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17 sensational observation towers that aren't in Paris

By: Matt Hickman on Aug. 5, 2016, 10:39 a.m.
Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand

Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

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Sky Tower

While New Zealand often plays second fiddle to its considerably larger neighbor across the Tasman Sea, there is one antipodean feat that Kiwis can boast over the Aussies: they've got the tallest manmade structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rising 1,076 feet above the magnificent city of Auckland, Sky Tower is roughly 62 feet taller than the Sydney Tower, which stands as the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere.

Completed in 1997, Sky Tower also sports all the hallmarks of a truly great observation tower: it's multipurpose, serving as both a both a grade-A tourist attraction and a functional telecommunications hub (it is New Zealand's primary FM radio transmitter); it has multiple observation decks at different heights (the highest is at an altitude of 720 feet); it has a fancy revolving restaurant (and an even fancier non-revolving restaurant); it's illuminated by colored LEDs at night to support various charities and community organizations and to mark different holidays (the tower turns pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month); and, last but not least, you can hurl yourself off of it (in a harness, natch).

In other words, Sky Tower pretty much has it all.