Linking the coastal towns of Coalcliff and Clifton in New South Wales, Australia is a long stretch of road that gives a whole new meaning to “seaside escape.” The beautiful scenes that unfold along the Sea Cliff Bridge are natural perfection. Of course, there are pictures you can see online, but that does not do the real experience any justice. For that reason, a drive or walk along the Sea Cliff Bridge is the very thing you need for crossing over the distance between an ordinary vacation to a spectacular one.
The Sea Cliff Bridge is a relatively new addition to the Illawarra coastline. A section of the Lawrence Hargrave Drive was in need of replacing during rock falls in 2003. As of December 2005, the two-year long construction of the Sea Cliff Bridge was complete. The cost to build the balanced cantilever bridge was around $52 million. Its total length, when including the section of the Grand Pacific Drive, is 665 meters.
Presently, the Sea Cliff Bridge is 1 out of the 7 off-shore bridges that runs parallel to the coast in the entire world.
The bridge is open to motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Wheelchairs and baby prams will also have no trouble here, as the walkable section can accommodate large groups. Views of award-winning. Regardless of how you travel the stretch of road, you will never lose sight of the Tasman Sea. Parking is provided at the southern end of the bridge, but should you wish to avoid minor traffic congestion, there are other spots available at the northern end.
Visitors and locals alike cannot say enough about the Sea Cliff Bridge. The drive is said to be “too short,” because the views are that fantastic. Cyclists love the bends. Photographers spend hours snapping pictures of the cliffs and ocean-spray. Should you look hard enough into the waters, you might be able to capture footage of manta rays and water birds. When you walk, time goes by a little slower, allowing you to enjoy everything fully. Should you walk the bridge up and back, the total length is 2.4 kilometers and takes about an hour. Don’t forget your sunscreen, especially during the summer months.
You can even see whales from certain sections of the bridge. Around May to November, the majestic mammals surface within sight of the cliffs. Bring binoculars.
If you visit with a significant other, be sure to bring a padlock! The Sea Cliff Bridge has a section for Love padlocks, a custom from numerous countries around the world for securing your relationship.
So are you ready for the drive of your life? Getting to the Sea Cliff Bridge is easy. The bridge is still considered part of the Lawrence Hargrave Drive and is 60 kilometers south of Sydney. The projected cost of travel for a road trip by car (from Sydney and back) is around 30 AUD.
If traveling by rail, use the South Coast Service to Scarborough station. An alternative route is the CityRail service at Coalcliff station. Either way, you are walking about 1.7 kilometers from the station to the starting point at the bridge. The coast of traveling by train is around 15 AUD per person.
When biking, the Sydney to Gong bike route is the recommended course. This will take you along the Grand Pacific Drive, down the Sea Cliff Bridge, and into Wollongong. Bring a helmet and be prepared to share the road with drivers during certain sections of the trek.
The official website has details on the weather and information about the bridge: http://seacliffbridge.com/