Few sights are as instantly recognizable as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the grand centerpiece of Sydney Harbour and one of Australia's most photographed landmarks. The historic structure dates to 1932 and is the world's largest steel arch bridge. It's also an important transport hub, linking downtown Sydney with the north shore, Manly, and the area's northern beaches.
Whether you walk beneath it, drive over it, or climb up it, you simply can't miss the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and most city sightseeing tours include at least a glimpse of the iconic bridge. Walking and biking tours afford impressive panoramic city views from the bridge, while a Sydney Harbour cruise provides plenty of photo opportunities. Adventurous types can scale the summit on a Sydney BridgeClimb or even soar overhead on a helicopter tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Car, bike, and pedestrian lanes run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Walking the length of the bridge takes about 15 minutes.
- Tolls are in operation for the car lanes, while the walking and cycling lanes are free.
- The bridge is not currently wheelchair accessible, with the pedestrian lanes reachable only by stairs.
How to Get to Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge is located in the heart of Sydney Harbour, opposite the Sydney Opera House, and can be reached by foot from anywhere in downtown Sydney. Pedestrian access to the bridge starts from Circular Quay in The Rocks or Milsons Point in North Sydney.
When to Get There
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is always open, but it can get busy, especially during rush hour. To beat the crowds, visit at sunrise or after dark, when the bridge is dramatically illuminated. For the most spectacular photo opportunities, time your visit for sunset or visit during Sydney's legendary New Year's Eve celebrations, when the bridge forms the focal point of the epic fireworks display.
Sydney Harbour Bridge by the Numbers
Using 52,800 tons of steel, it took 1,400 people more than eight years to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In addition to being one of the tallest bridges of its kind, it's also the sixth-longest bridge in the world, measuring an impressive 3,770 feet (1,149 meters) long. Today, nearly 200,000 vehicles and foot passengers pass over the bridge daily.