Are you looking for an exciting experience unlike any other on offer in Melbourne?
The Winter school holidays are here again and it's time to rug up and head outdoors in search of new and enticing experiences in this fantastic city of ours. It may only be a brief term break but there's no reason why it cannot be crammed with excitements suitable for the whole family.
Whether you are a resident of Melbourne or planning a visit here, the sensational Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is our latest offering set to push us a little higher again on the world tourism rank. This is one new icon which is hugely popular and an indelible tourist drawcard for this fabulous city of ours.
Does it look familiar? The Melbourne Star was designed, engineered and built by the team that created the London Eye (the world's third largest wheel), and is one of only four giant observation wheels in the world; ours being the only wheel in the Southern Hemisphere. (The Singapore Flyer is the second largest trumped only by Las Vegas' latest High Roller.) The Melbourne Star boasts the most sophisticated 'spoke' design to enable its fantastic LED light show.
Melbourne; thumbs up, you've done it again!
We were recently invited to experience the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel for ourselves. Being the lovers of Melbourne that we are, there was little resistance to the offer. The kids were bouncing with joy at the prospect of riding a gigantic 'Ferris wheel.' This is no Ferris wheel however and there are several distinct and notable differences which set the two apart: height, view, cabins and capacity being just a few of the technical considerations that separate the two.
The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is as tall as a 40 storey building at 120 metres in height and can carry around 420 passengers in its 21 cabins. Unlike a Ferris wheel, its cabins are fully enclosed and self-correcting giving the passengers an uninhibited 360 degree view of Melbourne and up to 40kms in any direction. Passengers are free to move around and enjoy the birds-eye view of the city and its surrounding suburbs. It is a very unique experience.
Visitors to the Wheel are wowed by a waiting area emblazoned with a detailed history of Melbourne. Everything is here and proudly displayed and it's a fascinating read. Designed in part to entertain the queues, we were lucky on this day as guests of the Melbourne Star and were escorted straight to the hub of excitement this Wheel really is.
The Star doesn't grind to a halt to admit passengers, you simply step right on. (There are assistants to aid passengers and note that prams are not permitted.*) Boarding is easy - and a little strange, but certainly fun! The wheel can be momentarily stopped to aid passengers with mobility issues.
Cabins are fully enclosed, with air-conditioning. It is safe and comfortable and the ability to move about at your leisure really illustrates the difference between a Ferris wheel and this experience.
And the views - spectacular! 360 degrees of uninhibited sights. This was so much fun! With the sun streaming in on a perfect Melbourne day, we had full distance viewing advantage. Visitors are given maps which work in combination with a compass built-in to the ceiling of every cabin - Line up your map with the points of the compass to get your bearings. There is commentary piped through to compliment the experience too.
It has to be said, the views are only half of the fun of this experience. Much of your pleasure on this ride will be gleaned from gazing at the sheer size and structure of this architecturally magnificent creation. It is a complex construction consisting of 1736 tonnes of steel. The star at the centre of the wheel is unique to the Melbourne version too.
On any given day, while Melburnians go about their business below, the Star will make a full 24 turns slowly and gracefully above the city. Each full rotation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
The experience itself is a slow glide - not unlike a hot air balloon. There is no bouncing, jolting or wobbling - just an elegant and gentle, barely detectable sensation of movement. The self-correcting cabins ensure you feel safe and stable.
Coming back to Earth
Shop at the well stocked gift and souvenir shop after your flight.
Another of LEGO Master Builder Ryan McNaught's fantastic creations - a fully motorised version of the Star created entirely from LEGO bricks! This was Ryan's most challenging build to date, as nominated by himself.
We recently met up with Ryan at a LEGO publicity event and reviewed some of his brilliant creations here on the blog. Visit here to see more on this living inspiration.
The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is located at the bustling Docklands in Melbourne.
Full details and directions can be found here.
Beneath the Wheel is the lively and popular Harbour Town Shopping Centre. (The Wheel makes a spectacular backdrop to the precinct too.) Also visit Wonderland Fun Park located at the base of the Wheel for a combined experience of a Star flight with their Spiegeltent circus currently in operation. There is a full Winter school holiday program to make your visit to the Star even more exciting.
Visit here to view details of the program available daily for kids.
The Wheel is a fantastic experience and one we highly recommend. Travelling on this side of Melbourne can present its challenges (traffic congestion), so plan your trip well in advance and allow plenty of time to get there to maximise your enjoyment of this site and its plentiful surrounds.
Visit the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel website for any further information you may require.
*Prams are held at a special parking bay and are not permitted on the flight. Parents, be sure to pack a sling for your baby or toddler to avoid any inconvenience.
Like to win a Family Pass to ride the sparkling Melbourne Star Observation Wheel valued at $82?
Thanks to the generosity of the Melbourne Star, one lucky Six Little Hearts reader and their family will ride the Wheel for free! (Valid for 2 adults and 2 children.)
Please share the love! If you know someone who would love to win this prize, please let them know about this giveaway by spreading the word using the social media tabs below. (Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and email - too easy!)
Entry is easy. Just follow the prompts using the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load.) Please note: Two of the entry requirements are mandatory so be sure to follow the simple steps to ensure all of your entries count. Please play fair as others do take the time to complete their entries.
All winning entries drawn are screened to ensure they conform to these requirements and those that do not will be disqualified.
*If you leave a comment, please be sure to leave your name so that I can find your comment.
Entry is open to residents of Victoria, Australia only.
The winner will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond.
If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
The total prize pool is valued at $82 and is for one family pass (valid for 2 adults and 2 children) to ride the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Pass is valid for 12 months and will be mailed to the winner.
The winner's details will be forwarded to Melbourne Star for prize distribution.
Six Little Hearts is not liable or responsible in any way or form for prizes that are subsequently not delivered by a third party or arrive damaged or late.
Judge's decision is final.
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