The Land Down Under is famous for many different things.
From kangaroos and koala bears to the red dust of the Outback and the glistening shores of the Golden Coast, Australia has a plethora of offerings for visitors and locals alike.
But one aspect of this large island nation that often goes overlooked is its bridges.
From the harbors of Sydney to the rivers that traverse the rest of the continent, there are plenty of connections around the country that deserve a little more notoriety.
Below, we’ve outlined the 15 most famous bridges in Australia. Continue reading to find out more!
Table of Contents
- 1. Sydney Harbour Bridge – New South Wales
- 2. Sea Cliff Bridge – New South Wales
- 3. Story Bridge – Queensland
- 4. Gladesville Bridge – New South Wales
- 5. Anzac Bridge – New South Wales
- 6. Webb Bridge – Victoria
- 7. Kurilpa Bridge – Queensland
- 8. Hampden Bridge – New South Wales
- 9. Stony Creek Falls Bridge – Queensland
- 10. Ross Bridge – Tasmania
- 11. Lennox Bridge – New South Wales
- 12. Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge – New South Wales
- 13. Algebuckina Bridge – South Australia
- 14. Barham Bridge – New South Wales
- 15. Bethanga Bridge – New South Wales
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge – New South Wales
Without a doubt, the most famous of Australia’s bridges is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Situated at the forefront of the Sydney Harbour and featured on the majority of postcards of the city, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is as Australian as the Opera House.
The bridge opened in 1932 after eight long years of construction. The bridge is made up of 95,000 cubic meters of concrete, 53,000 tons of steel, 17,000 cubic meters of granite, and nearly 223,000 liters of paint!
It also took the help of more than 1,400 workers to complete this iconic structure. To this day, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world.
The connection boasts eight vehicle lanes, two train lines, a cycleway, and a pedestrian footpath to connect commuters from the Central Business District and Sydney’s North Shore.
Each year, millions of people cross, climb, and photograph this famous Australian bridge.
2. Sea Cliff Bridge – New South Wales
Famed for the incredible views that surround it, the Sea Cliff Bridge is one of the most famous in Australia.
Hugging the coastline between Sydney and Wollongong, the 140-kilometer (87-mile) Pacific Drive has long since been a popular scenic road trip in southeastern Australia.
Before the construction of the Sea Cliff Bridge in 2005, this precarious stretch of road was quite hazardous. The construction was no easy feat, and many technical aspects had to be taken into account.
One of the most important components of the Sea Cliff Bridge is its balance and curvature.
While it may give you a bit of an adrenaline rush to drive across this bridge, you can relax and take in the epic scenery knowing that its modern design was thoughtfully engineered with safety at the top of the list.
3. Story Bridge – Queensland
The Story Bridge is one of the most recognizable features of the Brisbane skyline, and it’s also one of the most famous bridges in all of Australia.
It’s no surprise that this bridge is often in the spotlight – it has the same designer as Australia’s most famous arch, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
While the connection between Brisbane’s Central Business District, Kangaroo Point, and Fortitude Valley was a necessary one, the bridge’s construction was anything but applauded at the time.
Its construction began during the Great Depression, and when it was opened in 1940, commuters had to pay a toll to cross.
Many thought that this tax would last indefinitely, but thanks to the influx of Americans who made their way to Brisbane after World War II, the bridge was completely paid for by 1947, and the toll was removed.
4. Gladesville Bridge – New South Wales
The bustling city of Sydney also boasts the famous Gladesville Bridge. When it first opened in 1964, the bridge had the longest concrete arch span in the entire world at 300 meters.
According to engineers, this imposing structure is estimated to stand for at least 2,000 years.
Before the bridge was built, ferries were used to carry people back and forth from markets and farms.
Today, the large bridge allows commuters to easily pass over the Parramatta River between the suburbs of Hunters Point and Drummoyne.
The Gladesville Bridge was amongst one of the first bridges to be constructed with the help of a computer.
5. Anzac Bridge – New South Wales
The Anzac Bridge is another one of Australia’s most famous bridges. It’s also one of the most beautiful, with its towering cable stays and twinkling night lights.
Formerly known as the Glebe Island Bridge, the Anzac Bridge was opened in 1995 and renamed in 1998 for the men and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (or ANZAC).
This massive bridge carries eight lanes of traffic between Glebe Island and Pyrmont along the western edge of Sydney’s Central Business District.
The Anzac Bridge is also famous for its epic sunrises and sunsets, so take a walk along the pedestrian path in the early morning or late afternoon if you hope to catch one of these spectacular color shows.
6. Webb Bridge – Victoria
Unlike some of Australia’s other famous bridges, the Webb Bridge is open only for pedestrians and cyclists.
The bridge was completed in 2003 and links Melbourne’s north-side Docklands to the Yarra’s Edge neighborhood on the south-side.
The unique design was created by architect Denton Corker Marshall and artist Robert Owen.
Using sections from an existing rail bridge (the Webb Dock Rail Bridge) and a new 80-meter (262-foot) ramp, the Webb Bridge is as much a work of art as it is a connection over the Yarra River.
The intricate design over the bridge is inspired by eel traps used by the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people.
7. Kurilpa Bridge – Queensland
The Kurilpa Bridge (also known as the Tank Street Bridge) is one of the newest in the country and first opened in 2009.
This modern marvel is also one of the most famous bridges in Australia, and with a price tag of over $63 million, it is also one of the country’s most expensive.
Spanning over the Brisbane River in the city of Brisbane, the Kurilpa Bridge offers a connection between South Brisbane and the Central Business District for pedestrians and cyclists.
This multi-massed, cable-stayed structure is the largest hybrid tensegrity bridge in the entire world. The bridge also boasts viewing platforms, rest areas, and a weatherproof canopy across its entire length.
8. Hampden Bridge – New South Wales
The stately Hampden Bridge is another one of Australia’s most famous bridges.
It is also the only surviving wooden suspension bridge of its time and was completed in 1898 in the township of Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales.
From the medieval-style sandstone towers to the hardwood rails, the Hampden Bridge is as unique as it is beautiful.
It is considered the gateway into Kangaroo Valley, where you’ll find stunning forest scenes and a plethora of Australian wildlife.
It was once the only connection between the north and south areas of the region, which were developed almost independently from one another before the bridge’s construction.
9. Stony Creek Falls Bridge – Queensland
Created back in 1886 as a way to connect the railway from the city of Cairns to the mining center of Herberton, the Stony Creek Falls Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Australia.
While its original use is no longer suitable, the Stony Creek Falls Bridge still sees its fair share of traffic.
Today, the Kuranda Scenic Railway takes passengers along this route.
Those who ride the railway will be treated to incredible views of the wet tropics and rainforest topography from Cairns to Kuranda, including verdant gorges, cascading waterfalls, flowing creeks, and 15 different tunnels.
Beware that this ride along the Sonty Creek Falls Bridge is not for the faint of heart, and the 80-meter (262-foot) radius curve will likely keep your adrenaline soaring long after you’ve crossed the bridge.
10. Ross Bridge – Tasmania
Tasmania boasts another one of the most famous bridges in Australia – the lovely colonial Ross Bridge.
Situated in the center of the island about 78 kilometers (48 miles) south of Launceston, the bridge has a long and satirical history.
The first bridge across the Macquarie River dates all the way back to 1822, when logs, clay, and uncemented stone piers made up the connection across the river.
For obvious reasons, this bridge did not last long, and another bridge was commissioned just a few years later.
In 1929, convict laborers got started on a new stone bridge that would open in 1836. The bridge that remains today is anything but basic, and it was one of the most heavily decorated bridges of its time.
This is mostly thanks to the convict and stonemason Daniel Herbert, who carved more than 180 monster-like creatures into the bridge’s six arches.
11. Lennox Bridge – New South Wales
Tucked away in the Blue Mountain region of New South Wales, the Lennox Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Australia. Not only is it the oldest stone arch bridge on the mainland, but it’s also incredibly beautiful.
Carved from local sandstone in 1833, the bridge took just one year to complete. This is mostly thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of the convicts who labored for countless hours to complete the bridge.
The bridge is named after the designer, David Lennox, a Scottish stonemason.
The structure is a great example of colonial Georgian architecture, and the hauntingly beautiful forest setting adds to the grandeur of this famous Australian bridge.
12. Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge – New South Wales
The construction of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge was no easy feat. This famous bridge was the last piece of the puzzle in connecting the railway between South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Engineers had to be careful with their designs due to the bridge’s location over an estuary, and when the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge opened in 1886, it was considered a landmark of engineering.
It was also the largest colonial bridge until 1932 when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed.
The bridge was estimated to stand for at least 200 years, but unfortunately only stood for 60.
Design and construction faults were to blame, and it was demolished in 1946 and replaced by a similar but more sound bridge by the same name.
13. Algebuckina Bridge – South Australia
The Algebuckina Bridge is the longest bridge in South Australia, and it’s also one of the country’s most famous.
Spanning 578 meters (about .3 miles), the old railway bridge crosses over the Neal River, which is sometimes flooded to astounding heights and sometimes dried up completely.
The bridge is constructed of wrought iron and was first opened in 1892. The Algebuckina Bridge was the first connection between the Outback and the rest of Australia, though it is no longer in use today.
The area surrounding the bridge has a few notable landmarks, most of which are admittedly sinister.
There are three graves near the bridge, and the only one that is marked belongs to James Helps, a young prospector who drowned in the river.
You might also spot the remains of a dinged-up 1948 car, which is a result of the driver trying to cross the railroad bridge during one of the Neal River’s infamous floods.
14. Barham Bridge – New South Wales
Also known as the Murray River Bridge, the Barham Bridge is one of the most famous in Australia.
Located in the small town of Barha in the Western Riverina district of New South Wales, this bridge is heritage-listed and dates back to 1905 when it was first opened.
The bridge is made from timber truss, a steel lift span, and cast-iron piers. It sits over the Murray River and connects the towns of Barham (NSW) and Koondrook (VIC).
The bridge acts as a gateway into New South Wales, and its design also holds historic significance.
15. Bethanga Bridge – New South Wales
The Bethanga Bridge also crosses the Murray River in New South Wales and is one of Australia’s most famous bridges.
This steel truss road bridge was completed in 1930 and spans across Lake Hume, which is part of the historic Hume Dam in Albury.
Just like the Barham Bridge, the Bethanga Bridge links New South Wales and Victoria, this time through the cities of Bethanga and Bellbridge.
The construction of the bridge was a huge undertaking during the early 20th century, which has earned it a heritage listing.