5 FUN FACTS ABOUT THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

Captain Frank has been skippering vessels on Sydney Harbour for a number of years now and his knowledge of the harbour is vast. However last year he began exploring the harbour with a tourist cap on his head and he discovered some new and fun facts about the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Also known as the ‘Coathanger’, the bridge is iconic to Sydney Harbour and the views from the water are outstanding. It is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and one of Australia’s most well-known and photographed landmarks.

 

BUT DID YOU KNOW…

1. The Harbour Bridge is actually an optical illusion. Despite the bridge looking to be curved each piece that makes up the bridge is actually straight.

 

2. The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge arch actually rises and falls about 180mm (18cm) due to changes in the temperature! There are special hinges in the arch top that allow for this movement.

3. Ever wondered why the Sydney Harbour Bridge is grey? When the bridge was built, grey was the only available colour in a large enough quantity to paint the entire span of the bridge. 272,000 litres of paint were required to give the bridge its initial paint. 

 

4. Before the opening of the bridge in 1932, up to 96 steam locomotives were positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the bridge.

5. While the bridge is certainly a Sydney icon today, at the time of construction, approximately 800 families living in the planned path of the Harbour Bridge were displaced without any compensation (certainly not a fun fact, but definitely an interesting one!)

With the Sydney Harbour Bridge now carrying eight vehicle lanes (more than 160,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily), two train lines, a footway and a cycleway, as well as providing the opportunity for Sydney locals and visitors to climb the top of the bridge, imagining Sydney without this icon is not even possible!

 

The views from the water are absolutely stunning and no matter how many times Captain Frank and the team cruise under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it is still amazing and its wow-factor stands strong. You can join Captain Frank and the team on either a private booking or a scheduled harbour tour – we guarantee Sydney Harbour and the views from the water will impress you!

#seasydneyharbour #onaboat #sydney #sydneyharbour #exploretheharbour #sydneyharbourbridge #harbourbridge #allthingsnautical

A BLANKET OF FIRE AND BEAUTY

Captain Frank invited a friend out on the Sydney Harbour Sunset & Sparkle Cruise upon the product’s initial launch… So we decided to share her write up!

BY ANNIE B.

As a Sydney-sider I am often treated to a spectacular sunset, with glorious pink and red hues being spread across the sky like a blanket of fire. To say I am spoilt with views is an understatement, as these amazing sunset displays come out for show.

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Absolutely spectacular colours spread across the sky as the sun sets on a Summer evening. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour.

 

With Sydney having such vivid sunsets, the next question is where is the best place to capture such a picturesque occasion from? Of course we want the best vantage point so we have the footage to share across social media.

Scrolling through the internet searching for the answer to this question… well it seems that such a discussion is open for debate, with many personal opinions being listed and with the images shared, it’s hard to say they are wrong. Put simply, Sydney has amazing sunsets and there seems to be a number of great spots to capture these from!

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Capturing this amazing sunset over Sydney from Athol Bay. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour

 

On this note, a common feature I did notice from the array of listed locations that I sifted through, was that many selected Sydney spots – Watsons Bay, Manly, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Opera House and a number of key harbour side hotels and restaurants – had one thing in common, Sydney Harbour. Thinking about it, the sun does look better glistening off the water.

Just when I thought the idea of a Sydney sunset could not get much better, the opportunity arose for me to experience a gorgeous sunset aboard a harbour cruise. Wow!! To say the least, this was like front row seats at the opera, side line seats at the footy grand final and rooftop seats for an eclipse. Not only did I view the gorgeous sunset from a prime location, but I enjoyed a cruise around the harbour, where I relaxed, grazed on some nibbles and enjoyed a glass of champagne.

Cruising the harbour and watching the sun setting underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Image - Sea Sydney Harbour.
Cruising the harbour, watching the sun set underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour.

 

For the keen photographer, the lover of relaxation, the explorer of Sydney – the sun setting over Sydney Harbour is definitely a dream setting; a blanket of fire and beauty.

The Sunset & Sparkle Harbour Cruise that I got to experience is certainly one to put into the schedule on your next visit to Sydney!

#seasydneyharbour #onaboat #sydney #sydneyharbour #exploretheharbour  #sunsetandsparkle #allthingsnautical

A RE-ENERGISED LOVE

Melissa (a relative of Captain Frank) shares her views of Sydney upon returning for a visit after a few years of life overseas. Here’s her story!

by melissa balzan

I arrived after a long separation – 9 months since we last met, and before that, we had parted for 12 months. My relationship with Sydney seems to be one of love and aversion: when I am here for too long, I wish to leave; and when I am away, I can only dream of my return. Though this time, there seems to be a new energy in the city of Sydney – within which I wish to indulge.

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One of Sydney’s many landmarks – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park – captured against the beautiful blue skies. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour

 

Sydney is known around the world for its beauty: its landmark Harbour Bridge and Opera House, its warm golden beaches, and its friendly and down-to-earth Aussies. But after I return from living and working overseas for a while, I appreciate so much more: the skies here are so blue, the air is so clean, and the city re-development works underway are set to rival some of the best in the world.

What has struck me particularly this time, is the public space that has been claimed back by the people and is free for Sydney siders and visitors to enjoy. Barangaroo Reserve is a shining example of this – set by the beautiful harbour with spectacular urban skyline views, and with native gardens, cycle tracks and walk (or stroll) ways – this place is perfect for an afternoon picnic; and on my visit I was also lucky enough to experience some excellent open-air sculptural installations. Other new sites in the heart of the city offer similar public experiences: Central Park Precinct at Ultimo and the Goods Line that connects Ultimo and Darling Harbour, for example.

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The open-air sculptural installations at Barangaroo Reserve. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour

 

Amongst these new iconic points, I also wonder among contemporary architectural gems by world-renowned superstars: One Central Park at Ultimo designed by Jean Nouvel with PTW Architects; and the Dr Chau Chak Wing building at University of Technology by Frank Gehry. And set to come is the reimagined International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour by joint venture Hassell + Populous, and also DUO at Central Park by Foster and Partners.

For the outdoor enthusiast, the design talent, the big city buzzer – Sydney truly offers it all.

In my time overseas, I have been asked of my home city hundreds of times. When I proudly respond with the name Sydney, the reaction is often, “Ahh .. a dream city.” And indeed, Sydney is a dream city, my dream city. I encourage everyone to just lose themselves in its beauty at least once in their life.

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A mix of Sydney-siders and visitors enjoying Sydney’s beauty. Image – Sea Sydney Harbour

 

When I return next, as I fly in over the stunning Sydney Harbour, I will be looking forward to my further re-discovery of the city – perhaps this time on the water, with uninterrupted views of the beautiful harbour and cityscape.

#seasydneyharbour #onaboat #sydney #sydneyharbour #allthingsnautical