In 2008 Melbourne's skyline saw the building-up of a large Ferris Wheel in the re-vamped Docklands. The Southern Star was gleefully nicknamed the Melbourne Eye (likening the Antipodean to its London sibling) and, as manufactured tourist attractions went, it served as the ideal centrepiece for a new shopping centre.
For just under thirty bucks, Melburnians would find themselves (according to the marketing material) 'rising gently to 120 metres in one of 21 air-conditioned cabins' for a half-hour ride. Southern Star opened in late-2009 amid excited projections of over 30,000 tourists visiting a week. It even promised views as far as Geelong.
But early in 2009 a heatwave warped the big wheel and it was quickly shut down. Opened for just over seven weeks, it seemed that the designs couldn't take the heat and it seemed better to be safe than sorry. The $100m project has gone further into the red as the wheel needs to be repaired elsewhere and looks like it won't be up again for at least another year. Its slow disassembly has only magnified the white elephant, as piece by painful piece it's being taken down.
Luckily there's another drawcard planned for the area with the construction of the National Ice Sports Centre that is a relative bargain at only $58m. It's sure to endure summer's rising mercury much better than the wheel which resembles a slowly dying giant Pac Man over Western Melbourne.