Off the Edge 300 metres up down under

20 09 2011

For a very brief moment in my life, I had a feeling that I was a thousand feet up with nothing but clear air space below my feet all the way down to those tiny objects moving far below. It was a feeling of fear mixed with exhilaration and one that came with standing metres from the edge of a building – not a result of doing something that comes with me being out of my mind (as some would probably have suspected), but from standing in a clear glass cube that had been extended some 3 metres beyond the side of a building, the Eureka Towers, on Melbourne’s South Bank.

Eureka Towers is located on the South Bank of the Yarra - just across the river from Flinders Street Station on the North Bank seen here on the pleasant spring evening's walk from the hotel to the Eureka Tower.

The Edge is a steel framed glass cube that is extended 3 metres beyond the side of the Eureka Tower some 285 metres above the ground (image: Eureka Skydeck 88).

The Edge seen extended out from the 88th floor of Eureka Towers (image: Eureka Skydeck 88).

That feeling was for me, the best part of a truly awesome Edge experience, one that a visitor to what is to the Southern Hemisphere’s highest observation deck, the Eureka Skydeck 88, would be able to do. The Skydeck is located on the 88th floor of a residential skyscraper, the Eureka Towers, some 285 metres above the ground and offers simply stunning views of Melbourne and beyond, as well as giving an opportunity for the visitor to have what is a one-of-a-kind experience with the Edge.

Eureka Skydeck 88 is the Southern Hemishpere's highest observation deck (image: Eureka Skydeck 88).

A nighttime experience of the Edge was what nine other bloggers and myself got (image: Eureka Skydeck 88).

The Edge experience was part of a visit to the Eureka Skydeck 88 that along with nine other bloggers, I made on the start of the first evening’s activities during a 4 day / 3 night adventure to Melbourne made possible by Tourism Victoria, Jetstar and Greeting the group at the reception area on the ground level was Ms Megan Peacock who provided the group with an interesting presentation about the tower. Interesting facts that came out during the presentation included the ability of the top of the tower to flex up to some 600 mm in high winds, and that two large water tanks have been placed at the top of the tower to counteract any excessive swaying movement – much like an anti-roll mechanism on a ship. Another interesting fact is that the glass on Eureka’s top 10 levels is plated with 24 carat gold!

Ms Megan Peacock of Eureka Skydeck 88 was on hand to greet the bloggers.

The glass on the top 10 levels of the Eureka Towers is plated with 24 carat gold (image: Eureka Skydeck 88).

At the end of the presentation, it was time to step into the lift, which at a speed of 9 m/s, are the fastest in the Southern Hemisphere. All it took was 40 ear popping seconds and we were up to take in the breathtaking panorama of Melbourne’s night lights through the safety of the large glass windows of the observation deck. There was also the opportunity to get out to the Skydeck Open Terrace, an open air terrace exposed to the elements, accessible through an air-lock. This is positioned next to the Edge, allowing visitors to observe passengers inside the Edge.

All it took was 40 seconds to reach the 88th floor on the fastest lifts in the Southern Hemishpere.

View from the 88th floor.

A close-up of Flinders Street Station as seen from the Skydeck Open Terrace.

Taking the magnificent night time views probably took the initial apprehension I had felt about getting on the Edge that had much to do with a previous experience walking on a glass floor at a similar height above the ground that I well remembered. Excitement rather trepidation seemed to overtake me as I slipped booties over my shoes (a requirement to prevent shoes from scratching the glass floor) and stepped into the Edge. The door soon closed and light and sound effects added to the growing sense of anticipation as the cube we were in was extended outwards (not that we could feel it), and once fully extended, we saw the light – the opaque glass that had surrounded us suddenly became clear. And that moment that I first described arrived as the ground below came into full view – a moment when legs immediately turned to jelly – before I realised I was actually standing on a 45 mm thick glass floor – certainly an experience that is not to be missed!.

Off the Edge! Ten bloggers, Han Weiding from and Megan 285 metres over Melbourne.

The Eureka Skydeck 88 is open from 10 am to 10 pm (last entry 9.30 pm), 7 days a week. Admission to the Eureka Skydeck 88 is AUD 17.00 for adults and AUD 10.00 for Children (4 – 16 years). Prices for the Edge Experience are AUD 12.00 for Adults and AUD 8.00 for Children.

Eureka Skydeck 88
Riverside Quay
Southbank VIC 3006
Tel: (03) 9693 8844
Fax: (03) 9693 8899

This is a repost of my post on the omy Colours of Melbourne 2011: My Melbourne Experience site. You can vote for your favourite blogger at the My Melbourne Experience voting page. Voting period is from 15 September 2011 to 5 October 2011 and stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $3000 which include Jetstar travel vouchers and Crumpler limited edition laptop bags.