Sydney Tower
Alternative namesAMP Tower
Westfield Tower
Westfield Centrepoint
Centrepoint Tower
General information
TypeObservation and communications tower
LocationSydney, Australia
Coordinates33°52′13.64″S 151°12′32″E / 33.8704556°S 151.20889°E / -33.8704556; 151.20889
Construction started1970 (office building)
1975 (tower)
CostA$36 million
OwnerScentre Group
ManagementTrippas White Group
Merlin Entertainments
Antenna spire309 m (1,014 ft)[1]
Top floor250 m (820 ft) for Sydney Tower Skywalk
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
Architect(s)Donald Crone & Associates
Main contractorConcrete Constructions

Sydney Tower, also known as the Sydney Tower Eye, is the tallest structure in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, as well as the second-tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Sydney Tower has also previously been known as AMP Tower and Centrepoint Tower, and colloquially as Flower Tower, Glower Tower, and Big Poke.[2][3]

The Sydney Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.[4]

The tower stands 309 m (1,014 ft) above the Sydney central business district (CBD), located on Market Street, between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. It is accessible from the Pitt Street Mall, Market Street or Castlereagh Street and sits above the Westfield Sydney (formerly Centrepoint) shopping centre. The tower is open to the public, and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city, being visible from a number of vantage points throughout town and from adjoining suburbs.[5][6] Auckland's Sky Tower is taller but Sydney Tower's main observation deck is almost 30 m (98 ft) higher than the observation deck on Auckland's Sky Tower.[citation needed]

While the shopping centre at the base of the tower is run by the Scentre Group, the tower itself is occupied by Trippas White Group, which owns and operates Sydney Tower Dining, and Merlin Entertainments, which owns and operates the Sydney Tower Eye observation deck and outside adventure experience known as the SKYWALK.


Designed by Australian architect Donald Crone, the first plans for Sydney Tower were unveiled in March 1968. Construction of the office building started in 1970, and tower construction began in 1975. Prior to construction of the tower, the height limit in Sydney had been set at 279 m (915 ft), to allow for the harbour's flying boats that were popular before the jet era.[7] It was developed by AMP, with Concrete Constructions the main contractor.[8]

Public access to the tower began in September 1981.[9] The total cost of construction was A$36 million.[7] In 1998, the addition of a lightning rod to the top of spire extended the tower's overall height from 305 metres to 309 m (1,014 ft), which is 327 m (1,073 ft) above sea level.[10]

While AMP managed the Centrepoint shopping centre, the tower was officially referred to as the AMP Tower. After the Westfield Group took over ownership of Centrepoint in December 2001, the name was changed to Sydney Tower.[11][12]

In 2009, the base building was closed and stripped for a major refurbishment. This involved the connection of the shopping centre to other arcades and a complete upgrade of all the sites. The shopping centre was progressively reopened from 2010 and was renamed Westfield Sydney. In June 2011 the AMP banner was removed by helicopter from the tower and replaced by a large illuminated Westfield logo.[13]

In 2011, Merlin Entertainments acquired the rights to operate the observation deck, renaming the attraction the Sydney Tower Eye.[14][15]



Four sections of the tower are open to the public, three being occupied by Sydney Tower Dining.[16] 360 Bar and Dining, which offers revolving views of the Sydney skyline, is located on level one of the Sydney Tower.[17] Sydney Tower Buffet, a contemporary self-select restaurant, is on the tower's second level.[18] Studio, located on level three can cater for cocktail functions for 200 people and 156 sit-down guests.[19]

The observation deck, currently called the Sydney Tower Eye, is located on level four of Sydney Tower. To access this level, visitors can buy a pass from the operating company or at the gate. The pass allows access to other Sydney attractions including Wild Life Sydney and the Sydney Aquarium.[20] The Sydney Tower Eye is located 250 m (820 ft) above ground level. It has a fully enclosed viewing platform featuring 360-degree views of the city and surrounding areas.[21] This floor also houses a small gift shop, multilingual touchscreens[21] and a readout that displays data about the wind speed, direction, sway amplitude, and other statistics of the tower. On 23 September 2011, a 4D cinema was opened on the fourth floor of the arcade, playing a film with footage from various locations in Sydney.[22] The theatre is the first of its kind in Australia; in-theatre effects include wind, bubbles, and fire.[23]

Skywalk is an open-air glass-floored platform encircling the Sydney Tower Eye at a height of 268 m (879 ft) above ground level.[24] The viewing platform extends over the edge of the main structure of the deck.[25] It was opened on 18 October 2005, cost A$3.75 million to construct, took four years to design and two months to build. This platform is only accessible as part of planned and booked tours.[9]


The golden turret near the top of the tower has a maximum capacity of 960 people.[26] Travel to the observation deck is by three high speed double-deck lifts, each with a capacity of 8 to 10 people. The lifts travel at full, half or quarter speed, depending on wind conditions. At full speed the lifts reach the deck in 45 seconds.[27]

Cultural events

Leading up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the tower was decorated with sculptures by Australian artist Dominique Sutton (an athlete rising from starting blocks, a gymnast performing a handstand, and a wheelchair basketball player passing the ball) which were positioned above the main body of the tower and in some cases overhung the edges. These sculptures were removed in 2002 and relocated to Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay.[28] The figures were placed atop the tower using an S-64 Aircrane heavy lift helicopter known as "Elvis".

On several occasions, the tower has been used to launch fireworks or it has been illuminated with coloured lights as part of various celebrations in Sydney, such as New Year's Eve or during the Olympics in 2000.

Each year the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge comprises the challenge of running up 1,504 stairs from Pitt Street Mall to the Observation Deck.[29] The event is to raise money for the Cancer Council, and the two winners become eligible to compete in the Empire State Building Run-up.[29] However, the event was cancelled in both 2011[30] and 2012.[31]


On 8 March 2018, the Skywalk was closed for five weeks following the suicide of a 21-year-old woman who removed her safety harness and leapt from the tower while on a tour. The Skywalk reopened on 12 April 2018, after conducting a probe into the incident and the tower having upgraded the safety equipment.[32][33]

The second suicide took place on 8 July that same year. Leonard Nherera, 18, jumped 268 metres to his death from the Skywalk tour at 7pm.[34]

Again in 2018, a man fell from the observation deck[35] and died.[36]

Engineering heritage award

The tower received an Engineering Heritage Plaque from Engineers Australia as part of its Engineering Heritage Recognition Program.[37]

In popular culture


Panorama from the top of the Sydney Tower

See also


  1. ^ "Sydney Tower - The Skyscraper Center". Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Centrepoint Tower | The Dictionary of Sydney". Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  3. ^ "About Sydney Tower". Sydney Tower Eye. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  4. ^ "The World Federation of Great Towers: Sydney Tower". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Sydney Tower Official Site". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Sydney Showcase". Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Sydney Tower Fact Sheet" (PDF). Internet Archive Wayback Machine. 29 August 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  8. ^ The symphony of building great work Sydney Morning Herald 25 September 1981 page 10
  9. ^ a b About Sydney Tower(from the Sydney Tower Eye website. Accessed 23 Sep 2020.) Archived 11 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Centrepoint Tower". Sydney Architecture. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  11. ^ Westfield likely buyer of AMP's Centrepoint Australian Financial Review 13 November 2001
  12. ^ Westfield Centrepoint Westfield Group
  13. ^ Westfield on Sydney Tower Claude Neon
  14. ^ Campion, Vikki (8 September 2011). "UK firm Merlin Entertainment Group eyeing off Sydney Tower for a makeover". The Australian. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  15. ^ Hardie, Giles (18 August 2011). "EyePhoney: Sydney Tower goes over the top". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Home". Trippas White Group. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  17. ^ "360 Bar and Dining". Trippas White Group. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Sydney Tower Buffet". Trippas White Group. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  19. ^ "Sky Venue". Trippas White Group. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Ticket Prices". Sydney Tower Eye. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Observation Deck". Sydney Tower Eye. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  22. ^ "4D Cinema". Sydney Tower Eye. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Sydney Tower Eye". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  24. ^ "Skywalk". Sydney Tower Eye. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  25. ^ "Sydney Skywalk opens 880 feet up on tower". The Free Lance-Star. 29 October 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  26. ^ "About Sydney Tower". Merlin Entertainments. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  27. ^ "School Excursions - Background information for Teachers making Risk Assessments" (PDF). The Sydney Tower Eye. n.d. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  28. ^ "New home for athletes of steel". Australian Government: Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 14 October 2006. (Updated 11 January 2016).
  29. ^ a b Sydney Tower Run Up Archived 24 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine (from the 'Supersprint' website)
  30. ^ "Results". Stair Climbing Australia. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  31. ^ "Sydney Tower Run-up 2012 is cancelled". Stair Climbing Australia. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  32. ^ "Sydney Tower's Skywalk shut for probe into woman's fatal plunge". Sydney Morning Herald. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Sydney Tower's Skywalk boosts safety measures after woman's fatal fall". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Victim of Centrepoint Tower death identified as Leonard Nherera" 9 News, 12 July 2018
  35. ^ "Sydney Tower Eye Director makes a statement after a man dies in Sydney CBD". Who.
  36. ^ "A man dies in Sydney CBD after falling from Centrepoint Tower". That's Life!.
  37. ^ "Sydney Tower, 1981-". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  38. ^ "IMDb: Filming Location Matching "CentrePoint Tower, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Retrieved 28 November 2018.

Further reading