Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands

Icons of Sydney: Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

It doesn’t matter if you’re a native resident of Sydney, Australia – or if you’ve only seen it in pictures. Two things likely stand out in your mind: the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These two icons are known around the world, and they’re easy to see together, since they’re both in Sydney Harbour. Let’s look at these two amazing sites in more detail.

Standing tall in the city, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was first opened in 1932 and is currently the sixth longest arch bridge and the tallest steel bridge in the world. At a height of 134 meters from the highest point to the water, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a must see attraction for any visitor to Australia. Not only is the bridge an aesthetic attraction for visitors to Sydney, but also it serves an important role as the connector of the city’s business district and the North Shore. In addition to vehicular traffic, the bridge also services rail, bikes and pedestrians.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

While designs for the bridge began in the early 1800s, the plan did not come to fruition until construction began in 1924. In total, construction of the bridge took a total of 8 years and required 1400 men at a total cost of 4.2 million. In addition to being an important piece of Sydney’s transportation system, the bridge is open to the public to climb. Starting in 1998, BridgeClimb began allowing people to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Due to the risks of falling, certain requirements must be met and all climbers must take and pass a blood alcohol test. For those that reach the top of the bridge, the view is absolutely breathtaking. In the fifteen years that BridgeClimb has been operating only one person has died while ascending; however, a total of two have fallen.

The Sydney Opera House has always been an Australian architectural marvel; however, the building rose to international acclaim during the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. Situated overlooking the waterfront, the Sydney Opera House opened in 1973 and remains one of the most popular performing centers in the world. Known for its controversial design, the opera house has been named one of the most prominent buildings of the 20th century. The design of the exterior of the opera house is meant to mimic the sail’s of a ship. After the design of the opera house was selected it took several years to finalize the plans as it was considered impossible to build the exterior sails.

Sydney Opera House

At a cost of AU 102,000,000 the Sydney Opera House has over 1000 rooms and hosts over two million people annually. Tourists and locals alike are encouraged to visit the Sydney Opera House for guided tours. On the inside, the opera house is engineered for the best acoustics and vocal performances possible. In addition to opera performances, this landmark has also been home to numerous ballets, musicals and concerts.

No visit to Sydney, Australia is complete without visiting the opera house and the harbour bridge. Overlooking the Sydney waterfront, both of these landmarks offer picturesque views and a once in a lifetime experience to view two architectural marvels. Both landmarks are best viewed from the water and the best way to do this is to hire a yacht while in Sydney and experience the beauty of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the comfort of your yacht. With so much history between them, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge will remain two of the world’s most sought after destinations for many years to come.

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