Unlike Auckland, you can actually walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge – and it’s one heck of a nice walk actually. But Sydney aren’t just satisfied with having proper pedestrian and cycle paths across the harbour, they actually celebrate how nice their bridge is by relatively frequently closing it off to traffic and holding special events on it. I know that the marathon at the Olympic Games started on the harbour bridge, while a couple of years ago there was a Formula 1 car driven across there with much of the bridge closed off for people to watch it. Sydney have done it again today, with what they have called “Breakfast on the Bridge”. Here’s some more information from the NZ Herald:
SYDNEY – Thousands of people ate breakfast on the Sydney Harbour Bridge yesterday as the iconic steel span was transformed into a grassy picnic ground.
Usually bustling with traffic, the bridge was covered by lawn laid specially for the morning event. It was attended by 6000 lucky picnickers chosen in a ballot to enjoy food, music and the majestic view.
“It’s amazing to see the bridge in this perspective,” Sydney resident Don Fuchs said as he strolled across.
“Usually you sit in the car, you cross it, and that’s it,” he said.
Picnickers brought hampers full of fruit and croissants, while organisers handed out freshly baked bread, jams, apples and yoghurt. A pianist played honky-tonk music while grazing cows added a rustic touch.
New South Wales state Premier Nathan Rees said the tourism promotion would likely become an annual event.
Preparation for the event involved covering the bridge with grass – how damn cool is that?
The fact that I can’t ever imagine Auckland ever doing something similar (NZTA’s idea of celebrating our Harbour Bridge’s 50th birthday was to do… ummm.. well, nothing) is an indictment on NZTA and our city in general. No wonder so many New Zealanders move to Australia, they’re decades ahead of us in their realisation that it’s important for people to enjoy the cities they live in.