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The Sydney Tower

The skyline of downtown Sydney doesn’t particularly stand out and the city’s image is mostly defined by its port. But one exception is the Sydney Tower, approximately as tall as the Eiffel Tower. The rest of the city, including the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, are dwarfed by this 309-metre-high giant.

The Sydney Tower stands in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD). The tower is relatively new and was completed in 1981. In its short life span it has undergone several name changes. Most recently, the building was named the Sydney Tower Eye. However, locals simply refer to the building as the Sydney Tower. Several restaurants in the tower offer spectacular views of the city. The top floor serves as the observation deck.

Sydney Tower: 309 metres above the ground
Sydney Tower: 309 metres above the ground


A long way up

Although construction of the tower had been decided in 1968, it took quite a few years to actually complete the building. After 13 years of planning and building, the tower was ready to be inaugurated. And even then it wasn’t completely finished as workers took a few more years to conclude everything. In 1998, the tower’s height was raised from 279 to 309 metres with the installation of an additional lighting rod. Ten years later the entire tower, including the shopping centre on the lower floors, underwent a major facelift.

Today, high-speed elevators whisk visitors to the top of the tower in 40 seconds. The upper section of the tower is a golden ‘basket’ with 420 windows spread out over 8 floors. Two floors are home to an à la carte restaurant and a self-service buffet-style restaurant. Both eateries revolve but in opposite directions. In 2005, a Skywalk was installed above the restaurants. This vertiginous platform with a glass floor extends 268 metres above the streets of Sydney. The Skywalk is only accessible as part of a pre-booked guided tour.

The view from the tower

4D Cinema

As if a 3D image wasn’t enough, the newest attraction of the Sydney Tower Eye has added another dimension. The cinema on the 4th floor exhibits 3D film images of the city, beaches and harbour with numerous effects that create a fourth dimension. Wind, foam and even fire are used to create these effects. Visitors enjoy a fast overview of the city and its surrounding regions. Outside of the 4D cinema, visitors have access to more interactive information; use the multilingual touch screens on the observation deck to learn more about the vast city panorama that lies at your feet.

“Wind, foam and even fire create a 4D cinema experience”

Photo credits

  • The view from the tower: David Vespoli, Flickr