Luna Park (Sydney) is an amusement park situated on the gorgeous Sydney Harbour, overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Opened in 1935, Luna Park is an iconic part of Sydney for residents and visitors alike.
From 1924 to 1932 the Luna Park site was occupied by Harbour Bridge workers. They built two large workshops and a wharf on the site to assist in the Bridge's construction. Following the conclusion of the construction the New South Wales Government rendered the site to be used as a recreational area.
The origin of Luna Park itself goes back to Coney Island, USA where, during the late 1800's, there was an influx of amusement parks. Two developers, Elmer Dundy and Frederick Thompson created a ride called 'A Trip to the Moon' which was incredibly successful. This ride was the source of inspiration for their own amusement park on Coney Island, which they named Luna Park.
Luna Parks were established worldwide, including Australia's first in St Kilda in 1912. The developers responsible for Luna Park, Melbourne opened one in Glenelg, Adelaide in 1930. However, despite its success, the park was forced to close due to conflict between the public and local council.
Following the unfortunate closure, the developers were in search for a suitable location to resurrect the park - they found the Harbour Bridge Factory site! The Adelaide Luna Park was dismantled and shipped to Sydney where it was reassembled.
The park was constructed in just over 3 months, following the hard work of 800 structural workers, 70 electricians and 35 artists, among many others! Luna Park, Sydney opened at 8.00pm on 4 October, 1935. The park was an immediate success and the admission charge was abolished after the first year!
The park remained open during the war years, however, the lights were "browned out". Luna Park became a hugely popular stomping ground for Servicemen, both American and Australian. The park closed every winter, providing the opportunity to renovate, repair and add new attractions. Unfortunately, a tragic fire in 1979 in the Ghost train ride caused Luna Park to close down completely.
In the years that followed, the park changed hands a number of times, was threatened with demolishment, re-opened and closed until finally in 1990 the Government passed the Luna Park Site Act, which protected the land. A Luna Park Reserve Trust was established and took control of the park in October 1990. Major restoration of the park and all of its buildings commenced in 1992.
Nowadays, the Government has spent over $80 million in redeveloping the site, with the intention of keeping the unique and historical features while providing new entertainment facilities. One of these is the fantastic, new 'Big Top' events facility which seats over 2000 people and showcases great live entertainment.
The extraordinary Crystal Palace function centre has been refurbished and offers amazing views of Sydney Harbour, Lavender Bay and Balmain. The Crystal Palace offers a number of venues to suit your individual or group needs. From a grand ballroom to sunset view dining, water view parties to a corporate boardroom - there truly is something for everyone and every event.
Let the kids run riot on the dozens of rides and games. Take a ride on the Wild Mouse which was built onsite in 1962! This knee-knocking ride is not for the faint-hearted as it launches you 15 metres above ground and 400 metres down a track in just 61 seconds!
Take yourself back to your younger years at Coney Island. Here you can revel in the action of this 1930's fun house. Hurl yourself down the slides or enjoy negotiating your way through the Barrels of Fun. How about taking a spin on the Ranger - literally! This futuristic pirate ship swings forwards and backwards and then takes your for a breath-taking 360 degree loop!
Luna Park caters for the kiddies too... They can take a drive around the U-Track, blast off on the Space Shuttle, ride the Whirly Wheel (a ferris wheel just for the little ones) or take a spin on the gorgeous, antique, steam carousel.
With a number of cafes, a coffee shop and an ice-cream parlour it is impossible to go hungry at Luna Park! Also, be sure to check out the Merchandise Store so that you can take a little bit of Luna Park home with you.
There's heaps of public transport that can get you to and from Luna Park. These include Harbour Ferries, trains and buses.
Admission is free so come and take a stroll through one of Sydney's oldest, most endearing icons and soak up the great atmosphere and extraordinary views.
Find out about: Luna Park Melbourne