Amongst the various man made constructional wonders of the world, is also the Sydney Harbour Bridge which also has the nickname ‘the Coathanger’. Located on the Sydney Harbour of Australia, it is a massive arch bridge which gives a thorough fare to vehicles, rail, pedestrians, and bicycles.
The inspiration behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the Hell Gate Bridge of New York. It was built under the instructional guidance of Dr. J.J.C.Bradfield and got opened for the public in the 1932. It is known to be the sixth longest arch bridge of the world and is also the tallest arch structure being 134 metres away from the water level.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge uses 6 million hand driven rivets and the surface area of the bridge which had to be painted took the estimated area of 60 sports fields. Such is the design of the field that the hinges can absorb the expansion of the bridge taking place due to sun. The grand old bridge can support eight lanes of vehicular traffic, one pedestrian footpath, one bicycle path, and lastly two railway tracks. The arch has been built with the help of 28 panel arch trusses and a number of modified pylons which were re-modified in the 1942 with the help of anti-aircraft guns so that they could be of help to provide defence in case of necessity.
The grand Sydney Harbour Bridge makes the face of Australia along with the famous Sydney Opera House. Right from it construction period, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has been of tourist interest from a number of perspectives. One of it is interesting features is the south east pylon which can be accessed through the pedestrian path and then with a flight of 200 stairs. Reaching up the pylon there are a couple of attractions like the camera obscura, the Aboriginal museum, a cafe, a ”pashometre”, and lastly the viewing platform where there are telescopes from which the entire Sydney is visible.
Though during the Second World War, the pylons went under the authority of the armed forces but, in the year 1982 they were reopened for the public and other attractions like souvenir shops were opened on the pylon. From 1998 there has been yet another interesting part of the bridge where people were given the permission to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Now there are similar climbing tours of the bridge even during nights, except for times when there are predictions of electrical storms and strong winds.
As the Sydney Harbour Bridge is of national importance to Australia, it has been used for various kinds of celebrations too like the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Bicentennial Australia Day celebrations, the New Year’s Eve of Sydney every year, and so on. It is therefore undoubtedly an attraction worth a visit.
An icon of creativity which stands as the ambassador for Australia is the Sydney Opera House on the Sydney Harbour and next to the central business district of Sydney. Within a close proximity of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House is a venue for a plethora of performing arts and got built in 1973 under the design of Jorn Utzon.
While the location of Bennelong Point already makes the Sydney Opera House a stunner, the other aspects which have always made it worth complementing are its expressionist design and construction which reinstate the modernist believes. The roof, which has a shape similar to that of a shell shaped sail, and the foundation beneath, which is made of red granite, together make the structure grand matching it with the nearby Harbour Bridge. The stunning structure of the Sydney Opera House is a milestone which not only looks splendid from all directions but also from air, from the ferry, and certainly not to forget from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For all these reasons it has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The planning of the Sydney Opera House was done by the NSW Government and it took 16 years to complete the entire structure. During this time it always remained a topic of debate because of its escalating cost, engineering complexities, and also the resignation of the architect. Though it seems to be a single staged location, it actually has a number of stages and performing podiums which host about 1500 performance every single year, thereby making it one of the busiest performing arts centres across the world. There are also some in house productions companies of the Sydney Opera House, namely The Opera Australia, The Australia Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
The performing venues of the Sydney Opera House are named as The Concert House, The Joan Sutherland Theatre, The Drama Theatre, The Playhouse, The Studio, The Utzon Room, and The Forecourt. While the first venue is the largest of all with a seating capacity of 2, 679 seats, the others too are of appreciable sizes. The inside of the all the venues provide a sensory experience with a unique combination of sound and colour. All of them are managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust and usually get a tourist inflow of about 7, 00,000 every year. In addition to the performing venues there are also cafes, studios, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and retails joints. It is easy to have a good look of the entire Sydney Opera House with the help of the guided tours which are available at the premises.
The entry to the Sydney Opera House requires a ticket and it is connected with all major forms of transport like buses, trains, and ferries. While it has its own private parking, taxis can also drop you on the vehicle concourse of the Sydney Opera House which is accessible from the Macquarie Street.