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Melbourne to Open Southern Star Observation Wheel in November

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Tuesday, 28 October 2008

One of the largest observation wheels in the world is about to be launched in Australia. The Southern Star observation wheel will open to the public in November at Waterfront City in Docklands, Melbourne and is expected to attract 1.5 million guests in the first year.

Standing 40-storeys high with a 120-metre orbit, the more than A$100 million wheel is only 15 metres less in height than the London Eye.

Southern Star is set to become Melbournes most popular tourist attraction and will be the hottest ticket in Australia this summer, said Fred Maybury, Chairman, Southern Star observation wheel. Mr Maybury is a former CEO of Dreamworld on Australias Gold Coast and has a long history in the events and entertainment industry. He has been working on the project for more than six years.

This project represents the largest capital expenditure on a tourist attraction in Australia since Movie World was built on the Gold Coast. It is a significant development, with great potential to increase inbound tourism to Melbourne and to other destinations in Australia, Maybury added.

The Southern Star features 21 walk-around cabins, each measuring 5.6 metres in length and 3.7 metres wide. Each air-conditioned cabin holds up to 20 people and provides 360 breathtaking views of Melbourne, Docklands and Port Phillip Bay, and up to 40 kilometres beyond. At night, the wheel will become a spectacular light show, thanks to a 3.7km LED lighting system.

At the base of the wheel, the 3-level Star Building and function centre, provide undercover boarding and disembarkation, cafs, kiosks, souvenir and retail outlets. Within it, the Star Room holds over 300 for cocktails or over 200 for sit-down functions as well as two private boardrooms. Star Room guests receive special VIP access to their Southern Star flight.

Backed by ING Real Estate, Southern Star is expected to attract tourists to the Waterfront City and Harbour Town precincts at Docklands, where a new, 41,000 square metre European-style shopping and entertainment centre will link the wheel to the waterfront.

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