Luna Park Sydney is a retro Amusement theme park located at Milsons Point on the North bank of the Sydney Harbour. It is connected to the South Bank via then iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in New South Wales, Australia.
Moreover, the park entrance sits beside and almost directly under the north side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is situated just beside Milsons point ferry terminal.
Furthermore, a public bus stop station resides here, together with the Harbour side North Sydney Olympic swimming pool. Also, the landmark is accessible and walking distance from Milsons Point metro station and the Harbour bridge walk. Simply head along Broughton street to Alfed Street through Luna park welcome archway.
Here, you can catch views of the Harbour with the Sydney opera house in the distance. Including views from directly under the bridge!
A walk down memory lane
Built in the 1930s, The harbour-side amusement park that still contains traditional midway games and rides. A large carnival-style face greets you at the front entrance. The scene is reminiscent of what you see of theme parks in horror movies. It has a very oldies flair indeed.
Entry to the park is free, with it being a free roaming park. Rides are paid on a per-ride basis. You can purchase tickets from the ticket counters just after the entrance. Additionally, if you are planning a trip there, you can pre-purchase your tickets online with some savings. Also, if you wish to go on all the rides an unlimited rides pass is recommended.
Moreover, Luna Park Sydney was originally named the Harbourside Amusement Park. This is given its location by the harbour before being renamed to a more catchy Luna Park.
Notably, the park has changed hands a couple of times during its history. On 5 March 2010, Luna Park was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register. Notably, Luna Park is one of two amusement parks in the world that are protected by government legislation. The other being Coney island, also home to a seaside Amusement park.
Today, Luna Park amusement park is owned by the Luna Park Reserve Trust. The Trust is an agency of the Government of New South Wales.
The rides in Luna Park
Luna park has a rather dreamy ambience it certainly has a retro vibe to. It. Most of the rides are operating when I was there. Also, the Amusement park is home to 14 permanent rides in total. Of them, there is 1 Roller coaster. It comprises of a mix of fairground and flat amusement rides. The rides offers different levels of intensities suitable to families.
No themepark is complete without its own merry go round Carousel. It is a classic one built by John H. Rundle Ltd, as well as and a classic tower slide.
Recommended rides here will be the Ferris wheel, and the wild mouse roller coaster. Rides offering good scenic overviews of the Harbour includes the Hair Raiser drop tower and the Ferris wheel. The latter of course being more family-friendly.
If you are a group, the bumper cars (Dodgem City) are a good ride. It does not get crowded enough so a group a recommended.
Occasionally you can hear screams coming from both the Hair Raiser drop tower. It is noticeably the tallest single ride in the entire park, even looming over the Ferris wheel. The 50m tall Super Shot drop tower ride was a 2013 addition, built by Larson International.
Other flat rides includes the Spider. It is a 1995 HUSS Breakdance ride, taking its name from the park’s 1938 ride which it replaces. Moreover, an additional HUSS ride is the Tumblebug. It is a 1988 HUSS Troika introduced in 1995. It is the only ride of its kind in Australia.
Roller Coaster controversy
Luna park didn’t have a good history with roller coasters. There is only one tiny roller coaster in the park today. The most notable being a wild mouse coaster. It is your run of the mill wild mouse with zig-zagging sharp bends at the top.
Also, the wild mouse sits on the edge of a pier, quietly negotiating it’s tracks allowing you to catch the views of an adjacent marina. It is in contrast to great roller coasters the park used to offer.
Over the course of its history, Luna park has seen roller coasters come and go, more often with some controversy and affecting visitor ship with each closure. For instance, the Big Dipper built since 1930, was a wildly popular outdoor roller coaster. It was demolished and burned following the park’s 1980 closure.
Moreover, it’s successor, Big Dipper II, a steel roller coaster built in 1994 was closed a year after following noise pollution complaints by residents in the area. Today, only the ride entrance remains. You might recognize it as the Cyclone Hotwheels roller coaster now in Dreamworld following its relocation there.
A funhouse called the Coney Island sits at the far end of the park compound. It houses an indoor arcade area as well a set of racing slides. You ride on them using a couple of slide rags.
Furthermore, games and food stalls on site accept cash as direct payment. Selections include carnival ring toss and hit the tin counters, as well as popcorn and cotton candy stores.
Room for improvement
Notably, the park was running pretty lean during my visit. About half of the food and games stores were closed and each ride was manned by only a staff member. But it gets the job done.
In comparison, to my visits to other compact city theme parks like Tivoli and Linnanmaki. These parks were able to pack in many good rides in a small place and still be relevant. Luna park just feels stale in the ride offerings, they lack a unique selling proposition to keep their plate fresh and attract patrons.
It will be great if Luna Park will have a decent roller coaster, a poster-boy “show ride” or at least a couple of modern rides to call their own to lift it up with a better their park’s selling proposition.
All in all, you are good at Luna park for 1-2 hours tops. Going on 3-4 rides at the park. It is quite a letdown that the park now is reduced to a sad state to what it was before. I do hope that the park recovers from the state it is in to lift it back into the good old glory days.
View more photos of Luna Park Sydney here.