The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel Has Closed for Good
With its operator placed into liquidation, the Docklands attraction won't live to spin another day.
A Docklands landmark is the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, with news the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has gone for its final spin. At almost 13 years old, the waterfront attraction is now permanently grounded, according to a Facebook post published on Monday, September 6.
"It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that our beloved wheel has closed," the post revealed. "We thank Victorians, our staff, partners, suppliers, and supporters for enabling the Melbourne Star to provide a world-class experience for millions of people from around Australia and the world."
Another statement posted to the website revealed the reason behind the shutdown, with operator MB Star Properties Pty Ltd announcing the wheel would be closing permanently with the company placed into liquidation. "Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions and sustained shutdowns, adding to pre-existing challenges of operating amid increased high-rise development and changes in the Docklands area, has made it impossible to sustain the business," the statement reads.
Considered one of the largest observation wheels in the world, the Melbourne Star featured 21 revolving cabins offering sweeping 360-degree views across the city and its surroundings. It was first opened in late 2008, though its launch wasn't all smooth sailing — just over a month after opening, the 120-metre-tall landmark had its operations temporarily halted by WorkSafe after sizeable cracks were found in the structure.
Once that hiccup was sorted, the wheel would go on to become a mainstay of Melbourne's skyline, spinning 300,000 visitors through the air each year and regularly changing the colour of its lights in support of different causes such as Autistic Pride Day and Fight MND.
The Melbourne Star's cabins have also hosted various themed pop-ups and events over the years, including a sky-high stretch session for International Yoga Day and a unique revolving gig as part of Melbourne Music Week 2018.
For more details on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel's closure, see the website.
Published on September 07, 2021 by Libby Curran