We scale Melbourne's loftiest summits to find out where to get your high-altitude kicks and the best views in town. Get out, get above it, and experience some insta-perspective from on high
The stats: 251m high, 55th floor. 95km of lift cables, 1450 staircase steps.
Ears still popping from Vue De Monde's elevator, you’re greeted by a sharp-suited maître d’, a novel-length cocktail menu and a floor-to-ceiling vista of the southern end of the city. By night, you can trace the city’s major arteries, lit up in dusky orange and glittering white. You’ll also notice the gentle curve of the Yarra, dark expanse of the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, and the slowly swaying mast of the SS Polly Woodside. Did you forget that Melbourne is home to a ten-storey-high ship from the 19th century?
Best time to visit: Arrive fashionably late for a live music sunset session every Sunday from 3pm.
The stats: 297m high, 88th floor. 110,000 tonnes of concrete, 13 elevators.
The glass box starts to move away from the building and you think you’re OK until the (totally sadistic) pre-recorded cracking noises start. But once the vertigo subsides, you’re treated to the most astonishing panorama of Melbourne this side of sprouting wings and going freestyle. The colours are what surprise us: bright blue tennis courts stand out from the sports precinct and the south side is all about the desert reds of the Malthouse Theatre and sunshine yellow of the adjacent Vault sculpture. If see-through floors give you the willies, then we suggest you plant both feet on the Skydeck. It’s just as high, but without the terror.
Best time to visit: For a few extra dollars, we recommend picking up a multi-visit Sun and Stars pass so you don’t have to choose.
The stats: 30m above forest floor. Eight 'cloud' stations, six zip flights, two suspension bridges, 2.5 hours.
Think of a giant flying fox and you've got the idea. This one is a massive 2.5-hour adventure through Victorian rainforest by way of zip-line – and it is exhilarating. The first of its kind in Victoria, the Zip Line Tour involves 'flying' from one platform to another (called cloud stations) while you're attached to a steel cable suspended up to 30 metres above the forest floor.
Best time to visit: They'll take you out anytime, be it sunny, raining or overcast. A clear day allows better visibilty of the surrounding forest... but there's something very commando-cool about zipping through the treetops during a rainstorm.
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