Face Your Fear

Face Your Fear

Face Your Fear

Read our tips on how you can overcome your fear of heights and achieve your dream of conquering the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Have you ever looked up at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and marvelled at her beauty? Imagined the incredible view shared by groups of Climbers? Does the thought of being one of them have you break out into a cold sweat? Perhaps there is a special someone or occasion you’ve always wanted to climb for - a family member turning 8, an anniversary or a dedication to a loved one?

For many, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a life-long goal, an international bucket list experience thwarted by a fear of heights. You’re not alone.


Acrophobia is a common fear. In fact many of our over 4.5 million Climbers came to us with nerves, not yet certain if they could muster the courage to set foot on the iconic steel arches.

We’re here to support you before, during, and after your BridgeClimb. We will answer questions, demonstrate just how safe BridgeClimb is and keep your mind engaged and your eyes on the prize.

We love and share in the pride of our Climbers who face their fear. Is your pulse racing at the thought? Don’t underestimate yourself. With support from us and from loved ones you’d be surprised what you can do!

group of happy climbers at the summit of the sydney harbour bridge with the opera house in the background with a blue sky


We’ve been doing this for more than 25 years and have witnessed countless people overcome their fear and achieve their climbing dreams. 

Here's how we can support you:

  • Our Climb Leaders take immense pride in helping nervous climbers get through their fear and in celebrating their achievements with them. All you need to do, is give the team a heads up to let them know if you have any doubts. They’re ready to reassure you, explain all our safety procedures and what you can expect out on the Bridge, so that you feel more confident to achieve your goal.
  • Once you are up on the arch of the Bridge itself, you will discover that it is very wide, and you are never too close to the edge as you make your journey along our climb routes. This gives you the sense of feeling more grounded and rest assured it is extremely safe as you are always attached to the Bridge safety line by your safety harness. 
  • Read expert, Gemma Cribb. B Psych (hons), M Psychol (Clin) - Clinical Psychologist, Equilibrium Psychology, top tips below to support you in overcoming your fear. 

Challenge yourself. You can do it! And we’ll be right there with you!


One of the best ways to help your body calm down is to slow your breathing. Slowing your breathing stops hyperventilation (getting too much oxygen). If you slow your breathing, particularly your out-breath you will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will help your body relax and reduce the flow of adrenalin. You want to be breathing a maximum of 10 – 12 breaths per minute which means breathing in for a count of three seconds and out for three, although the longer the better!

The Bridge is perfectly safe however, people who are anxious will generally be having false thoughts like: “I will fall!”, “I’ll get stuck!”, “I won’t be able to get off”, “I’ll embarrass myself!”, “It will feel awful!”. It is this type of thinking, rather than any real threat, that sends danger signals to the brain for it to react with an anxiety response, also known as a ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.

Try coming up with some helpful thoughts. Ask people who aren’t anxious about heights for some tips on what they think as they look out over a balcony or climb the Bridge. Usually they will say that they think things like: “this will be fun!”, “what an amazing view!”, “what a great experience”.

If you find that before your climb you struggle with thinking more helpful positive thoughts, you can also try distraction. Try not to think about your upcoming Climb, instead watch TV, have conversations about other things, do some work… whatever it takes to get your mind off your unhelpful height-related thoughts.

During the whole Climb experience, your Climb Leader will give you great commentary filling you in on the history of the Bridge and tell you some stories about the construction of the Bridge. Concentrate on these stories, which you will be able to hear through your headsets.

The best way to prepare for your BridgeClimb is to practise facing your fear on smaller challenges beforehand. Some people have so much anxiety about heights that even thinking about heights can produce anxiety. Other people might need to do things like climbing ladders or looking out over increasingly high balconies in order to feel their fear. The key is to feel your fear but stay in that situation until it lessens. Your fear will always go away if you stay put and think helpful thoughts. 

Your body is designed to keep you safe in the face of fear. As such, the body sensations that you experience when you are afraid (be it of a real threat or an imagined one like the BridgeClimb) are perfectly normal and safe.

Your heart will begin to race and your breathing will get fast and shallow. This is the body’s way of preparing you to fight or run away from a threat, if there was an actual danger. Similarly you sweat to cool your body down if you are running or fighting.

Some of our physical reactions occur because although our body is prepared for action, we are not actually fighting or running. For example, your muscles will get tight and you will tremble if they are full of blood and oxygen. You will also get dizzy if you have been breathing heavily and not using the oxygen up. Once again, all this is normal and the body is perfectly equipped to cope with this.

BridgeClimb has been helping people conquer their fear of heights since 1998. They have helped more than 4 million people to reach the summit, from 137 countries around the world. They have a 100% safety record. Just think about it, people would not do it and the company would not be able to operate if it was not completely safe!

BridgeClimb Climb Leaders are all very friendly and experienced in guiding people through their fear and helping them believe they can do it. You will be given an in-depth tutorial on all your safety gear and how it works and be guided through the Climb step-by-step. They take a lot of pride in helping you through and will celebrate the triumph with you. They will literally hold your hand every step of the way if that’s what you need!

If you are nervous on the Bridge, try to just focus on the present moment, one step at a time. Placing one foot in front of the other, breathing and listening to your Climb Leader’s stories will get you there much more comfortably than thinking too far ahead or worrying about what is yet to come.

If you are afraid of heights, you can feel more comfortable looking horizontally, not downwards. Most of us have seen a view of Sydney Harbour on TV or out of a window, but the view from the Bridge is sensational. Looking out to the side will give you a similar, familiar and magnificent perspective.

If you feel wobbly or light-headed, it can be comforting to ground yourself. Push your feet in your shoes against the solid pathway. Squeeze the hand rails to remind yourself that everything is sturdy and safe and you are in control.

Make sure your BridgeClimb experience is special and reward yourself by sharing it with a loved one or doing it for a special occasion. Plan to celebrate your success afterwards with a nice meal or treat yourself to a congratulatory present.

BridgeClimb will take photos of you on the Bridge which you can show them off like a badge of honour.


Still feeling nervous and would like to discuss the climb experience in more detail before you book? We invite you to ask us any questions you like about how we can support you to achieve climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge through the form below.

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