Sunday, March 18, 2012


(c) Christopher Groenhout
There would be few people who wouldn't recognise a photo of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge,
whether it be as the perfect backdrop to the Opera House or as the main 'stage' for the New Year's Eve Fireworks spectacular.
On the 19th March, 1932, this engineering marvel was opened.
It's affectionately known as the coathanger, and is loved by most, unless of course, you are held up there in peak hour.

"The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also affectionately known as the 'Coathanger', was opened on March 19th 1932 by Premier Jack Lang,

after six years of construction. Made of steel the bridge contains 6 million hand driven rivets.

The surface area that requires painting is equal to about the surface area of 60 sports fields.

The Bridge has huge hinges to absorb the expansion caused by the hot Sydney sun.

You will see them on either side of the bridge at the footings of the Pylons.

You can have a close hand look while you are in Sydney by visiting the South Eastern Pylon.

It is a walking trip and recommended for the fit only. It is a longish walk to get to the base of the Pylon

and then there are 200 steps to the top.

The views and photo opportunities are fantastic. (If you can make it, we've got to say it is tough).

There is a great display on how the thing was built. It has a similar place in Sydney history

to the Statue of Liberty in New York as far as many migrants to Australia go.

In sight of the bridge you knew you had made it.

When it opened it cost a car six pence to cross. A horse and rider was 3 pence."

(Read more at the above link...)

In true Aussie fashion, the opening was not without incident.

"The official opening day on Saturday 19 March 1932 was a momentous occasion, drawing remarkable crowds
(estimated between 300,000 and one million people) to the city and around the harbour foreshores.
The NSW Premier, the Hon. John T. Lang, officially declared the Bridge open.
However, the Premier enlivened proceedings when Captain Francis De Groot of the para-military group,
the New Guard, slashed the ribbon prematurely with his sword, prior to the official cutting.
This incident caused both amusement and dismay on the day and has since become part of Australian folklore."


  1. Somehow I missed this post when it went up. The bridge is truly iconic isn't it...not that you'd get me climbing it. Considering how much kerfuffle there was about the Opera House at the time of building, it too is something we just couldn't imagine being without now. Thanks Chris.

  2. I wouldn't be up there either, but it's a great Sydney symbol, which all Aussies claim.

    As for the Opera House, I was in Sydney when the foundations were being laid... it was all a bit hard to imagine then, but how we love it now...

  3. While visiting a storage facility Sydney, I managed to visit the famous harbour because my trip there would not be complete without visiting this beautiful landmark. I have to fully agree that it does need someone to be physically fit before he/she will be able to conquer the entire place. Nevertheless, if you think you will not be able to do so, then pictures from afar still look majestic as well.

    1. Thank you, Mark... I'm glad you like the bridge as much as I do... it certainly has made it's mark on the world as easily recognisable. Thanks for your comments.


Thank you for visiting. Your comment will be visible after approval.