One of the most fascinating attractions in Sydney is an amazing tower that allows visitors to get stunning views of the city, and in this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting Sydney Tower facts.
1. It’s the tallest structure in Sydney
The Sydney Tower is the tallest structure in the city. It stands 309 meters (1,014 feet) tall (to the top of the antenna spire) and the top floor is located at a height of 279 meters (915 feet).
It’s one of the most prominent landmarks and can be seen from a wide variety of locations all across the city. It’s by far the tallest observation tower in Australia and at the time of writing, only 1 skyscraper in Australia is taller which is the Q1 Tower in Goldcoast, Queensland at a height of 322 meters (1058 feet).
That’s quite remarkable because Australia is the number 1 country when it comes to the number of amazing skyscrapers per person!
2. Only this tower is taller in the entire Southern Hemisphere
What makes the tower even more impressive is the fact that only 1 observation tower in the entire Southern Hemisphere is taller than the one in Sydney! The one taller tower is the Sky Tower in Auckland of which the antenna reaches a height of 328 meters (1,076.1 feet).
The observation deck of the Sydney Tower is much higher though at a height of 279 meters (915 feet) as opposed to the 220 meters (721.8 feet) of the Sky Tower. This effectively makes it the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere.
3. It’s located in the city’s Central Business District
The tower is located right in the middle of Sydney’s Central Business District and directly to the south of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
It’s situated on Market Street and can be accessed from the Pitt Street Mall, the pedestrianized area of Pitt Street. The tower is located in between the Pitt and Castlereagh Streets.
4. The tower has gone by multiple different names
Even though the tower is commonly referred to as the “Sydney Tower,” its official name is actually the “Sydney Tower Eye.” This name was given to it by the company that operates the observation deck caller Merlin Entertainment.
They also manage multiple other entertainment facilities in Sydney which can all be visited with a single annual ticket. Some of these include the Wildlife Sydney Zoo, the Madame Tussauds Museum in Sydney, the Sealife Aquariums, and Legoland!
Throughout its history, it has gone by multiple other names as well, though, including the AMP Tower, Flower Tower, Glower Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower, Big Poke, Centrepoint Tower, and Centrepoint!
5. There’s a huge shopping center located at the base of the tower
At the base of the tower, there’s an enormous shopping mall which was originally called “Centrepoint.” The original mall opened in the year 1972 and had a total of 52 stores.
Centrepoint eventually ended up being purchased by the Westfield Group in December 2001 and was eventually renamed “Westfield Centrepoint.” Back then the shopping mall already housed about 140 stores.
At the moment of writing this article (January 2021), the shopping mall has 6 floors, a total floor space of 167,911 square meters (1,807,380 square feet), and is home to over 300 stores!
6. Construction of the tower started in 1975
The original idea for the tower came about in March 1968 and the plans of the structure were made public. Two years later in 1970, the construction of the buildings at the base, including offices and the shopping mall, started.
Back in the day, flying boats that landed on the water were still popular. This was the main reason why the city had set a limit to the height a particular structure could reach.
One of the most remarkable Sydney Tower facts is that the height limit was increased because of its construction. It was originally set at 279 meters (915 feet), which is the height of the top floor, and increased to 305 meters (increased to 309 meters / 1,014 feet with the addition of a lightning rod in 1998), which is still the height limit today.
That’s why the construction of the tower only started in 1975. It officially opened to the public in September of the year 1981.
7. The tower features 4 different entertainment levels
The golden turret of the tower has 4 floors that are open to visitors. 3 of these floors are operated by Sydney Tower Dining. These floors feature a 360 Bar and Dining, the Sydney Tower Buffet, and a cocktail bar called “STUDIO.”
The top floor is occupied by the Sydney Tower Eye and features an observation deck with 360-degree views of the city and displays with information about the city and the tower. The Skywalk allows you to stare directly at the ground through a glass floor at a height of 268 meters (879 feet).
It will be hard to find a better place in Sydney to enjoy a relaxing meal, that’s for sure!
Luckily, visitors don’t have to take the 1,504 steps to reach the top as well, because there are 3 high-speed double-deck lifts which bring you there in about 45 seconds!
8. The tower’s shaft is stabilized with 56 cables
The tower itself weighs about 4,067 tonnes, which is indeed over 4 million kilos. In order to stabilize this enormous structure, the tower is secured with 56 cables which are each 182 meters long and which consist of 235 individual wires.
The reason why cables were used is that the shaft of the tower only has a diameter of 6.7 meters (22 feet), which is relatively narrow compared to some other famous towers.
Perhaps one of the most interesting Sydney Tower facts is that it’s further stabilized by a water tank on top that can contain up to 162,000 liters of water. This water is used for the fire sprinkler system and reduces the maximum sway of the tower to less than a meter (3 feet)!
9. It took 9 weeks before the tower’s turret was lifted into position
So how did they manage to lift this enormous golden turret on top of this narrow shaft?
First of all, the entire structure was assembled near the base of the tower. Then a total of 24 hydraulic jacks, which each weighed about 100 tonnes, were used to slowly lift the structure upward.
This was a relatively slow process because they were only able to move 9 meters per week!
10. The views from the tower’s observation deck are absolutely astounding
They took their time to lift the top section of the tower into position, but the result is absolutely amazing. The observation deck allows visitors to get a 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings, up to 85 kilometers (45 miles) away!
Apart from all angles of the city, you can also see the Blue Mountains to the west, the Central Coast to the north, and the Illawarra escarpment to the south.
And what an amazing sight it is, don’t you think?