We last visited the Eureka Skydeck less than 12 months after it first opened in 2007, and it was an experience we never forgot – mainly for Susie, who is terrified of heights. Her ‘The Edge’ experience last time consisted of staying in the safe confines of the cube until it was photograph time, then racing out (with feet firmly kept on the steel beams), smiling for the camera and racing back in. Good times! So, needless to say, this time she was determined to make a much better go of it.
At nearly 300 metres above sea level, the Skydeck is enough to put anyone’s heart to the test when looking down on the tiny Melbourne streets below.
But setting aside the obvious spectacular views, here are a few facts that you might not know about the Skydeck, and why it should be on your “To do” list next time you are in Melbourne:
- It took over 4 years to complete the Eureka building, with a construction cost of approximately A$500 million.
- It is 297.3 metres high/300 metres above sea level.
- Eureka’s lifts are the fastest in the Southern Hemisphere, and travel at more than 9 metres per second.
- The glass on the top 11 floors is 24-carat gold infused.
- The Skydeck is situated on the 88th floor and is the highest public vantage point (at 285metres) in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The top of the tower can flex up to 600mm in high winds. Two 300,000 litre water tanks on level 90 and 91 help to dampen the oscillations.
Skydeck Features and Attractions
- LED displays projected across the floor point to key landmarks.
- Viewfinders are positioned around the viewing platform to held you locate key places of interest.
- ‘The Edge’ experience, standing in a glass cube where the floor seemingly gives way to show views of the streets below – not for the faint-hearted!
- Skydeck Kiosk with takeaway coffee, soft drinks and snacks.
- Live radio broadcast facility.
- Skydeck Terrace, which is open to the elements, enclosed only by a wire grid.
‘The Edge’ Experience
- A world-first, The Edge experience is a giant, moving glass cube which can hold up to 12 passengers inside at any one time.
- The Edge has a switchable glass substrate floor, meaning that at the flick of a button it can go from smoky to crystal clear with views of the street below.
- The cube itself is comprised of two tonnes of glass, 45mm thick, reinforced between steel framework. It took 6 months to build.
- The cube moves at a speed of 1 metre every 10 seconds.
- The cube walls start off fully opaque. Once the cube is fully extended, the glass floor changes from opaque to clear instantly, followed by the other surfaces. A dramatic soundtrack accompanies this movement. Various sequences for glass effects have been programmed, so every experience can be different.
- Each Edge movement sequence takes approximately five minutes, and you can purchase photographs of your experience in the store (mobile phones and cameras not allowed).
We had a great time exploring the Skydeck and identifying all the landmarks across the city. We agreed that Melbourne was a beautiful city and very well laid out with it’s different areas and precincts. It is a very tourist-friendly city! ‘The Edge’ experience was also great, and we are pleased to report that yes, Susie survived! She might have still had her feet on the steel beams below, but she stayed for the entire duration of the experience, so if she can do it, anybody can! The extra cost for the experience might be a little prohibitive for some families, but if you are making the effort to go, the experience and photograph is worth it.