Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Melbourne Series - The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel - A Review - Plus Win a Family Pass!

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.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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  1. We drive through Melbourne a few times a year on our way to my sisters place, and the big iconic Observation Wheel is always one of my kids landmarks that they look for! They know we are passing the city when we see it and only have another hour ahead of us. We'd love to give it a whirl next time!

  2. I've been dying to take my boys to this ever since the whole thing melted a few years ago in that crazy heat. We have been watching it be rebuilt slowly and I keep saying once its done we'll go - seems like I need to keep my promise ;) I think there are so many lovely things to see and do in Melb, hard to pick one as my favourite xx

  3. I have wanted to do this ever since I moved to Victoria. My partner and I want to take our little girl for her first birthday.

  4. I do love heights and being able to see the city line from high vantage points, sounds like I'll have to put in on my bucket list for next time I'm in Melbourne! I bet the kids loved it too, what a fun day out for you all. xx

  5. I love going to Melbourne! There is so much for families to do. The aquarium & museum are our favourites. My daughter would love to go up so high!- Dana

  6. The kids would love seeing Melbourne from a different perspective. My favourite tourist attraction is the Tram restaurant I recommend it to everyone and buy vouchers for friends/family so they can experience it too :)

  7. Looks awesome! If we manage to get down to Melbourne at the end of November we will definitely be checking this out! #teamIBOT

  8. Wish I was in Melbourne, would love to do this. We had a similar wheel for a little while in Perth. Of course the day we decided to take the family, 30 seconds into our ride it started pouring and we hit low lying clouds. We hardly saw a thing but still had a fun time. I think they allowed us a few extra rounds as the visibility was that poor.

  9. This would be fantastic!! I would so love to do this. We were out in the city recently and the kids were begging to go. It was night time and the star just demands attention with its lights.

  10. What a great family day! We'll definitely have to make a trip out there next time we're in Melbourne. We're over due for a trip to visit family.

  11. Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium is favourite with the kids. My son still raves about it and every time he sees a penguin or animal from the aquarium on TV in a book he says I saw that at the aquarium. Also a great place to visit in winter and on wet days.

  12. We have a family trip planned for September to Melbourne this was just being constructed last time we were there (it was meant to be finished) i would love to be able to take a ride on it this time i have 4 kiddies so attractions can get expensive. I totally recommend the Museum and the Eureka Sky tower our whole family thoroughly enjoyed both, the aquaruim is a must and there is something from everyone at the Queen Victoria Markets.

  13. Ah cool and great shots too. looks great. i'm not in melbourne but this looks like a great thing to do next time we visit.
    Thanks for linking for Sunday Brunch xxxx

  14. Well it wouldn't be everyday you get to enjoy a view like that would it?? Amazing. I would love a go on this just to say I'd been on it and seen Melbourne from that perspective.Winning this prize would be a real boost for me right now. Things are a bit tough in this household financially right now and this would be a lovely treat for the entire family.
    In Melbourne I would recommend the Melbourne Aquarium, The Shrine of Remembrance and just a wander down Burke Street Mall and perhaps some of the laneways leading off it. So many great things to experience in Melbourne! It's such a beautiful city :) Vicki

  15. Oh this looks amazing! We have a similar ferries wheel in Singapore called the Singapore Flyer. Always enjoy a trip there with the magnificent view!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  16. We are a long way from Melbourne but will be sure to check it out next visit

  17. Wow!! This is totally cool. What a fun experience. I love Melbourne. I hope to get there again soon-ish :)

    PS. Your photos are fantastic!

  18. I wish I lived in Melbourne, seriously all the cool stuff seems to happen there (so the internet tells me).

  19. What an awesome ride. This is something I'd love to do while in Melbourne.

  20. I just love the wheel at night, it looks amazing.

  21. I'd love to see Melbourne from this point of view. It sounds amazing! Just like the Eureka Tower (which I would recommend).

  22. This sounds amazing. Not only would be kids love the wheel.. .but LEGO!!?!?!

  23. My son loves seeing the wheel every time we go to Melbourne, he knows that it means we have reached the city when he sees it. He would love to go on it.
    Melbourne has so many great attractions but Scienceworks is a great one for kids, so much for them to do and they are learning at the same time and even better it's not that expensive.

  24. We recently moved back to Melbourne after living in QLD for 4 years and as we were driving through the city my son spotted the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Since then he has been begging us to go. I would love to finally take him and show him our beautiful city.


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