Sydney Harbor Bridge

 

Span or pylon?

If you’re in Sydney for an extended period, or just a layover, one of the things you may be interested in doing is getting a view from the Harbor Bridge. There are a couple of options for this – a climb to the top of one of the pylons, or a walk across the top of the bridge span itself. While walking the top of the span seems like it would be a great time, costs start in the neighborhood of $120 USD (at least they were recently) and range all the way up to almost $300 USD for a sunrise time slot. This was far beyond my budget, and I instead opted for the pylon lookout.

The bridge pylons are pretty high up in the air, and definitely offer great views, although probably not quite to the extent of the span. However, for this lesser view you pay just around $10 or $15 USD. Even if the view is only half as good, this still struck me as a great deal. The pylon is a much smaller time commitment as well, and a quality experience can be had in as little as half an hour. I probably spent about an hour there, and I’m not aware of any time limitation in terms of how long you are allowed to spend up there.

From the pylon, there are phenomenal views of the harbor, opera house, Sydney skyline, and the bridge itself. I can’t speak for the span experience, but I would be pretty surprised if the views were ten times better. Seems like the cost difference is probably so substantial because of the guide services required for walking on the bridge structure, and of course the unique experience offered. I’d opt for the pylon every time, but if you’ve got some money and time to burn, I don’t think walking the span would disappoint either.