Sunday, 10 April 2016

#53 - Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk

People who know us will be able to confirm that we love a tall building.  Whenever we go to a new city, we generally try to find a nice, tall building, where you can go to the top and look over the city. As a result, the Sydney Tower Eye was always one that was going to be on our to-do list, even if it hadn't been in the top 100.

The Skywalk takes you around the outside of the tower, just under the red Westfield sign
The Sydney Tower Eye is in the middle of Sydney CBD, attached to the Westfield shopping centre, the shopping mall that apparently warrants a place in the top 100 in its own right.  It's a big, needle shaped building, with a large pod kind if thing at the top.  This is where the restaurant, bar, observation level and the Skywalk are located.  The full official height of the building to the tip of the spire is 309 metres, and if you do the Skywalk, you will be walking on a platform that is twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

You buy your tickets in the Westfield shopping centre, or if you are going for dinner or drinks, you need to check in there, before being taken up in the lift to the top of the tower.  The restaurant and bar revolve, so you get to see the view from every angle.  From memory, I think it takes about 45 minutes for one full turn.  Neither tended to get outstanding reviews while we were there, but we really liked both the bar and the restaurant.  We liked the food, the drinks were on a par with prices elsewhere in the city (although there is a minimum spend - was 20 dollars when we went), and the view is spectacular.

Come on guys, seriously?  Just stick that building one block to the right...
The viewing attraction is on a separate level, and as you would expect, has floor to ceiling windows the whole way around.  There are various displays telling you bits and pieces about what you are looking at, and there is, of course, a gift shop and cafe.  You do get a great view, and can see far beyond the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.  It's great to get an overview of where everything actually is in the city, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Blue Mountains in the West.

That cruise ship is heading straight for that giant bright blob...
For the Skywalk part of the attraction, you sign in, deposit all you belongings in a safe, and put on a highly fashionable blue jumpsuit over your clothing.  You then get a safety briefing, before being attached to a railing for safety.  You are attached to this the entire time that you are outside the building.  We felt quite secure the whole time, but obviously this will depend on how you feel about heights in general.  Once outside, you get to walk around the outside of the building, directly underneath the Westfield sign that you can see from ground level.  In fact, you can actually touch the sign at certain points.  The guides give you information about the area, about the tower itself, and generally keep you safe and entertained.  You can't take your own camera, so they also take a few pictures, which you can purchase in the shop later.

Same view, different day
If you are planning to do the Skywalk, and like an element of surprise, then stop reading here.  If you are a bit nervous about heights, then you should probably be aware that at one point in the walk outside, the platform you are on starts to move, and extends out, leaving you standing on a glass platform, looking down at the city below.  Great fun, or a living nightmare, depending on your point of view.

One important point to know is that you can't drink alcohol before completing the Skywalk.  They actually give you a breath test beforehand to check this, so bear this in mind if you were thinking of heading up after a few beers.

Overall, we really enjoyed the Sydney Tower Eye, and went back on multiple occasions.  If you like looking at stuff from really high up, then you'll love it.

Do you like looking at stuff from really high up?  Or do you prefer to keep your feet on the ground?  Let us know your views on the Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk below.

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