When To Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge And Why – Our Family Story and Review

BridgeClimb Sydney Flags Morning
Our family first climbed the Bridge as a way of healing, bonding and putting the past behind us.

The Intn’l Man of Mystery took Dexbox on his 10th birthday.  Dex had been stressed, upset and getting into strife at school for quite a while.

Or, to put it another way, as we sometimes did; he’d been being bloody difficult, stroppy, wilful, painful.
Well, all behaviour is communication and Dex had been communicating his distress. Which reminds me of the time he threw our laptop into the garbage bin, but lets leave that for another time.

BridgeClimb Dawn Climb Sydney Opera House

The family had had so many changes. Twins were born, I moved the big boys from one school to another. That lasted a term and then they moved back to the original school.

Then we moved house, then I effectively disappeared mentally for six months whilst I co-wrote edition 1 of the Australian Autism Handbook.

Dex is the middle child between a high impact, additional needs older brother and the twins terrors, who can suck all the oxygen out of a room.  He needed some attention, some love and care too.

Dex Paul pic

Dex’s dad and I got a grip and made some changes and focussed more on him. He’s a really capable boy and very grown up, but I think we’d taken that too much for granted and he completely rebelled.

Quite right son.

Anyway, father and son climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Dex’s birthday, and it really did mean something to them. It signalled and celebrated a bit of a new start.

Dex has the photo on his chest of drawers, it’s a gorgeous shot.

dex paul pic 2

Circ Quay best

Cut to several years later, Dexbox is a cheerful and motivated young man of 13.

And his big brother GiantTeen16 and I have just climbed the Bridge together.  We did this just a couple of weeks after his 16th birthday and it felt significant, it really did.

On that glorious warm and bright blue sky Sunday, we were a real team. We shared something really special. The views, the passion for Sydney, the meeting of strangers and learning new information about the Bridge. As equals. It felt great.

Seana Ctopbest

I asked GiantTeen if I could post these photos and he doesn’t mind.  But there is a great shot of just him by himself and he doesn’t want that one made public.

‘And if you post a photo without my permission, that’s cyber bullying Mum,’ he told me.

Correct son, and god forbid.


Here are some thoughts on our climb:

1. Why the hell haven’t we done this before!!!????

That for sure was my first thought, because we really loved it.  I guess that the cost has put us off in the past and the knowledge that the Bridge is always there for we who live in Sydney.  A special event, a birthday or anniversary is definitely the way to go, and it’s well worth spending the money on.

2. I didn’t realise we’d spend so long on the Bridge.

We were there for ages, had heaps of time to enjoy the views and chat to out terrific guide. No rushing at all.

3. It’s not as physically demanding as I expected.

There are two long stepladder-type sections, and I did find them challenging but more mentally than physically. Just keep on stepping up, one-two-three-four and you’re fine. There’s a good practice section indoors before you climb, which helps.

It wasn’t at all as exhausting as I’d thought it would be.  Nor as scary, in fact the trickiest bit is walking along the first parts where you have to squeeze around some places, no trouble at all.

4. Sundays are a good day to climb.

And I say this mainly because the parking is much easier. I do find The Rocks a challenge at busy times.  But we climbed on a Sunday morning and there were heaps of car spaces right there in Cumberland Street. We’d gone to a parking station and walked there, damn!

 5. You can’t take your camera.

Really the only thing you can take are your sunglasses. This is all totally understandable and part of the meticulous safety precautions.

6. The climb is run so smoothly

Our guide was terrific, the safety talks and demonstrations and practices were great; BridgeClimb runs like a well oiled machine, which, frankly, is just what you want.

Read more and book a Bridge Climb here.

BridgeClimb Sydney Twilight Climb

Our twins are furious that they cannot climb for another three years.

I’ve told them we’ll take them for their 10th birthdays instead of having parties.

Great deal twinnies!

Would your kids love the Sydney BridgeClimb?


My son and I were guests of Sydney BridgeClimb, many thanks! Thanks also to Sydney BridgeClimb for letting me use your shots and for giving us the photos of ourselves on top of the Bridge.

My husband and son climbed the Bridge at our own expense a few years ago and paid for their lovely photo.




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Posted on: April 5, 2013


  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Lydia C. Lee

    I love this – not just the bridge climb part, but how important it is to get one on one time with each child, That’s so hard to manage but so important too.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    What a great bonding experience for you and your boy. I’ve always wondered of the BridgeClimb is worth the expense (and the effort – I’m terminally lazy!) Now I know. Popping it on my to do list.

    • Reply April 5, 2013


      Lazy!! Can’t believe it as you’ve got so much going on with magazine and blogs and … life! It’s easy for us Sydneysiders to be complacent about that gorgeous Bridge. Was so delighted we had a sunny day for it. It was hot up there but they have cold towels when you get down, and a cool water spray up on the Bridge too.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    Seana – I love the honesty of your posts. My kids are facinated by the little red light on the top of the bridge and the idea that you can actually climb up there. They can’t wait until they are old enough to do it themselves. It’s now on our list!

    • Reply April 5, 2013


      Aha, my son was asking about that red light. I said it was to stop planes whacking into the Bridge, hope that’s right. Thank for comment Kate, my twins really are desperate, but they’ll just have to wait.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    I’m so glad you got to do the climb with GiantTeen – it sounds like you both had a great time. I have said to A a few times that I would like to do it but given my fear of heights he is hesitant to let me because what normally happens is I get up part of the way and then freeze and cannot move up or down and it becomes a bit of an ‘issue’ !!!!
    Great photos of all 4 of you.
    Have the best weekend !

    • Reply April 5, 2013


      Hi there, I think you’d be OK as they do train you a fair bit before you head out, so it’s very rare for someone to freeze on the Climb itself. Mind you, if you had any doubts, a a helicopter trip would be a great alternative. I once did a helicopter flight over Sydney about 25 years ago and I can remember it all so clearly.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    It is such a great experience we did in 2 months ago.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    That looks totally amazing, we went to Sydney for the first time a couple of weekends ago and loved it. We really wanted to do the bridge climb but had our little boy who is only 2 with is. Maybe he is a bit young just yet. I soooo want to do it though.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    I live in Sydney and have never done this!! Is it always the way, we will travel 1000s of kilometres to visit major landmarks in other countries but forget how great our own is! 🙁

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    That looks amazing! And I think that was the best idea, to do it again with him 6 years on. A great moment you will always have to share with each other and tell others.

  • Reply April 5, 2013


    What a wonderful experience for you and your husband to share with your son. I was lucky enough to climb the bridge just a few short weeks ago and it is something that I will never forget.
    We often forget how doing something meaningful with our children can help us connect. Your son is one lucky boy to have such wonderful parents that care. Dropping by via FYBF

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Gourmet Getaways

    What a great story! So cute watching your ten year old turn into a man! Cllimbing the bridge is something I have never considered because I am terrified of heights but you have sold it so well… now I want to go too.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Hotly Spiced

    We were in exactly the same situation with our middle child. Archie had so many needs including trips to hospital and his ADHD and constant injuries and broken bones and the difficult time he had settling into boarding school and then I had Alfie and so there were huge demands with a newborn (not as many as with twins though!) and because Arabella was so capable we just left her alone and she didn’t get her share of attention that she deserved so off the rails she went – in a big way! A bridge climb would have been a good idea xx

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Desire Empire

    Love this post Seana, which shows two parents who dearly love all their kids. Despite all your doubts, you really are a lovely mum.

    As for the bridge climb, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend several hours. Any time is a good time.


  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Desire Empire

    PS I prefer getting your summary of post each Saturday, where I can just click on any I have missed. But that’s just me I knew you’d like to have some feedback. Perhaps that doesn’t work so well if you are not posting as much. Is that why you changed it up?


    • Reply April 6, 2013


      Hi there Caro, I just changed back to the weekly email, did you get that today, but with just the one post. Sorry for the mucking about. From now on, it’s back to weekly, but with the full text of each article, and the list of them all at the top of the post, so you can click down to the one you want to read.

      I’d do a newsletter but don’t think I’d ever be disciplined enough to do it regularly… maybe should do one each season or school holiday?? But first need to put the time in.

      So much to learn – as ever!

  • Reply April 6, 2013


    I did the Bridge Climb years ago as a team building thing with my co-workers. So much fun! Loved the views and we had the best team leader too!
    What a great way to do some bonding with the kids and to also encourage some communication.

  • Hi Seana,

    Had been wondering how it went. Love the pics – that giant teen does dwarf you 🙂

    Looks like you had a perfect day for it!

  • Reply April 6, 2013


    Seana you’re such a great mum! So caring and respectful of your kids’ needs. This was lovely and refreshing to read. And a great reminder that I need to climb the bridge again – my step-son would love it and I think he’d appreciate some one-on-one time with his folks too xxx Fi

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Rebecca Mugridge

    i think my kids would love this! Though both two young, it looks like an amazing experience and what a great informative post in it, thanks x

  • eek! looks like an amazing experience. But i wouldn’t have the nerve!

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