Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eureka! Bird’s Eye Of Melbourne

The tallest building in Melbourne, and indeed in Australia*, is the Eureka Tower, and a visit to the Skydeck on Level 88 gives you a view of Melbourne afforded to the birds in flight, and helicopters…and not many others!

Sitting along the cluster of buildings in Southbank, this Skydeck is sitting on the top layers of the distinctive yellow section of the building's design - this is actually 24 carat gold plating! - is the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere.

Andrea, Dean and I took Cooper and Charli up to check out the view of Melbourne, and experience Skydeck and the Edge. Riding up the elevator was fast, effortless and without any more than an ear-popping effect. Less than 40 seconds!

Then we were on the Skydeck, and started the circuit around to take in the incredible views.

There are 30 viewfinder spots all around the Skydeck, each pointing at a landmark in Melbourne. It is clearly marked, so you know what you are looking at, and there are also viewfinders at the same points at little people height so they can see what you are seeing. Such a great idea!

The viewfinders also have mirrors inside, giving you a kaleidoscope impression of the sights below.

From these we got to see the buzz going on down at Federation Square and Flinders Street Station. A viewfinder pointed out Southern Cross Station for us, Flemington Racecourse, and the Shrine Of Remembrance. We could see trams cross Princes Bridge across the Yarra River.

We could also clearly see the Arts Centre spire directly below us, and the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Tennis Centre, and the cluster of buildings that make Melbourne city unique.

The Skydeck also has The Terrace, which lets you outside on a corner of the building, to feel the air and wind from right up there.

From here, you could see all the way to the Dandenong Ranges, and also out into Port Phillip Bay. Down along St Kilda and the marina, plus out to Geelong and all the port activity in between.

We could pick out Government House in the middle of the Botanical Gardens.

On the other side of the building we could see the sun glint off the Rialto Building.

The views really are spectacular!

Once we had completed our lap of Level 88 and taken in the views, we lodged our tickets for The Edge. Unfortunately it was a 60 minute wait by this time – we so should have lodged this and received the pager for our turn when we first got to the level – that’s my tip for all visitors, especially with little people. Our little people got over the wait pretty quickly, having completed the lap of windows and seen what there was to see. The Edge gave out yellow wrist bands that stated “I survived The Edge” – there were a couple of moments there where we were not sure we were going to survive the wait for The Edge, let alone the plunge out of the side of the building.

For the adults, there was coffee at the Kiosk. Caffeine with an incredible view!

Finally our pager went off, and we were each given shoe covers and directed into the glass cube. Once all ready, the cube rolled outwards from the building, and then the glass turned from frosted to clear, showing that we were hanging out over nothing!

I had wondered if the kids would be scared about this part, but they took in the view some 300 metres above the roads we had crossed to get to the Eureka Tower all in their stride, and could see the people on the footpaths below. Photos were taken by the Edge operator, before the cube slide back into the building.

The views from the top of the Eureka give you a view of the city like no other, the full 360 degrees of our amazing Melbourne and all it's goings on.

I was provided with a Family Pass to attend the Skydeck and The Edge as a blogger, and we purchased an extra ticket so I could take my favourite family along. Words, photos (except The Edge one, which was purchased in electronic format), and tip about beating the wait, are all mine!

*Notwithstanding the spike of Q1 on the Gold Coast. Q1 is 323m, and 78 storeys, and Eureka is 297.3m and 92 storeys high.

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