The Melbourne Star is a giant observation wheel located in the Harbour Town Docklands district of the city of Melbourne Australia. It 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.
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 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.
*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
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.
Willow’s opinion on The Melbourne Star:
It was really good, a very educational experience. I can’t wait to do it again!
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
LAST FLIGHT DEPARTS 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO CLOSING TIME
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.
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.
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
( 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.