The Sydney Tower, which is also called Centrepoint Tower, dominates Sydney’s iconic skyline alongside the city’s other well-known landmarks, such as the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Construction on the Sydney Tower began in the 1970s, and the first 52 shops of the shopping centre at the base of the tower opened to the public in 1972. Just two years later, the centre expanded, and offices were opened before the final sections were completed and opened in 1981. Sydney Tower is an incredible 209 metres tall and is considered one of the safest buildings in the world having been designed to withstand extreme winds and even earthquakes.
A total of 46 premade barrels, each of which weighs an incredible 27 tonnes, comprise the shaft of the tower. The barrels were welded together after being brought to the site, and four distinct turret levels were constructed on site before being raised by crane to the top of the tower. The barrels feature stairwells, hydraulics and lift rails as well as fire, electric and plumbing ducts. Fire escapes provide the necessary emergency exits.
The turret segment can easily hold more than 900 people and features restaurants, an observation deck and a lounge. The tower is stabilised by 50 cables that are long enough to stretch from Alice Springs to Sydney, and a 162,000 litre water tank is designed to further stabilise the top of the turret. The 420 windows provide an excellent vantage point from which visitors can view the sun rising and setting over the city and the harbour. The Sydney Tower Skywalk, which cost $4 million to construct, was finally completed in 2005 and provides a unique experience for the more than one million people who visit the Sydney Tower every year.
The high-speed elevators in the barrels can zip people to the top of the eighth floor turret in less than a minute, and there they can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city below from 250 metres above the ground. The Skywalk is a stroll along a glass-bottomed platform around the outside of the tower, and visitors can see up to 55 kilometres across the city on a clear day.
Visitors to Sydney Tower can shop at the base of the tower, dine at the top of the tower or check out the Observation Deck, which features high-powered binoculars, multilingual touch screen panels and state-of-the-art technology designed to enhance your experience. If you have a taste for adventure, try the Skywalk, which is known as the tallest outdoor adventure in Sydney at twice the height of the Harbour Bridge. Every year, Sydney Tower also hosts a Tour Run Up, where runners race up the more than 1,300 steps of the 94 flights of stairs in the tower. Tickets to the tower also include entrance to a 4D film that features dramatic theatrical effects and fire, wind and bubbles.
The Sydney Tower is open daily from 9 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. and is closed on Christmas Day.