Conquering the Sydney Harbour Bridge

ATTRACTION: Actor Ben Stiller is one of many celebrities to have done the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Meanwhile, flying on the Emirates A380 was one of the highlights of the trip.

I matched it with the likes of Heidi Klum, Ben Stiller and Oprah Winfrey.

One hundred and thirty two steps – I’ve got the hat and certificate to prove it.

I joined the more than three million people who have done the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.

The bridge climb has been operating since 1998 and our guide, Guy Patch, has been there since day-dot.

He ran us through the health and safety, and gave us a running commentary on the bridge’s history.

Before that we were even breathalysed.

You start by climbing the vertical ladders before getting to the top where the gradual steps take you 134m above the harbour.

Mr Patch said he’s had a 100-year-old do it.

The cost ranges from $248 Australian to $373, depending on what type of climb you do.

If you want something a bit more subdued, head along to Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is running until March 5 and incorporates light displays, numbers and goldfish.

A 25-minute walk will take you to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, where Nude: Art from the Tate Collection is on display until February 5.

More than 100 pieces by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin and Henri Matisse representing the nude over two centuries are on display outside of Europe for the first time.

After, you can stop off at Chiswick, which is attached to the gallery and serves seasonal food grown in its garden.

Chocolate lovers – this one’s for you. Did you know 4.8 million tonnes of cocoa is produced annually around the world?

Sweet Addiction – The Botanic Story of Chocolate at The Calyx runs you through chocolate plantations, their history and how the sweet treat is made today. It runs until April 17.

The other attraction is the green wall, made up of more than 18,000 plants.

QT Sydney, in the historic Gowers Building, has an artsy vibe. The boutique hotel’s lobby has an eclectic style, with old suitcases stacked up on the wall and funky art work and lighting. The rooms start at $360 Australian a night. QT Sydney’s Gowings Bar and Grill is a must-do. However, you have to book in advance because it is popular.

The popular Tuna Tonnato or the Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese won’t be a let-down. There’s so much to see in Sydney so I wasn’t expecting the flight to be one of the highlights.

The Emirates’ A380 double-decker aircraft began flying in and out of Christchurch in October.

It seats 425 in economy on the lower level, while upstairs has 76 in business and 14 in first class on the outbound flight. The air hostess’ were there to cater your every need.

A short stroll to the bar for a mojito is a nice way to break up the flight and, in spite of the stereotype air-plane food tasting like it is cooked in the microwave, my pepper steak with mushroom sauce, vegetables and mash was restaurant quality. I only have one gripe – after experiencing business class on the world’s largest passenger aircraft, it would be pretty hard to go back to cattle class.

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