So…stood in the middle of Sydney with time ticking by, what to do first? Our intentions were to follow the “Sydney in a Day” guide so we opted to follow suit and climb atop the Sydney Tower to provide a bird’s eye view of Sydney and see exactly what this city had to offer. The directions indicated that “the tower is located at the corner of Pitt and Market Streets in the middle of Sydney’s retail precinct and just a short walk from Town Hall and St James train stations”.
Well we found the retail precinct and mall and could see the tower “towering” above all the other skyscrapers in Sydney directly above us, but we had a real difficulty locating the entrance! Entering the Westfield Sydney mall we found that the entrance is actually located on the 5th floor so we eventually found our way there.
Tickets are $26 per person if you are just wanting to rise to the summit of the tower but there are plenty of other ticket options available if you are interested in visiting other attractions (package deals etc.) which helps save you money. It is also beneficial to purchase tickets online (I have just noticed that now actually) as you save up to $7.80 per person. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and certainly pays to do research before travelling!
We have climbed several of the tallest skyscrapers including the Willis (Sears) Tower and Empire State Building and the Sydney Tower is so far the best in terms of “ease” of getting through security and actually getting to the top of the tower. Perhaps this was because we visited during the week in the morning but it was relatively quiet meaning our ascent was barely interrupted and we were soon to the skydeck.
The first experience is a 4D short video of Sydney and in particular the tower and these always provide a positive feel before climbing to the summit. After climbing to the summit of the 309 metre building via the elevators, you are presented with views that are yet again amazing as with all skyscrapers. Our downfall was that we unfortunately picked a day to travel to Sydney with overcast skies but this was certainly not going to discourage our experiences.
One of the cool aspects of the Sydney tower is that there are 360 degree views and as you walk around there are touchscreen information points which give a photographic display of what you are seeing outside and point out key landmarks. I think for tourists this is a great selling point especially as you can determine from here how realistic it will be to see tourist spots if you are limited with time as we were.
The view of the Sydney Opera House was partially blocked, almost teasingly in sight but not clear enough for a good picture! Ah well, this was on a “must-see” list so that would come later. The impressive Sydney Football Stadium (Allianz Stadium) and the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) are impressive structures close to the CBD but a little far out for anyone wishing to walk!
The Sydney Tower offers a gift shop at the summit and also you can purchase additional tickets to the “Skywalk” which offers visitors the chance to step out into the open air for a breath-taking 45 minute tour around the outside of Sydney Tower with experienced guides.
Time inside the Sydney Tower differs and is really dependent on personal preference. We managed to get to the top and back to the bottom within a hour but you could certainly stay longer and relax with the breathtaking views or probably get up and down quicker if you prefer!