Sydney Icons: Opera and Harbour bridge

You cannot avoid them, and nor should you. Any visit to Sydney will inevitably lead you to the Opera House and to the Harbour bridge.

After our stop at the Royal Botanical Gardens, we went on along the water to the Opera House.

It is an iconic building. Recognizable around the world, it symbolizes Sydney like the Eiffel Tower symbolizes Paris.

I had already visited it in 2014 (read more about the building in that blog post) so this time we did not visit the inside, although I can highly recommend the tour.

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was finally opened in October 1973, after a long story of planning and construction hick-ups that lead to the resignation of the architect, and a massive overshooting of the planned budget.

However, I would think everyone in Sydney would agree it was worth it.

Here are some of our best shorts of the building.

 

By that time, the sun hat hits its peak, and we simply needed a break in the shadow.

With the jet lag on top, we took a break in one of the many cafés in The Rocks. It’s a beautiful, albeit touristy area, crammed with little shops and cafés and bars.

Right on the water, where the big cruise ships anchor, there’s also the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia which is always worth a visit (and has a fantastic roof top view!)

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Initially we wanted to walk over the Harbour Bridge and take some pictures of the city from high above.

You can also walk the steel arch up to the two massive Australian flags on top of it, but those BridgeClimb tours are pretty expensive (starting at 253 Australian Dollars) and booked (out) quite some time in advance.

But honestly, in that heat of about 36 degrees, we knew we would’t make it either of those.

So we simply visited the bridge from below, marveling at the construction and the thousands of tons of steel arching across the water.

 

 

Nicknamed “the coat hanger” because of its arched design, the bridge is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, reaching 134 meters above the water.

When it was finished in 1932, it was also the world’s widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 meters wide, a record it held until 2012.

The arch has a span of 504 m and on a hot day the expansion of the steel structure can increase the height of the arch by 18 cm! In total, the steel weights about 52800 tons!

One day I’ll climb it. You always need a reason to come back…

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