do our climb. We therefore booked a 5.15pm slot. It is suggested that you arrive between 30 and 15 minutes before your allocated time which we did. When it’s your turn you are called through to the briefing room in your group (14 people max). You are asked to introduce yourself to the rest of the group and explain why you were climbing the bridge that day (not embarrassing at all!) You must complete a consent form and a breathalyzer test – so no sneaky schooner with lunch folks!
The next step is to strip off (in a changing room of course) – to your underwear if you wish and put on your jumpsuit. You are also equipped (it’s hooked on to your suit) with loads of other stuff should you need it on the climb – a hanky, a fleece jacket and a headset to hear your leader. You all must practice going up and down a ladder before you are sent out to ensure that you are happy and capable of doing it. My husband and I aren’t the fittest people in the world so we were quite worried that we would struggle but we are testament that you do not have to be super buff to do the climb. In fact there are people of all ages and shapes and sizes doing this so don’t be put off if you think you wouldn’t be able to manage it.
Remember you can not take anything up there with you that hasn’t been provided which means no drinks or cameras – there are water fountains dotted along the climb if you get thirty but please remember there are no loos!!! The leader of the group also takes pictures of you at certain points during the climb which shows the great Sydney scenery behind you. You also get the opportunity to record a little video if you want to – we didn’t, not really our thing. The photographs do come at a price though – $30 for 10 pictures. This annoys me – attractions that charge a ridiculously high price for a few photos on a CD in the digital world especially when you have no other choice but to buy them because you can’t take your own!
As we got to the top our planning came to fruition as the sun started to set over Sydney. It was beautiful! The orange a red sky backlighting this fantastic city is a memory that I will always hold dear. We descended in almost silence and darkness, a headlamp is provided, but watch your step! We throughly enjoyed the climb, so much so it’s my number 1 recommendation in Sydney.
The climb, from start to finish takes approx 3 1/2 hours and costs (for the twilight climb) £162 each.