Visiting Melbourne’s Eureka Tower

Howdy all. Bringing back to my home city today, and yesterday I spent a awesome afternoon with fellow travel-blogger and friend of the blog, Tim Blight. Our task was to head up Melbourne’s tallest building – the Eureka Tower, to the 88th floor for a view of smoky Melbourne.

The Eureka tower is just under 300 metres tall and is the fourth tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, which is you know…. Pretty tall! Apparently just the three levels above us, at 91 storeys it’s a bit of a surprise I guess that I had never been up this tower. Nor indeed the previous tallest building in Melbourne, the Rialto. If a city has a tall tower, I tend to like to visit it. Stay tuned for Sunday’s Tower Rumble!

Anyways – the Eureka Tower. Well, it’s not a “tower” as such in the sense of say Toronto’s Tower or Seattle’s Space Needle, to be honest it’s a skyscraper or just a building if you will. Nevertheless, it calls itself a tower, and provides a sky-high view of Melbourne.

It’s located around 100 metres from Southgate and the Yarra River in Melbourne, on the opposite side to Flinders Street Station and the CBD. It’s very easy to reach – if you arrive at Flinders Street station take the Elizabeth street exit and exit to the river side. You cross a wonky sort of bridge with a bar underneath it, and you’ll find signs on Southbank Boulevard to the tower.

Tim was fascinated by a group of sculptured gold bees on the outside of the building. I mean, whatever floats your boat, right? There’s a bit of a courtyard and you buy your tickets up the tower there. $23AUD for an adult – $21 if you prebuy online which I must admit, I did not do. There’s security, a bag check and metal detector to pass through, and then you wait for an available lift.

Photo thanks to Tim

I guess it’s not very busy weekdays, we really didn’t have to wait for the lift, and we had one to ourselves. On the way down, however, it was a packed lift. But, no waiting in line either time.

It had been a cloudy day, we went up around 4pm, and thankfully the clouds had cleared. We’re having a pretty hot summer in Melbourne, which has led to bushfires, and in Melbourne at the moment there is a bit of hazy smoke from the country fires. It’s not that noticeable except on long views (ie from the tower) and also it is not friends to my eyes.

The view is actually pretty spectacular. You can see Melbourne’s reach into the distance, even with the haze of smoke. Also, you can see just how dry a summer we have, I think I’ll go back up in winter or early spring to see the difference, because there was a lot of brown this time.

The lake you can see is Albert Park Lake, around which they will race fast cars next month (Grand Prix). On one side you can walk out into a sort of cage, which allows you views that are not through glass. Next to that is ‘The Edge’, a glass platform that moves out the side of building, makes cracking sounds to scare you (with foggy glass) before the glass unfogs and you get the view. $12AUD extra for this and another $15 for your photo.

I decided against it. I don’t like heights all that much, and frankly the view is no better and there would be little point without the photo which means it’s $27AUS on top of the $23 I’d already paid.

Is $23 a reasonable price to go up a tower (via a lift at 9 metres per second!) I wonder? Possibly. It seems pretty standard these days. The Sydney Tower is $29AUD ($20.90 online) so I guess it’s run of the mill. Having said that, Melbourne’s view is good, but Sydney’s is one of the best you’ll get.

Also thanks to Tim!

At the end of the day, this was the first time I’d seen my own city from above, and I was impressed. I think it’s worth doing if you’re in Melbourne. If you don’t fancy doing the edge, they have a small green screen studio on floor 88 where you can pretend to be clinging to the side of the building or falling and they’ll pop you into a photo for $15AUD. I nearly did it… but decided to keep my money.

Albert Park Lake – thanks to Tim

Thanks for tuning in again as always – and May the Journey Never End!

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