Sydney Harbour Bridge

Top choice bridge in Circular Quay & The Rocks

Image by Norman Herfurth Five Hundred Pixels

Sydneysiders love their giant 'coathanger', which opened in 1932. The best way to experience this majestic structure is on foot. Stairs climb up the bridge from both shores, leading to a footpath on the eastern side (the western side is a bike path). Climb the southeastern pylon to the Pylon Lookout or ascend the arc on the popular but expensive 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. Its enormous dimensions make it the biggest (if not the longest) steel arch bridge 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.