Think you know Melbourne? These awe-inspiring aerial experiences let you see the city like you never have before.
The best thing about Heli-Serv’s Heart of Melbourne helicopter ride – apart from the views, of course – is that you don’t have to drive to a faraway airport to take off. The company’s heliport is located in Batman Park, on the banks of the Yarra River, smack-bang in the middle of the CBD. In this rather James Bond-esque adventure, expect to hover over the Yarra for a minute or so as the chopper rises, gradually dwarfing everything in the vicinity – including Eureka Tower, the city’s tallest building. Then enjoy sweeping views, from the lush Royal Botanic Gardens to the distant white beaches of St Kilda.
The 18-minute adventure can easily take in two city loops – so plenty of time to take in the views and acquaint yourself with Melbourne’s urban sprawl and landmarks. If you want to spend more time in the air, Heli-Serv offers a number of other flights, including The Bay and City Orbit (30 minutes) and half-day 12 Apostles Tour.
Take the fastest elevator in the Southern Hemisphere to rise almost 300 metres in 38 seconds. Then enjoy 360-degree views of Melbourne, including the iconic MCG, Flinders Street Station and heart-shaped Albert Park Lake. Beyond the city are the Dandenong Ranges and the sparkling blue expanse of Port Phillip Bay. Amplify the experience by stepping into the Edge – a glass cube suspended 88 floors above ground.
Skydive Australia has 15 drop zones around Australia but our favourite is St Kilda beach – Melbourne’s only seaside skydiving spot and closest to the CBD. Strap yourself to an experienced skydiver then leap out of a plane at about 4000 metres for an exhilarating minute-long freefall, followed by about five to seven minutes of a much gentler, parachute-assisted descent.
Hot-air balloon flight
If you’re after a longer (and quieter) experience up in the air, opt for Global Ballooning’s sunrise hot-air balloon flight. Float over the Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs for a good hour or so as the morning sun bathes the city in its soft, golden glow.
Transit Rooftop Bar
There’s no shortage of chic rooftop bars in Melbourne, from Wolf’s Lair & Drinking Haus & Treetops in Carlton to Fitzroy’s Naked in the Sky and St Kilda’s Local Taphouse. But the elevated watering hole that really gives you a sense of being above the city is Transit Rooftop Bar, located in Federation Square. Get high on the gorgeous views, inventive cocktails and live jazz music.
SEE ALSO: Melbourne's 10 best rooftop bars