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Is Melbourne’s Ice Bar Worth The $30 Entry Fee? | Don't Ever Look Back

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Is Melbourne’s Ice Bar Worth The $30 Entry Fee?

Is Melbourne’s Ice Bar Worth The $30 Entry Fee?

We were a little hesitant when the two of us were invited to visit the Chill On Ice Lounge after going ice-skating, especially when we discovered that the entry fee was what seemed like an exorbitant $30 for just 30 minutes in the Ice Lounge.

To the seasoned traveler, $30 for clothing hire, a cocktail and 30 minutes in an ice bar sounds like a total rip-off, right?

How wrong we were!

It took us a few minutes to locate the Chill On Ice Lounge which is tucked away on the second level of the Southgate Complex on Southbank. Once we did find it, the friendly staff sized us up for our jackets and gloves to keep us toasty warm and handed us a buzzer that would alert us when our 30 minutes was up. They then pointed us towards the ice lounge entrance and we nervously approached.

Upon entering the ice lounge, we stood in awe as we looked around the room at the amazing sculptures for the current “Creatures of the Deep” theme including a 3-meter high shark and King Neptune on his throne. Everything, include the entire bar, was made of ice!

Chill On Ice Lounge

A free cocktail is included with admission and we both ordered ourselves an “icy colada” served in an ice glass. We’re not exaggerating when we say that it was right up there with the best flavored cocktails the two of us have enjoyed – it really was that good.

Unfortunately cameras aren’t permitted in the Ice Lounge (not that we would’ve risked our equipment in such cold temperatures anyway!) so we can’t share as much as we would like. However Chill On do have two innovative built-in cameras that anyone can use to take their picture. Just hit the red button on the wall and you’ve got 5 seconds to get yourself in position next to one of the sculptures.

If you’re not happy, try again as many times as you like until you get a good one. You can then purchase these photos once you leave the lounge.

Here’s us with King Neptune…

Amy and Kieron at Chill On Ice Lounge

The two of us didn’t beat the buzzer and stay the entire 30 minutes (we were told that only about 1 in 3 people do!) but thoroughly enjoyed the short time we spent in Chill On.

The entire experience is a lot better than it sounded – just stepping into a room where everything is built of ice is so surreal and with good music and excellent beverages, a visit here is a great way to start a big night out in Melbourne or a nice end to an evening after a lovely dinner.

Our conclusion – Melbourne’s Ice Bar is definitely worth the $30 entry fee!

Some interesting facts about the Chill On Ice Lounge:

  • It took almost 6 months and approximately 50 tonnes of ice to create the ice lounge with every ice sculpture hand carved into weird and wonderful creatures (which are rotated regularly).
  • The average temperature is -10 degrees Celsius.
  • Everything is made of ice… walls, glasses, chairs, tables, couches and even the bar itself.

The Details

Address: Chill On Ice Lounge, Southgate Complex/Building Mid Level MR6, 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank (Google Maps)
Admission Price: $30 for 30 minutes in the Ice Lounge. Also includes clothing hire and a cocktail or fruity drink served in a glass made of ice.


Disclaimer: We received complimentary admission to the Chill On Ice Lounge. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    It is a great experience isn’t it. Stu and I loved the ABSOLUT ICEBAR London so much that we got married there 🙂 The pen froze when it came to signing the register and my iPod froze so the music suddenly stopped but our guests still talk about the experience 18 months on. Stu and I didn’t wear the capes so we could show off our outifts and just about managed to stay in there for the 40 minutes.

    • Posted April 12, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      You got married in an ice bar? That’s awesome! You’ll definitely want to visit Chill On then if you make it to Melbourne. 🙂

  2. Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    Brrrrrr! Although I guess there are colder places in the other hemisphere – still, -10C would be quite the shock to the system in our neck of the woods!
    I didn’t even know this was there – what other themes do they have, do you know?
    Tash recently posted..A Little Local Rum Shack

    • Posted April 12, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      It definitely does give you quite the shock which is why we only lasted around 20 minutes. One of Melbourne’s hidden gems, that’s for sure.

      They only have one theme at a time which rotates every 3-6 months. Not sure what the next one will be but it’s not too far away we’re told.

  3. Lisa
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    This looks like fun. My only similar experience is an ice
    sculpture place where they give you coats and gloves. The ice
    bar sounds even better.

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  • By A fresh set of tips and reviews by the best travel bloggers | GeoPosted on April 17, 2012 at 3:40 am

    […] Amy & Kieron (Don’t Ever Look Back) visit an ice bar in Melbourne. […]

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