Photo by Norman Herfurth

Sydneysiders adore their giant 'coathanger'. Opened in 1932, this majestic structure spans the harbour at one of its narrowest points. The best way to experience the bridge is on foot – don't expect much of a view crossing by car or train. Stairs climb up the bridge from both shores, leading to a footpath running the length of the eastern side. You can climb the southeastern pylon to the Pylon Lookout or ascend the great arc on the wildly popular BridgeClimb.

The harbour bridge is a spookily big object – moving around town you’ll catch sight of it in the corner of your eye, sometimes in the most surprising of places. At 134m high, 1149m long, 49m wide and weighing 52,800 tonnes, it's the largest and heaviest (but not the longest) steel arch in the world.

The two halves of chief engineer JJC Bradfield’s mighty arch were built outwards from each shore. In 1930, after seven years of merciless toil by 1400 workers, the two arches were only centimetres apart when 100km/h winds set them swaying. The coathanger hung tough and the arch was finally bolted together. Extensive load testing preceded the bridge's opening two years later.