Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Eureka Sky Deck and The Edge: Things to do in Melbourne

St. Paul's cathedral Lanes and alleyways: Melbourne art culture - Tram rides - Queen Victoria Market - MELBOURNE MEMORY #5: EUREKA SKY DECK / The EDGE - Captain cook's cottage - Flinder's street station - Yarra River - MCG - Federation Square - Cuisine - Extras.

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"Don't lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come up.
If there is one thing in life that you can never lose beside yourself, it is the hope for a better day,
because there will always be one."

It had been 2 days now, ever since I had landed here, that I had been waking up to an unkind weather.

No use going there today, all you will see is fog and clouds, you will be wasting your money!

Eureka Sky Deck in foggy weather conditions: As seen from the Yarra River Bridge.

… is what the kind staff at Citigate hotel told me. Sometimes, I wondered if I would be able to fulfill this cherished dream of mine. Nevertheless, I waited for it. It was not until the evening of the third day of my trip that I got my reward.

Yeah, yeah. You can go today, its good, they said, flashing a smile as bright as the weather itself, and giving me their thumbs up as a sign of approval. And, I found my heart leaping in joy!

A short walk from Flinders street down the course of the Yarra river saw me at one of the most-sought-after and not-to-be-missed attractions of Melbourne. One of my dream memories too: The Eureka Sky deck!

Eureka Sky deck tower, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Eureka Sky Deck: Something that just can't be missed while you are in Melbourne!

Standing with a certain bit of pride, dignified and imperial, draped in profound blue, the Eureka sky deck was magnificent, almost artistic with bees hovering on its structure, beautifully complimented by the clear blue sky. Its 24 carat gold plated 10 storey cap shone in the evening freckled sun.

Artistic Bees at the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
The artistic bee box on the The Eureka Sky Deck: The highest vantage point in the southern hemisphere.

I had to crane my neck to an almost 180 degrees to see it right through. Melburnian pride of sheer architectural brilliance, I thought.

Watch your ears, the staff warned me as I was led to the lift which, I was told, at speeds of 9 metres per second, was apparently also the fastest in the southern hemisphere. I was transported to the 88th floor in a jiffy! 

It was around 6 PM when I reached the deck and there was still some time for the sun to settle down. A few people strolled around but things were still quiet. I anticipated a significant increase closer to the sunset.

Inside of the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
The 88th floor on the deck

LED strips on the ground doubled up as guides pointing to the binoculars fixated at regular intervals. Through them, I saw the Flinders, the Yarra, the Great Ocean road and more such must see attractions of the city.

Blue tinged windows of the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
What of Melbourne would you like to see?

Eureka Sky Deck during the day:

But most of Melbourne, I saw naked – uninhibited and unbridled, through the glass windows, in lights of different hues. It was a point where Melbourne ceased to be a city. Instead, she became a metaphor of timeless beauty, a thing of joy forever, an art, a poetry. It was a point where tall skyscrapers suddenly dwarfed, the noisy chaos of the city collapsed and the hurried pace of the people halted to a standstill.

Touched slightly by the lights of bright golden yellow, Melbourne looked spectacular from any window that I saw.

Eureka Sky deck Melbourne views, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Melbourne from 300 mtrs. above, indeed a unique experience!

Sometimes colored in a bluish tinge, sometimes in a reflective mood and at other times clear like water,

Golden reflections at the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
In reflections.

... Melbourne looked beautiful. More importantly, Melbourne seemed so much quieter and subdued… cut off from the usual chaos and noise that is very much an integral part of the city that I had known by now. I had silently grown in love with Melbourne all through the past days but today, I loved her more.

Eureka Sky deck sunset, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Look out through these 'Viewfinders': there are about 30 of them.

Eureka Sky Deck during dusk / sunset:

It was almost 7 now. The deck had turned a lot noisier than before. But did it matter? I guess, no. I was anxious and excited; it was my much awaited appointment with her, albeit in a different avatar. The setting was perfect. The lights of the sun which had till then illuminated the sky with a healthy dash of yellow now mixed orange and purple in it. Soon, dusk set in coloring all the scrapers and the river below.

Sun setting at the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Dusk: A time to pause and reflect.

I sat down in a carefully chosen corner. I reserved those few moments for myself. Listening to the silence outside, immersed in the magic of nature... Perhaps it was a call to the sun’s playtime. Where the sun with its troupe of clouds and lights had been called back to the House by the angels above? I saw it rushing. And along with it, went its lightening troupe.

Sun set time at the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Calling it a day, but they will be back tomorrow.

It was a time to thank the angels of the universe for all that the day had been and make a silent wish for a better tomorrow…

Eureka Sky Deck at night:

Twilight fell... on a cold freezing night of spring, there she came… like a bride, all decked up, with her evening ensemble, sparkling in her evening attire, with little stars studded in her evening gown. Resplendent in her glowing evening jacket and cuddled in the dark of the blanket, she revealed enough to take my heart and breath away. Melbourne now looked even more gorgeous than before.

Night views from the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Melbourne at night: Isn't she gorgeous?

'The Edge' experience:

Time flew by as I kept staring at her beauty. My rendezvous broke by a vibrating beep that came out of a mobile-like device handed to me by the staff of 'The Edge' a few minutes ago. It was time for 'The Edge', a thrilling adventure exclusive to only the Eureka and the brave. Touted as one among the most stunning glass adventures in the world, the edge is a glass cube which projects 3 metres out of the building as soon as you step onto it. The experience began with 6 of us, all tourists closed inside the cube and the glass cube enveloping itself in a fog. It continued with some shaking and eerie noises which were meant to scare us out. Okay, it did freak me a bit. But not for long. The best part came in, soon after. Now, all the dramatics faded away. I stood in a dimension where I felt suspended, not exactly on glass but in time. There were fewer hindrances here, the views more crisp and clear.

Edge experience at the Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
Step onto 'The Edge': Only, if you dare!

By now, it was 9 of the night and this is when I decided to head back to my hotel. But not before doing that one last thing that was still left to do: Gazing through the open wire mesh on the terrace. A gust of chilly wind kept me shivering as I gazed several metres down and infinite lengths afar; I could see lights all around, twinkling, interlocked and latticed. Lights which reflected a world dipped in challenges and excitement, uncertainty and hopes, difficulty and simplicity...

Night views, Eureka Sky deck, Melbourne Victoria Australia
From the open wire mesh on the terrace while shivering in the chilly winds: A different face of Melbourne

As I walked across the Yarra River bridge back to my hotel, I saw the Eureka Sky Deck resonating in stillness just as the Yarra. Silently, I said, thank you before hurriedly walking away, for it had helped me meet Melbourne that day, not this one which I was walking in, the real one.

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Tips for travelers:

1. For best views: consult the locals for the views are subject to weather conditions and wind speeds and the locals know it best.

2. Time your timing and save some money: If you plan to experience skydeck views in daylight as well as night, the best and cheapest way to go about it would be to purchase the ticket for 'General Admission' (not 'sun and stars') and reach the deck sometime before sunset. This way you can enjoy day views, sit for the sunset and further enjoy night views as well, all for a ticket that was, well technically, meant only for the day. It will not only save you a few dollars but also give you an experience to remember.

3. Photography in The Edge is not allowed and tickets for it are available on the deck itself.

Fast facts:

- Skydeck 88 is the highest vantage point in the southern hemisphere.
- Eureka is 984.3 ft / 300 meters in height.
- The lifts travel at more than 9 meters per second making them the fastest in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The glass on Eureka's top 10 levels is 24 carat gold plated.

How to get there:

Located on the southbank of Melbourne's Yarra river, a short walk from the CBD, Federation Square or the Crown Casino along the course and  across the bridge by the Yarra river takes you to the deck. If at all you get confused, all you got to do is follow the building, it will guide you towards itself!

There are also numerous trams and bus routes which drop near to the Southbank area.

Location, Contact and opening and closing hours:

7 Riverside Quay,
Southbank VIC 3006, Australia.

10 AM to 10 PM (last entry at 9.30 PM).

(03) 9693 8888;

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GIVEAWAY: 'My Most Memorable Memento Contest' is currently underway (till 16th March) where you can blog and win Rs. 8000 shopping voucher ($120 Amazon voucher). Do participate, I am  looking forward to seeing you there! Here is the link again : http://www.myyatradiary.com/2014/02/my-most-memorable-memento-contest.html

Previous stories from Melbourne:

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  1. What a thrill that must have been, but there is no better way to view a city. I am not sure I could get close to the windows as I have a feeling of not being in control when at such heights.. Beautiful photos of a thrilling experience. Great advice about what ticket to buy to get the most out of the experience. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week. Hugs Carrie

  2. Αγαπημένη μου φίλη Arti
    Σήμερα με τρέλανες, ανέβασες την αδρεναλίνη μου στα ύψη!!!!!!!!! :)
    Τι υπέροχο post!!!
    Ενθουσιάστηκα με τις φωτογραφίες σου και την εμπειρία που έζησες!!!
    Σου εύχομαι να είσαι πάνω χαρούμενη κι ευτυχισμένη!!!!
    Πολλά φιλιά

  3. Arti, You have the heart of a poet. Your photos from on high are wondrous! I enjoyed this Melbourne experience through your words and photos.

  4. Wow Melbourne looks so splendid from Sky deck.. in fact ur clicks have made them more beautiful..

  5. What a great experience. And you got some fabulous shots too!

  6. Loved the description of this place! I am sure it must have been a very rewarding experience Arti!

  7. Hello, Arti, I’m slowly coming back from one-month break from blogging. I remember you love watching cities from the height and you seem to have enjoyed every moment. Eureka Sky Deck is so beautiful. What you saw and did reminded me of my experience at the “Sky Walk” of the Umeda Sky Building. I’m happy for you that the weather was on your side for you to enjoy the clear and sweeping views of the city.


  8. Wow ! Amazing views ! That Eureka Sky Deck seems to be in the clouds in the first photograph :)

  9. Arti, Wonderful post, amazing .
    Thanks for sharing truly awesome photos, Great.

  10. Wow, such a great location - the view must be breathtaking from up there! Am sure it feels like flying ... almost ;) Cheers to a lovely day dear Arti!

  11. So glad your patience was rewarded, they say good things comes to those who wait and this definitely seems to be the case in this instance. Great post, this must have been a magical experience.

  12. I'd love to see Melbourne and the surrounding area one day, I love how you described the city, a timeless beauty :)

    PS....sorry, had been very busy, I don't think I can beat the deadline for "memorable memento" contest.

  13. Love the point wise description, very elaborate and useful tips.

  14. Really interesting Arti. Looks like a brilliant must-see experience :)

  15. Very informative Arti! Loved your 'In Reflections' the best of all.

  16. Wonderful photographs Arti..almost taking us there... 88th Floor !!! thanks for sharing the information also.. :-)

  17. Amazingly written as always. Fantastic photographs. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Awesome photographs! Glad you didn't miss the Eureka Sky Deck :)

    The Arts & Me

  19. WOW. Spectacular view.
    Inspired from your post, even I will go to the top of Empire State. :)

  20. Beautiful images always compliments a travel post. Yours always does :)

  21. Love how you are taking us along Arti! beautifully written as always, and the pictures are amazing!! The view from up there - wow! Must have been quite an experience:-) Love your Melbourne tales! Hugs to you

  22. Even the Australian Tourism people could not have described the way you have done. It gives a feeling of being transported to the place physically. Really majestic structure.

  23. Amazing clicks Arti...the sky deck could make you dizzy i think...the Bee Box is awesome!!!

  24. That view by night is really fantastic.

  25. I am glad you are enjoying Melbourne - it is my home city and I love it!! I am especially glad you liked the Eureka skydeck - this is actually where my husband proposed to me!!

  26. The view is awesome. It's worth to visit the modern building.

  27. Not a bad place to visit, and not a bad place to live either!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  28. Woww this looks amazing :D the night view is stunning :D You sure are having a whale of time :D

  29. Amazing the words and photographs are so beautiful, I can't find the words to comment..:)

  30. Beautiful photos, Arti. I love how you portrayed Melbourne in many different and dramatic perspectives but all wonderful. I'm not sure I can go to The Edge but it looks pretty neat. What a great way to see the city.

  31. I sound like a broken record but I have yet to find a blogger who writes about her travels as meaningfully as you do. I may never see this place in person in this lifetime so Thank you for taking me there virtually. The sky shots are so amazing! Makes me reflect on life and all its beauty just waiting to be explored: )

    p.s. been too busy I failed to join the memento contest, love yah!

  32. Jaw dropping pics Arti.. Especially the ones taken in the evening! "The Egde" is kind of edgy ;-) but an adrenaline pumping moment I must say..

  33. Wow! amazing views, right? I seem to have missed this post. I'm sure that was an unforgettable experience.
    Last year I got to go up the Space Needle in Seattle. That is also an observation that gives you a view of the city. It was great.:)


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