Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

It's probably over thirty years since we last walked across the Bridge so we decided it was about time to do it again.

We got off the train at Circular Quay and followed signs to the stairs that take you up to the bridge.

We passed by the Big Dig which is an archaeological site in the Rocks area just beside the southern end of the Bridge.

You can see some of the remains of old buildings beneath the new.

Approach path to the Bridge.

Finally up at Bridge level.

Looking down to the old houses in the Rocks area. These are some of the oldest dwellings in Australia.

The screen and barbed wire are to prevent suicides.

International Terminal where the large cruise ships tie up.

And of course, the Opera House which has taken over from the Harbour Bridge as the symbol of Sydney.


Circular Quay where the First Fleet landed on January 27, 1788. The ferries leave from here.

On to the actual bridge. There were quite a few people crossing the bridge and it's a popular route for walking to work for people who live on the north side of the harbour.

Love locks. This article says that they are being removed.

The south east pylon which can be climbed for an even better view. I doubt that it really makes too much difference since you are already quite high up at 160 feet. The top of the bridge is 440 feet.

Bridge workers. Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee used to work on the bridge and he came to fame by being interviewed on a TV program. These three blokes are no doubt waiting for their chance.

There are three security guards on the bridge, supposedly to prevent terrorist attacks. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear was not impressed.

Looking towards Kirribilli Point. The Sydney residences of the Prime Minister and the Governor General are located in a park like setting at the point.

It's possible to climb the bridge, but it's not something either of us particularly wants to do. If you think the bridge is high, just look at the prices. One Aussie dollar equals about 94 cents US. It's still a very popular thing to do.

Backyard gardens on top of garages.

Although these toll booths are still there, they are no longer used. All tolls are electronic and delays on the bridge are now no longer common.

Tunnel under the bridge roadway. You can park there but only for a limited time.

The bridge also carries suburban train traffic. Years ago it also carried trams.

No, you don't park and then swim to the other side of the Harbour. It's an advertisement for the swimming pool by the Bridge.

The arches by the pool.

On the north western side of the Bridge is the ferry dock for Luna Park. 

Back in the late 1950's, my parents took my sisters and I to Sydney and rented a house in Manly for a few weeks at Christmas. One night, they took us to Luna Park. Knowing our parents well, I expected to get tickets for a couple of rides but soon after we entered, my parents met a family that they knew well. The father was the head of British Tobacco in Australia and consequently quite wealthy. He had bought rolls of tickets for his family and several other children. We were invited to tag along and had the most wonderful evening going on rides galore.

The layout of the park has changed over time. Back then there was an octopus ride near where the ferris wheel is today. The arms of the ride extended out over the water and it was a terrifying ride. For some reason, my father got on the ride with us and he was terrified as well. Back then, there was no path by the water. 

I hate Ferris Wheels with a passion. 

Big dippers are not much better. 

This Luna Park has been closed on several occasions, sometimes for years. A fire in the Ghost Train in 1979 killed six children and one adult. Much of the Park was demolished in 1981 and subsequently rebuilt so virtually none of what I remembered from my childhood still exists.

By the way, the Scenic Railway at the Melbourne Luna Park is the oldest continuously-operating roller coaster in the world (1912).

We continued walking around Lavender Bay which is to the north west of the Bridge.

One of many small statues lining the walk.

Memorial to the bloke who designed the entrance to Luna Park.

Old slip way. Today we tend to forget that this was a working harbour with lots of ships. The nickname for the bridge is 'the coat hanger'. This photo shows why.

We walked up a few streets so that we could get to the next ferry wharf.

Film crew. The black car sped off at high speed shortly after I took this photo.

The ferry arrives at McMahons Point wharf.

With the cleaar blue sky, the blue water, the white sails and the Bridge. Sydney at its most iconic.

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