Melbourne is a city of style, known for its streets and laneways crammed with all sorts of enticing boutiques, cafés, restaurants and bars, but these days things are on the up and up literally.
The city's latest attraction is the Eureka Skydeck 88, an interactive experience at the top of the Eureka Tower at Southbank which thrills visitors with The Edge, a 45mm thick glass cube projecting three metres out of the building. Once you enter the cube you are suspended for almost 300 metres above the ground. Not for those with a fear of heights!
The Terrace and SkyCafé have amazing views across Melbourne, and once you've enjoyed a snack and soaked up the panorama, discover the six-metre multi-user interactive Serendipity Table. It relates the history of Melbourne and pinpoints key landmarks in every direction.
Not far away is the small and discreet Adelphi Hotel. In the heart of the art and business area, it was designed by award-winning architects, Denton Corker Marshall. The design has been acclaimed worldwide for its use of are and lines of bright colour. The Adelphi has received a number of awards and has featured in the Hip Hotels of the world since the original publication.
The hotel pool on the rooftop has a glass end which cantilevers, nine floors up, over the street. A day spa is being added to the enclosed area of the pool deck. Ezard restaurant, which is located on the lower ground level, is regarded as one of Australia's finest restaurants.
On the corner of Flinders and King Streets is the Waterside Hotel, and on its rooftop is one of the city's slickest venues. The Deck at Mercantile Place is jointly owned by a group of current and past AFL players and offers alfresco eating and drinking at its best. Order your favourite drink and enjoy their selection of tasty tapas on the deck while taking in the sweeping views.
In summer the bar is an open-air deck, and in winter it becomes Moroccan with a themed marquee.
There is quite a bit of history attached underworld figures arranged fights for cash and the 6am licence was convenient for wharfies to have an after-work drink. The cash registers were covered with chicken wire to prevent theft and it wasn't exactly the genteel drinking place it is today.
For something totally different, take a trip to Madame Brussels on Bourke Street. It is becoming Melbourne's quirkiest bar, overlooking the leafy plane trees at the Parliament end of the street.
Madame Brussels is the brainchild of Vernon Chalker and Michael Anderson who named it after a 19th century brothel-keeper. The infamous character defied Victorian morality and its administration by running several houses in Melbourne, serving the needs of politicians, magistrates, police and the general public.
Madame Brussels entertains the same community today, but with jugs of Pimms, punch and snacks rather than with prostitutes.
Once you step from the lift on the third floor, it's as though you are seeing life through rose-coloured glasses. Behind some trellising you will find the Hedged Bar, and The Terrace takes in church spires, old theatres and the turrets of the Windsor Hotel. Sip on a cool cocktail as you recline on a comfortable divan.
The Grotto serves over 20 of the world's finest rums and is eclectically decorated with needlework samplers, cow hides, beer steins and an organ. It's probably like nowhere you've ever been before!
Eureka Skydeck 88 is open between 10am and 10pm every day. It costs $16.50 for adults and $9 for children. Edge admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children. It does not operate in poor or windy weather.
Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.
One-way fare from;
- Adelaide, $95
- Sydney, $110
- Brisbane, $139
- Darwin, $199
- Perth, $219
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at June 14, 2007 and are subject to change.
For further information
Eureka Skydeck 88
Southbank Vic 3006
Ph: (03) 9693 8888
187 Flinders Lane,
Ph: (03) 9650 7555
Fax: (03) 9650 2710
The Deck at Mercantile Place
Rooftop of the Waterside Hotel
Flinders & King Streets
Ph: (03) 9629 1350
Level 3, 59-63 Bourke Street
Ph: (03) 9662 2775
Ph: 13 6789