One fun fact about me is I absolutely love heights. That’s not to say they don’t make me nervous, however, I truly love the dizzying feeling combined with the aerial views. For those visiting Melbourne, there are many ways to see the city from above, or get high, such as:
While many cities around the world have aerial observation decks, Melbourne offers something not only scenic, but scary. Instead of taking an elevator to the top and peering out through 360-degree windows, the Edge Experience at the Eureka Skydeck 88 puts you inside a black cube that sits 88 stories (300 meters/984 feet) above the city. Once you’re in, the black cube turns translucent, as you find yourself suspended directly over Melbourne and its mix of abstract and classical structures. While safe, there’s no helping the stomach churning as your body instinctively feels like the glass beneath you will break, sending you plummeting to your death. Bring your camera (and a handkerchief for those sweaty palms), as it’s a view not all those who visit the city get to experience.
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon
While I’ve taken numerous hot air balloon rides over countryside before, partaking in the experience over a city was something completely different. Melbourne is particularly interesting for a sunrise hot air balloon ride, as the destination’s architecture melds historical and modern design as well as Victorian, Neo-Gothic and Art Deco styles. The experience takes place at sunrise, with oranges, yellows and pinks illuminating the skyscrapers and bridges. By the time you land you’ll understand why they call Melbourne “Australia’s most European city.”
One of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, the Melbourne Star is a giant waterfront Ferris wheel. The ride is enormous at 394 feet (120 meters) tall, and boasts being the “the Southern Hemisphere’s only giant observation wheel.” A full rotation takes 30 minutes, providing unobstructed 360-degree views of Melbourne. And while not exactly a new attraction as it originally opened in 2008, the ride was closed for awhile and reopened to the public on December 23, 2013.
Through the Melbourne Skydive Centre, daredevils can head to their St Kilda drop zone where they’ll hurl themselves from a plane at 14,000 feet (4,267 meters). After a 60-second free-fall, you’ll float for about five to seven minutes, enjoying bird’s-eye views of the city and beyond. This is a must-experience for travelers looking for adventurous experiences in Melbourne.
A glider flight over Melbourne is an interesting way to get high in the city, as the gentle voyage features an aircraft without an engine. Instead, the plane uses natural currents in the atmosphere to remain in flight. You’ll take off from 3,000 feet (914 meters), flying quietly over the city. If you’d like, you can even learn how to pilot the glider.
What’s your favorite way to get high in Melbourne?
The Edge. Photo courtesy of Eureka Skydeck 88.