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Pylon Lookout: The Budget Traveler’s Alternative To The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Posted by on 14 November 2013

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb has always been in my travel bucket list. So you can just imagine how excited I was when my family snagged cheap tickets to Sydney last August, thanks to AirAsia.

Unfortunately, after checking out their website, I found the cost to be too prohibitive for budget travelers like me — between AUD198 and AUD308 per adult, depending on the time of day (and these aren’t even the peak rates, which range from AUD228 to AUD398 for climbs between 25 December 2013 and 8 January 2014!). Given that my children also wanted to climb, the overall cost was simply out of the question.

So on to the next best thing — climbing the Pylon Lookout. The Pylon Lookout is located at the South Side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, north of the intersection of Cumberland and Argyle Streets, within walking distance from Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Opera House. The pylons are those rock structures that you see at both ends of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The four impressive, decorative 89 metre high pylons are made of concrete, faced with granite, quarried near Moruya, where about 250 Australian, Scottish and Italian stonemasons and their families lived in a temporary settlement. Three ships were specifically built to carry the 18,000 cubic metres of cut, dressed and numbered granite blocks, 300km north to Sydney.

Granted, climbing the Pylon Lookout does not quite grant the same experience of walking on the actual bridge structure. However, it does offer the same breathtaking view from the top.

And for the price, it can’t beat! Entrance fees as at 2013 are as below:

  • General Admission (13 years and over) $13.00
  • Concession (Seniors & Student) $8.50
  • Children (5 to 12 years, inclusive) $6.50
  • Children (4 years and under) FREE

The climb itself only involves ‘regular’ stairs so it is not strenuous and is very doable for children, say, 8 years and above (or even younger, depending on your child’s fitness level).

The best part about the Pylon Lookout? You can bring your camera and take all the pictures that you want of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House, unlike the Sydney Harbour Bridge that strictly prohibits it for safety reasons.

On your way up and down the Pylon Lookout, there are also exhibits showcasing numerous photos and memorabilia about the construction of the Harbour Bridge.

For more information about the Pylon Lookout, check out their website here.


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