James Watts from Melbourne Skydeck talks about city landmarks, virtual reality tours and the coolest bar in town
The observation deck is on the 88th floor of Eureka Tower and it's the tallest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. The view is amazing – you can see up to 75km in any direction on a clear day. Evening is my favourite as the lights flicker on over the city.
From here, you can spot all sorts of landmarks, including the Yarra River, the Arts Centre, Rod Laver Arena and the MCG, Mount Dandenong and Mount Macedon, and all the way to Port Phillip Bay.
Most people visiting Melbourne Skydeck have a pretty good idea of what to expect but when I do get a nervous guest, I reassure them by letting them know they're protected by over 110,000 tonnes of concrete and steel. The observation deck has plenty of floor space and other activities to keep people entertained, and you can see the views from nearly anywhere without having to walk up close to the windows.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The Edge experience, a glass cube that suspends 3m out from the side of the tower 285m up, probably isn't ideal for nervous visitors unless they're ready to confront their fear.
There's also plenty up here aside from the view. The new Voyager Theatre has 24 virtual reality pod chairs that take you on a multi-sensory tour of Melbourne and Victoria, including smells! Even the high-speed lift is an experience – it takes 38 seconds to get to the 88th floor. There's also The Plank, a virtual reality experience that lets you "walk" out from the building and then "zipline" through the city.
One of the best moments I've witnessed at the Skydeck was between a father and his daughter after finishing the Voyager Theatre experience. His daughter had been travelling when Covid lockdown hit, so she was unable to get back home to Australia for about two years. At the conclusion of the film, she stood up, looked at her father, and burst into tears. She'd been very homesick and really missed Melbourne. She reassured me they were happy tears.
The great thing about Melbourne is that it's always changing. I like to wander along Degraves St and check out the hole-in-the-wall cafes. One of the coolest bars around is Beneath Driver Lane, a hidden blues bar in an old subterranean bank vault. For a meal, I like Mamasita in Collins Place – the wait can be long but the food is worth it.
ArtVo at The District Docklands is fun, it has more than 100 life-sized paintings you can touch and interact with – great for selfies and Instagram.