Enjoy old-fashioned thrills and state-of-the-art spills at this famous Melbourne landmark.
Melbourne’s Luna Park on the edge of Port Phillip Bay occupies a very special place in the city’s history. When the park was opened in 1912, its bright lights and breathtaking rollercoasters were a novelty – no one had seen anything like it before in the quiet suburb of St Kilda. Largely closed during the First World War, it regained its wild popularity following a spectacular relaunch in 1923. During the Second World War the park stayed defiantly open, its only concession being to dim its lights at night so as not to attract enemy bombers.
Many of the historic rides are still in operation today, although the iconic Big Dipper was destroyed by a fire in the 1980s. You can still ride around the perimeter of the park on the heritage-listed Great Scenic Railway, the world’s oldest continually operating rollercoaster, taking in the same fabulous views over Port Phillip Bay that visitors have been enjoying for a century.
Modern thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline kicks on white-knuckle rides like the Pharaoh’s Curse and G-Force while, for those of a more nervous disposition, there are old-fashioned family favourites including colourful carousels and the gentle highs of the Ferris wheel.
To reach Luna Park, take the tram from central Melbourne (two services stop directly outside) or come by car and take advantage of nearby street parking. The park is open on weekends, school holidays and public holidays, but it’s advisable to check the website in advance for opening hours and days as these can vary. Entrance to the park is free but rides and shows are subject to charge. An unlimited day pass is a convenient way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Snacks can be bought inside the park, or you can bring your own food, and lockers are available to rent so you can store your picnic while you ride.