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Iconic Melbourne Star keeps turning

by Marco Holden Jeffery

Our iconic Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has re-opened to the public, allowing a maximum of three guests per cabin to experience the Docklands landmark and the city views it affords.

Melbourne Star head of sales and marketing Nicole Hill said she was “excited and pumped” to welcome the first guests back to the 120m-tall Ferris wheel on June 18.

“I was personally on site to welcome the first guests, a family of four from Bendigo who had been to the Star previously, and they were waiting there when the gates opened,” she said.

Although it couldn’t accommodate the huge crowds it did before the pandemic, the Star attracted anywhere between 22 per cent and 58 per cent of its normal visitation during the first five days after re-opening.

Ms Hill said good weather over the weekend had drawn a huge crowd on June 20, and the wheel stayed open later than it usually would to host guests queueing along the bridge into the evening.

“Many of the people that we spoke to have been to the Star before, and they’re real ambassadors of the Star and of Docklands,” she said.

The Star has kept its signature LED light show going throughout the pandemic, handing the controls to several charities and hosting an interactive Code Breaker game where locals deciphered a message based on the colours of the lights.

Ms Hill said the staff at the Star were overwhelmed by the support and messages of appreciation from their community during the pandemic.

“We wanted to ensure we kept talking to our community through the pandemic, and to remind everyone how fortunate we are to live in the wonderful city of Melbourne,” she said.

She added that the Star was the “perfect” attraction for the pandemic as it was an “opportunity for loved ones, family and friends to get out and about and connect with each other and their city, all in a safe and private setting”.

Any patrons of the Star would be upgraded to a heated private cabin for the same price as a regular ticket, and is offering two-for-one tickets and a complimentary drink for every guest till the end of August.

Guests could also opt for the more luxurious High Tea, including lunch and a glass of bubbles served in the cabin.

And a slew of additional health and safety measures have been implemented - queue management, disinfection at all high-frequency touchpoints and multiple hand sanitation stations featuring sanitiser produced by Docklands local Urban Alley Brewery.

“The wellbeing of our guests and staff is always our highest priority, which is why we have put in place revised hygiene and physical distancing measures so our visitors can enjoy a safe and serene experience,” Ms Hill said.

The Melbourne Star is currently open Thursday to Monday, 11am to 6:30pm. •

For more information: melbournestar.com

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