CNN Article

Southern Hemisphere's tallest tower opens

Sky Tower rises 328 meters over Auckland

August 3, 1997

Towering over the skyline of Auckland, looking a little like a giant hypodermic needle, the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere officially opened on Sunday.

Sky Tower is 328 meters (1,082 feet) tall, making it the sixth-tallest tower in the world. More than 3,000 people turned out for the opening, which featured a traditional Maori ceremony, fireworks and lasers.

A public viewing area high in the tower features seamless glass for an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the city. Some of the observation decks have glass floors, to give visitors the illusion of walking across the sky with nothing beneath them.

The tower features Auckland's only casino, as well as a revolving restaurant at the top. It was built to withstand winds of more than 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour) and a magnitude-eight earthquake.