Ride the skyline on the Melbourne Star

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The Melbourne Star is a giant observation wheel located in the Harbour Town Docklands district of the city of Melbourne AustraliaIt is reachable by the famous Melbourne trams in under 10 minutes from the central business district. We found the Melbourne Star one of the many things to do in Melbourne and a great way to see the beautiful city in a completely different way!  As far as Melbourne sightseeing goes you can see all from the Melbourne Star.


The Melbourne Star wheel is located at the Docklands

The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel first opened to much fanfare in 2008. The Star operated for only 40 days before structural damage was noticed. Cracks up to 3 metres long were found in the metal tubing. Dismantled and found to be so defective that The Star had to be rebuilt. 5 long years later The Melbourne Star was finally re-launched functional and was opened to the public on 23 December 2013.


The kids had been talking about The Melbourne Star all week since I had mentioned we were going on it on the weekend. The height of the giant wheel had us all excited if not a little apprehensive. We visited The Melbourne Star on a very blustery Sunday. The kids had a mixed look of excitement and fear all rolled into one of their faces but once we were on The Star excitement took over!

The Melbourne Ferris Wheel is Huge

One is never fully prepared for just how large The Star is until you are standing under it looking up at this giant feat of engineering or you are finally at the top admiring the views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world! The lines for The Star were constant, despite the windy day, with a wait of around 15 minutes to get on the giant observation wheel. The staff on the boarding deck were extremely friendly and helpful with instructions and able to answer questions about your ride on the giant wheel.

We were lucky enough to have a capsule to ourselves. The Star moves at 1 kilometre an hour and takes 30 minutes to do a full rotation but once you are up there the time absolutely flies. The capsules provide a 360-degree view of the Melbourne skyline, Port Phillip Bay and the surrounding suburbs of the city. The Melbourne Star Experience is best done at night in our opinion.

A nice touch is the P.A system that informs you of a monument, building or landmark to look for. It gives you a rundown on the history of Melbourne and information about The Star itself during your journey. Both the girls loved looking for the places being talked about during the ride and we all learnt some new facts about our state’s capital city.

Melbourne star
The Melbourne Wheel, The Melbourne Eye, no it is the Melbourne Star


Food and drink on the Melbourne Star

A recent addition to the Melbourne Star is a snack bar at the point of entry to the cabins. You can grab yourself a snack or even a drink both alcoholic and non-alcoholic for your journey on the start. We enjoyed a cider, beer, soft drink and some crisps as you enjoy the Melbourne Skyline.


The Melbourne Star
Melbourne Star parking is located near O’Brien Arena

The Dockland Star wheel is positioned so that you get a view of the bay area for the first half of the journey and the Melbourne CBD and skyline on your way down on the second half of the journey. I also liked that there were facts about Melbourne in two small rooms you had to walk through before you lined up.

We all took the time to read some of them and had a laugh at some. (You know we are the home of the Dim Sim?!!) The Star observation wheel was a real win for our family we loved the slow easy pace of it, and will no doubt return for another spin around The Star at a later date. We did indeed return for a second ride on the Melbourne Star Ferris Wheel.

 Melbourne Star facts

*The giant observation wheel is 120 metres high. The wheel has 7 spokes which represent the seven stars on the Australian flag.

*The Star comprises of more than 7.5 kilometers of steel tubing, weighing over 1736 tonnes.

*21,000 high intensile bolts hold The Melbourne Star together.

*The Star is one of only 4 giant observation wheels in the world (giant wheels are classified as higher than 120 meters in height and with a 360 degree view) and the only one in the southern hemisphere.

*The world’s other giant observation wheels include the London Eye, the Singapore Flyer and the Las Vegas High Roller.

*Melbourne Star has 21 air-conditioned cabins which give you an unparalleled, 360-degree view of the city.

The Star is a major Melbourne attraction

Melbourne Star
The Melbourne Star overlooks Harbour Town

The Melbourne Star Cabins are very big and roomy. They would easily fit a dozen people. If the Star is not busy they will usually fit your group or family into one cabin for the flight on the star. Each cabin has a bench seat in the middle so you can sit or you stand by the windows.

Marley’s opinion on The Melbourne Star:

I think it’s 10/10! I liked the view and you actually got told important information about Melbourne. It was just really nice.

Melbourne Star
The girls on the Melbourne Ferris Wheel
Willow’s opinion on The Melbourne Star:  

It was really good, a very educational experience. I can’t wait to do it again!

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Melbourne Star Tickets.

Experience a single 30-minute flight in a fully enclosed, air-conditioned cabin that will take you 120 meters above Melbourne. The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is the only giant observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere.

For more information and bookings click HERE.


 Directions to The  Melbourne Star


The city tram is one of the free things to do in Melbourne. Catch the free city circle tram (from Flinders Street) or Tram 30 (via La Trobe Street) to the corner of Harbour Esplanade and La Trobe Street and walk along the promenade to Waterfront City to find the Melbourne Star. Ice skating Docklands at O’Brien Arena is another excellent activity.
Tram 48 (via Flinders Street) or Tram 86 (via Bourke Street) to the Waterfront City tram stop.


Take the train to Southern Cross Station (Previously Spencer Street Station) and walk over the Bourke Street Pedestrian

Melbourne Star Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 11 AM – 7.30PM
Friday – Sunday : 11AM – 9PM

Family Travel Tips:You can take a second trip around the star for as little as $2 per person extra. You need to exit and buy the additional tickets in the gift shop.

If you have small children in a pram you may not be able to take the pram on with you. An attendant will let you know when you are having your tickets scanned.

Melbourne Star Parking

Melbourne Star parking is available in the shadow of the Docklands star Ferris Wheel. Harbour Town East car parking has over 2200 spaces available in its multi-story park. Prices for parking is $5 an hour for the first 6 hours then $40 maximum for up to 24 hours. The Melbourne Star is located 200 meters from the car park. Discount Parking is available if you are also shopping at Harbourtown outlets. For more information on Parking at the Melbourne Star check the website here


Where do we stay in Melbourne?

Just 600 m from Southbank Promenade on the Yarra River, Travelodge Southbank offers rooms with en-suite bathroom, kitchenette and cable TV. The popular Bourke Street Mall shopping area is 10 minutes’ walk away.

For more information and booking click HERE.


There is a shopping hub called Harbor Town Docklands located next to the Melbourne Star. Harbour Town Docklands has toilets and a variety of places to eat. Eating at Docklands restaurants is one of the most popular things to do in Melbourne today.

If you require wheelchair access, you are requested to let the attendant know when you are purchasing your tickets and they will be able to direct you to the access points you will need.

Getting to Melbourne:
  • Melbourne is the second biggest city in Australia. Melbourne International Airport is 23 kilometres from the city centre.
  • Melbourne is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers Jetstar, Tiger. Scoot and AirAsia just to name a few. You can check the prices of international flights to Australia with Expedia. Domestic flights can be booked with webjet 
  • There is no direct public transport link with Melbourne Airport.You can catch the Skybus or you can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions,
  • You can book a rental car and have it waiting for you at Melbourne Airport.
Getting around Melbourne:
  • myki is Melbourne’s ticketing system to travel on the city’s trains, trams and buses. International and interstate visitors coming to Victoria can buy a myki Explorer pack. The myki pack combines a ready to use myki card, visitor information and special offers for travellers. It’s a great option for visitors who choose to explore Melbourne and regional Victoria by public transport!. You need to touch your myki card on and off when you use the public transport system.
  • The Free Tram Zone in Melbourne’s CBD makes easy to move around the city. On the free trams, you do not need to touch on and off with a myki. Download the Free Tram Zone map on the Maps page.
Where to stay in Melbourne:
  • Melbourne has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms
  • Hostels in Melbourne can start from as little as $21 a night for a shared dorm room. Check out Trip Advisor for the top 10 ranked hostels in Melbourne. You can book your stay directly from the page.
  • You can search Airbnb for there Melbourne accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
  • Hotels in Melbourne generally start from around $100 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $113, 5-star averaging $314 for a night stay. You can compare and book your stay on Agoda

Weather in Melbourne

Melbourne enjoys warm summers, sunny spring days, mild autumns and crisp winters. Sometimes you will see these four seasons in one day
With its every changing climate, Melbourne’s turns the heat up from December to February (summer), cools down March to May (autumn), but don’t be surprised to see a 30 degree day during this time. winter brings the chill in June to August (winter), and warms up again in the spring months of September to November (spring).
Melbourne’s top temperatures are usually in January and February where days in the high 30’s and low 40’s are probable. Those months are often dry, with hot spells and cooling afternoon breezes off Port Phillip Bay. June and July are the coldest months, and October is the wettest.
Melbourne is often maligned for its weather. It receives 650mm of a rain annually − less rain than Sydney.

( All coloured text in the Getting to , Getting around and Where to stay in  links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website. )

The Melbourne Star was nice enough to provide us with a free ride. Our views expressed here are our own and are no way influenced by our free entry on the Melbourne Star.


Here are two more articles on things to do in the Melbourne by Wyld Family Travel. Click the images to read the article









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More about the Author

Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support.

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Ride the skyline on the Melbourne Star

20 thoughts on “Ride the skyline on the Melbourne Star”

  1. We also just went on the Star and had a great experience. Cooper used his manual wheelchair and the staff were educated and professional about wheelchair access. Not all the pods are wheelchair accessible. Great adventure for a family. Bron

  2. Oh wow, that is super cool. I love how it is a star! I had no idea they had these in Melbourne. Add that to my ever growing list I suppose:)

  3. Oh, it’s a shame it didn’t work in 2012, when I was there! I have a reason more to go back to Melbourne and have a try! This must be such a great experience! Thank you for letting me know.

  4. This looks like a great way to see Melbourne plus it looks really awesome lit up at night. Will have to keep this in mind for when I finally visit Melbourne

  5. This reminds me a bit of the London Eye, a similarly massive emblem of the city. However, given the steep prices to ride (looks similar to the Melbourne Eye), I am not one to pay for the experience of going up in the air for an hour. So far, I’ve skipped it 🙁

  6. I love skylines and 360º views!!
    Melbourne looks beautiful from sky. My husband and I just landed in Singapore, and now I’m excited to visit the the giant observation wheel here, didn’t know it is one of the biggest in the world!! Thanks for the information!


  7. I love these types of ferris wheels. What a view! Great tip on the $2 ticket, should you wish to reboard.

  8. Melbourne is on my list for a long time now and I had no idea about how cool the Melbourne Star is. Now it’s on my to-do list! Thank you!

  9. What an awesome time up in the ferris wheel. I used to be really scared of heights but I got over it so this is definitely something I would do. Great panoramic views up there!

  10. Really great view of Melbourne. When I was in London I just missed out on riding the London Eye. I have always wanted to do it. Honestly, I did not know about the Melbourne Star so now I have choices between Australia, London and Singapore.

  11. I’m glad the star is getting some good press! Its looks amazing when it is lit up at night and the views from the top look spectacular! I like that they have an informative commentary too!

  12. We recently got a similar wheel here in my home town of Orlando. Looks like there is a bit more to see from the top of yours though. What a fun activity!


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