School holiday ideas – take the kids for a spin on the Melbourne Star

Are you running out of school holiday ideas for things to do with the kids? If you’re in Melbourne, why not give the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel a whirl? Here’s our family review of the Melbourne Star… The Melbourne Star

During a recent trip to Melbourne we found ourselves with a spare afternoon on our hands, so we decided to catch a tram over to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and see what all the fuss is about!

Located in Harbour Town, the Melbourne Star is pretty hard to miss due to it’s sheer size. Standing at 120 metres high, this gigantic Ferris wheel makes for an imposing Melbourne skyline stand-out.

The Melbourne Star is easily accessible from the city via the free city circle tram line or the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle buses, or you can simply catch a train or drive and park nearby (for the finer details, see our info section below).

A trip to the Melbourne Star also happens to have an added attraction for mums – on-site shopping! You need to walk right through the Harbour Town Shopping Centre from the tram stop to get to there – so you can do a bit of outlet shopping on the side before or after your Melbourne Star ride – bonus!

Boarding the Melbourne Star is slow and easy

Boarding the Melbourne Star is slow and easy

Boarding your “flight”!

Even though it was school holidays when we visited, we didn’t have to queue for long – it wasn’t busy at all. I bought our tickets at the entrance – Melbourne Star have 1 parent and children packages which is great for single parent families like us – and then we were directed to catch an escalator up to the short walk to the Observation Wheel loading point – it was exciting to think that we were going to be at the top of this gigantic moving structure before long!

Attendants assisted us all to step into our carriage – it was moving slowly, so getting in was no problem. The large carriages are shared, so there was other families being loaded into the same carriage as us – there were perhaps 15 people in our carriage in all. I couldn’t help but wish that with the low numbers of people they were boarding that day that we might have got lucky and got a carriage to ourselves, but alas – it wasn’t to be!

The views are great from the top!

The views are great from the top!

Riding the Melbourne Star

Off we went on our “flight”, with an estimated total rotation time of 30 minutes. If you’re a bit afraid of heights, don’t let that put you off. To me, the Melbourne Star seemed no more scary than being on a high floor of a skyscraper – albeit a moving one! Huge and almost imperceptibly rotating, no one in our carriage seemed phased at all by the fact that we were in a large glass container, attached to a massive steel wheel which was suspended as high as 120 metres!

Inside the carriage there was a communal wooden bench running down the centre to sit on if you wished to, and a hand rail running right around the windows – that is, apart from the doors which were rather disconcertingly signposted, “Do not lean against the door”! We made sure the kids kept well-away from those, although I’m sure it was just a precautionary measure…I think!

Don't lean against the doors!

Don’t lean against the doors!

Obeservation Wheels give you a constantly changing elevated view – and a great overall picture of an area. Melbourne can be a hard place to get a size perspective of when you’re actually in it, so the Melbourne Star was great for appreciating the general size of the Melbourne CBD and the surrounding suburbs, docklands and bay.

Even though you are basically locked into a carriage for half and hour with a small group of strangers, don’t worry too much about the kids getting bored or noisy – particularly if they’re really little. We had a toddler in our carriage, but she found the ride fascinating from start to finish. My kids really enjoyed having the freedom to roam about the carriage at will to see the constantly changing vistas  – and sticky-beak at the neighbouring carriages too!

When you get near the top you can see into neighbouring carriages!

When you get near the top you can see into neighbouring carriages!

Within 15 minutes we had reached the very top of the wheel where we had spectacular 360 degree views of Melbourne and surrounds. It was a Melbourne I’d never really seen before in this way.

Inch-by-inch, we rotated back down to the ground, and disembarked from our flight on the Melbourne Eye. We headed out via the gift shop to grab a souvenir and check out their giant Lego Melbourne Star!

The large Lego model of the Melbourne Star

The large Lego model of the Melbourne Star

Riding on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel had been an exciting, one-of-a kind experience. It’s a great school holiday activity for both Melbournians and visitors to Melbourne alike, and I’d definitely recommend the Melbourne Star as a fun, unique family experience – don’t miss it!

Melbourne Star Important Info

Admission prices (as at January 2016)

Adult $35.00
Child (5 – 15 Years) $21.00
Children (up to 4 Years) Free
Family (1 Adult & 2 Children) $62.00
Family (2 Adults & 1 Child) $73.00
Family – Additional Children $17.00
Seniors / Concession $31.00

Location of the Melbourne Star

101 Waterfront Way
Docklands
VIC 3008
Melbourne

Opening hours

Melbourne Star is open daily from 10am – 10pm with the last flight departure at 9.30pm

Contact details

Phone: +61 (3) 8688 9688
Official website – http://www.melbournestar.com/

How to get there

By Car – Paid parking is available at Pearl River Road West Car Park and Waterfront Way East Car Park.
By Train – Get off at Southern Cross Station.
By Tram – Catch the free City Circle tram no.35 and get off at Waterfront City/Harbour Town Shopping Centre – Docklands Stop.
By Melbourne Visitor Shuttle – catch this bus from any of the stops in and around the city.

We loved our "flight" on the Melbourne Star!

We loved our “flight” on the Melbourne Star!

Have you ever been on the Melbourne Star? What did you think – did your family enjoy it? Tell us in the comments below…

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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