Top 5 photos of Sydney Harbour Bridge and how to make them

Top 5 Sydney Harbour Bridge spots to make a photo

Last updated on October 26th, 2016 at 12:54 pm

This is one of the most popular icons in Australia.

I love making photos of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I explored all around, and still exploring.

One early morning I found also an hidden hill which is really an amazing a relatively unknown viewpoint. And it’s in the city too, no long walks required.

Should I include or not include the Opera House? It’s your choice. I usually say the less the better.

It may work.

It may not, and the eye attention will just bounce between these two icons, distracting each other.

If photography is not your main goal than the view on spot #5 is probably one of the best you can have in Sydney, beside a beautiful walk too.

I live in Melbourne but, as photographer, I visit Sydney on a regular basis for my work. I just can’t stop myself waking up early in the day and visit a new corner of the city before starting my day shooting, or why not at sunset time! Going back home with some beautiful Sydney Harbour bridge pictures is not an easy job.

The main suggestion I can give here is: never give up on any weather condition. I have missed few interesting photos in my first Sydney visits. Weather can change quickly and a big storm can become a sudden dramatic sunset

Between all of the Sydney Harbour bridge viewpoints, my favourite spot is still Mrs Macquarie’s Chair however for my photography I love the hidden corner, the Observatory Hill, where I never met another photographer in my multiple visits.

The list below has no particular order. Have a look, enjoy and let me know what you think

If looking for the top photography place in Sydney you may want also to check the 15 Best Photography Locations in Sydney [Sunrise, sunset and during the day]

Top 5 Sydney Harbour bridge pictures locations

#5 Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

One of my favourite Top spot for landscape photography in Sydney

If you are in Sydney for just few days be more be careful with your planning. There are good sites for the sunset and others that work great on sunrise. Above photo was a long exposure (118 secs at f/18, ISO 100, ND9) from the highest point of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. We had a big storm in the afternoon but, lucky enough, it opened up for a lovely sunset

In the lowest part of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair you can instead include few stones which, on long exposure (540secs at f/16, ISO 100, ND9) , become lovely with this milk-like effect

Best_photography_locations_Sydney_02b_Sydney_20130812_059-Edit-Edit_bridge_ Chair_ exposure_ Harbour_ House_ long_ Macquarie_ Opera_ Sydney-min

#4 Lavender Bay

Almost on the other side of Sydney Harbour, you can find Lavender Bay, where you can include the city centre into the photo as well. This is a great spot for sunrise or just during the day.

Best_photography_locations_Sydney_11_Sydney_20120211_254_5_6-2-2_Australia_ Bay_ Harbour Bridge_ New South Wales_ Portfolio_ Seascape_ Sydney-min

#3 The Observatory

Another sunrise spot, which is not as typical and you do not find in as many photos around is the Observatory. It is a relatively wide area where you can include other point of interest as the bench below.

My favourite photography location in Sydney. A great point of view, almost unknown

#2 Dawes Point Park

One of the most popular spot is however under the bridge, at Dawes Point Park, on Hickson Park. You can make here photos from either side of the bridge, including the Luna Park, another Sydney icon.

This is the left side of the bridge

View of the Luna Park from the Sydney Harbour Bridge


and the black and white version from the right side. I used in both case and ND9 filter for a long exposure effect

Best_photography_locations_Sydney_10a_Sydney_20130809_015_Bay_ bridge_ Harbour_ Luna Park_ Sydney-min

#1 Under the bridge

As last, I tried an unusual corner from just under the bridge. I quite like the end result. It almost look like the Eiffel Tower upside down 😀

The Sydney Harbour Bridge...or the Eiffel Tower?

My final thoughts

A dramatic sky helps to maximise the impact of the photo. You may experience quite a number of storms during the summer, a great time to the be there anyway ? The best time of the day to visit the bridge is probably sunrise, if you stay on the Opera House side, and sunset, if you are on the other side of the bridge. The best season, for the sun direction, is winter. In summer the sun tends to be too easterly (therefore on your left or right side, based on which side of the bridge you are) instead of your front or back.

I suggest you also another point, Jeffery Street in Port Jackson. Always remember to check TPE orSunCalc (my favourite) for sunrise/sunset and sun direction information. If you have a mobile with you have a look to the Best Free Travel Photography Apps that can help you with your Photography planning, setting and navigation through the city

Enjoy the map and let me know your favourite ones.

You can also view this The top 5 spots to take a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a larger interactive map

Travel Photography Stefano FerroStef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.

Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry. 

Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world. 


Stefano Ferro
Stef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.
Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry. 

Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world.
    • Ian
    • January 29, 2019

    I have just returned from Sydney and i took some fantastic ( i think so anyway ) photos whilst i was there including Australia day around the harbour and Central Quay, would you like to see them ?

    Ian MacDonald

    • Reply

      Sure do you have the possibility to tag me on Facebook or Instagram. Or please send me a link where I can see them
      Thanks 🙂

    • Terry
    • February 6, 2018

    Great info Stef, thanks!

    • Matt
    • July 25, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! Awesome photo location ideas!

      • Stef
      • July 25, 2015

      Thanks Matt, really appreciated. Let me know how will go with your shooting and if you find new spots in the meantime 😉
      Cheers. Stef

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