A Bridge Down Under

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View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from my room at the Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay.

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Full view of  the Harbour Bridge & the partly lit Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay from the Marriott Hotel.

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge is playing peek-a-boo, hiding behind the luscious trees at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Bennelong Point.

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An iconic picture of  Australia with the  Sydney Opera House,  the Harbour Bridge & Port Jackson all  in one,  as seen from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair within the Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Circular Quay is always bustling with all kinds of seafaring vessels big & small like ferries, water taxis, Captain Cook cruises & ocean liners plying Port Jackson which consists of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, Lane Cove & Parramatta River.

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Museum of Contemporary Art on the left, as I stand at the pier of  Circular Quay to capture a shot of the Harbour Bridge.

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A good night view of the Harbour Bridge nicknamed ‘The Coat-hanger’ wedged by 4 pylons  & North Shore – taken from the Sydney Opera House.

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This spanning arch bridge is the 6th longest in the world & it is also the tallest steel arch-bridge standing over 134m from the water level to the top of the structure. Milsons Point on the North Shore with Sydney Luna Park prominently lit on the foreshore.

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Woke up to a day with overcast skies & as we took the Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, we passed an Ocean liner that had just docked the night before & coursed right past  the iconic steel arched bridge.

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Conservation area  ‘The Rocks’ at Circular Quay W walking towards Campbell’s Cove Jetty near to the Harbour Bridge.

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At Campbell’s Cove Jetty where a luxurious yacht is docked just by Park Hyatt Hotel, sitting beneath the Harbour Bridge.

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Enjoying the green space at the Hickson Road Reserve where there  is a good view of the Harbour Bridge built by the NSW Department of Public Works under the direction of Dr John Bradfield & opened in 1932. The bridge was designed by the  British firm Dorman Long & Co Ltd of Middlesbrough.

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Walking along Hickson Road & snapping away merrily, as the vista here is pretty to say the least & the weather superb.

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This end of the  Harbour Bridge is located at Dawes Point in ‘The Rocks’ area which is part of the southern CBD of Sydney. Looking across is Lavender Bay & the Luna Park amusement & entertainment venue.

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This iconic bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle & pedestrian traffic between Sydney’s CBD & the North Shore. Cahill Expressway & Bradfield Highway spans across this bridge but there is an alternative crossing via the Sydney Harbour Tunnel which was opened in 1992 after 5 years of construction to ease congestion on the Harbour Bridge.

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28 panel arch trusses ranging from 18m to 57m support the Bridge which weighs about 52,800 tonnes in totality.  About 79% of the steel was imported from England & the rest sourced from Newcastle, NSW.  The Bridge is held together by 6 million Australian made hand-driven rivets supplied by the McPherson Co of Melbourne with the last one driven in on deck on 21st Jan 1932.

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It is interesting to just stand under this gargantuan structure & listen to the trains coming,  cars passing,  trucks trundling along & not  forgetting the boats & cruisers quietly sailing past.

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Standing at Ives Steps at Dawes Point where I spied some anglers trying their luck for the day right under the nose  of the Harbour Bridge.

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Walsh Bay consists of a mix of commercial & residential properties with quite a few art houses & theatre companies based here.

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Barangaroo Reserve is a 6 hectare park at Millers Point which is Sydney’s latest Harbour foreshore playground. This park resonates with Aboriginal significance & maritime history &  it is a good place to walk, cycle, picnic or simply to take in the stunning view. More than 10,000 sandstone blocks were extracted from Barangaroo  & used to create this extraordinary headland park with native flora on the city’s doorstep.

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Sydney is a city built on & from sandstone. Aboriginal rock carvings have survived because of the durability of sandstone that lies up to 6km deep beneath the Harbour. Some of the city’s beautiful landmarks like the Queen Victoria Building, Australian Museum, Town Hall & Central Station & now Barangaroo Reserve are constructed from Sydney sandstone.

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Was it 200 steps that I climbed to get to the top of the Pylon Lookout? There is a 360 degree observation deck with a glass view finder pointing out Sydney’s surrounding suburbs & the panoramic view up here is spectacular.

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Literally looking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge at this angle. Pedestrian footway on the eastern side, Cahill Expressway & Bradfield Highway,  two Train tracks & a cycleway on the western side – all  suspended over Port Jackson. Side fences have been added to prevent suicides by people jumping off the bridge.

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In the 1950’s & 1960’s there were occasional reports of climbers making illegal arch traversals of the Bridge in the dead of the night. French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walked across a tightrope between the two pylons at the southern end of the Bridge. BridgeClimb opened in 1998 making it possible for tourists to legally climb the southern half of the bridge for an exhilarating experience.

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Looking up from Dawes Point Park I saw another group of Harbour Bridge climbers listening attentively to their guide. Wish I was not acrophobic & believe me, I did seriously think about conquering my fear but at the end of the day, settled for the ‘pseudo climb’ up the Pylon Lookout instead!

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At the junction of George St & Lower Fort St, you can walk under the Harbour Bridge at Dawes Point Park & see the Dawes Point Battery which was the first fortified position constructed in 1788 to protect the cove from foreign invasion. Five cannons manned up till 1916  still remain here but the fort was removed during the construction of the Harbour Bridge.

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At each end of the Harbour Bridge stands a pair of 89m high concrete pylons faced with granite such as this.  Abutments at the base of the pylons are essential to support the load from the bridge’s arch & to hold its span firmly in place. The pylons in themselves do not have structural purpose except to provide a frame for the arch panels & to give better visual balance to the bridge.

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Since 1993 the Harbour Bridge has been an integral part of the Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations where spectacular firework displays with special themes & effects are staged at 21:00 & midnight.

This majestic bridge soars 10-storey high, looks like the heaviest thing you know & can be seen from many parts of the city. It has been great fun capturing  it from different places & angles & it has certainly cut a deep impression as a symbol synonymous to Sydney & Australia!

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