I recently visited an iconic Sydney attraction that in my 32 years of living here I’d never visited before. And it surprises me considering I’ve probably walked right by the entrance to the Sydney Tower observation deck tens of thousands of times but it had never really occurred to me to actually head to the top.
So when the opportunity came up to take part in the Sydney Tower Eye SKYWALK for Vivid Sydney, I jumped at the chance (even with a mild fear of heights)!
Sydney Tower History
Sydney Tower, or Centrepoint Tower as it was known most of my earlier life, is the tallest structure in Sydney and second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere at 309 metres high.
At ground level you have Westfield Sydney, a shopping complex full of some of the world’s most iconic brands with both high street and luxury fashion and accessories plus tons of eateries. The upper part of the tower is made up of a revolving restaurant, function space and of course the observation deck, Sydney Tower Eye, which was where I was headed.
The 4D Experience
Once my sister, Therese, and I collected our tickets from the counter on level five of Westfield we are told to make our way through to the 4D cinema before taking the lift to the top. Because it’s outside of the regular tourist season in Sydney and it’s a Tuesday night, the attraction is pretty quiet with just a few people hanging around.
We wander through the corridor and browse past screens and information boards about Sydney, the tower and its construction. After just a few minutes waiting we are ushered into the 4D theatre by a friendly member of staff.
The 4D movie lasts just a few minutes and takes us on a journey over and around Sydney with a lorikeet leading the way. We dip and dive through the air along Sydney’s coastline, iconic beaches, through the harbour headlands and around all of Sydney’s most iconic structures giving us a close up view we’ve never seen before of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Once the show is over we are ushered to the lift that will whizz us to the observation deck at 250 metres high. These double-decker lifts take just 40 seconds to get us to the top.
Spectacular Views from the Observation Deck
Walking out of the lifts we straight away see the view and know this is going to be an awesome night. After a quick check-in at the main counter we are free to roam around the 360° observation deck for 20 minutes before our SKYWALK begins.
The view looking out through the glass over Sydney at night is quite breathtaking and I’m kicking myself for not having come up here sooner. We wander the entire loop taking photos and pointing out landmarks we’ve only ever seen from the ground. Things like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other notable buildings around the CBD stand out the most.
The whole of the city, right out into the far reaches of the northern, southern and western suburbs is lit like a million twinkling lights. This is a view of my city that I never knew existed before and I’m feeling so happy to have finally seen it.
The Sydney Tower Eye SKYWALK Experience
Just before 7pm we are sitting in the waiting area with six other SKYWALK patrons waiting for our guide for the 45 minute walk on the outside of the tower.
Nate is a friendly and bubbly guide who goes about making introductions to get to know us all before a quick explanation on what we will be doing for the next little while. We pop all of our belongings and loose items into the free lockers and each don a very attractive one piece blue jumpsuit.
And then we are off, walking through narrow service corridors to reach to door that leads out to the SKYWALK. It’s here we are given neon glasses, armbands and finger lights in celebration of Vivid Sydney and are harnessed up for our safety.
Before we know it the door is opening and out we go, tethered to a railing ensuring we stay safely on the open air platform at all times throughout the walk.
I’ll admit at this point, as we take our first few steps out the door and onto the metal grate platform, I’m a little scared and can sense Therese is too. But it takes just seconds to be completely distracted by the view. We thought it was awesome on the inside, but it’s out here that the view really comes to you.
We walk a few metres out onto the platform and stop behind Nate who is standing on the edge of a glass platform that juts out over the edge of the building. The nerves start to rise a little again but we are reassured by Nate that we are perfectly safe walking out on the glass that is strong enough to hold a fully grown elephant or two.
On the glass platform we are given a few minutes to take in the view and have a little lean over the railing for the brave ones in the group (I did it!). Nate then spends five minutes pointing out some of the key sights like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House and offering some fun facts about Sydney and the tower itself.
The view really is pretty incredible but what really catches the eye of my sister is the moon reflecting over the ocean which we can see in the distance out past the headlands of the harbour.
Our little group spends the next 20 minutes having photos taken by Nate and using the neon lights we were given to write messages in the air. It’s a bit of fun but also gives those waiting a chance to silently take in more of the view.
Once the photos are done we walk around to the other side of the tower still safely tethered to the railing and are met with an icy cold breeze.
We are asked to step on a narrow glass platform and straightaway it twigs with me that this is going to be a moving platform. Nate does his best to distract us, pointing out more famous landmarks before hitting the big red button mid-sentence. The platform slowly starts to move out over the building very smoothly and my initial fear disappears pretty quickly as I am yet again distracted by the amazing view.
After a few more minutes spent gazing out over the city it’s time to finish the walk and head back inside to where it’s warm and where you can’t see hundreds of metres below between your feet. This is definitely a not to be missed experience when visiting Sydney!
Access to the Sydney Tower Eye Observation deck and SKYWALK is via the ticket counters on level five of Westfield, adjacent to the food court. You can access level five by taking the lift on Market Street between Pitt & Castlereagh Streets or but making your way up the escalators inside Westfield.
A single visit to the Observation deck costs $AUS26.50 for adults and $AUS16.00 for children with significant discounts available for pre-purchase online. This ticket price also includes access to the 4D theatre.
To take the SKYWALK Experience it costs $AUS70.00 for adults and $AUS49.00 for children, again with significant discounts for online booking. You SKYWALK ticket also gives you access to the 4D theatre and the Observation Deck before and after your SKYWALK.
Package tickets with other Merlin Entertainment attractions across Sydney are also available and are a great way to save money when visiting multiple attractions during your visit. Check out the Sydney Tower Eye website for more details and to book online.
Thank you to Merlin Entertainment for hosting Therese and I on this really fun and unique experience. As always, all opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Over to You!
What cities around the world have you experienced breathtaking views like this?
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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.