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Australia's Luna Parks (Melbourne & Sydney) PTRs


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When looking through the TPR Park Index, I noticed that there wasn't an entry for either of Australia's Luna Parks. After a quick email to Larry, I agreed that posting a couple of trip reports about these old seaside parks from when I visited earlier this year would be fun and a great way to give back to TPR.


With that in mind I start today with Luna Park Melbourne. Luna Park Melbourne was built in 1912 and is home to the oldest continually running roller coaster in the world. It's name is Scenic Railway and unfortunately the ride was under refurbishment when we visited on 12/28/07. One of the more interesting facts about this ride is that apparently it is one of only two remaining coasters that require a brakesman in the car.


As always any comments that you have are appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this!


We ended up spending nine wonderful days in Melbourne, which included watching the New Years Eve fireworks over the water. What a great city! Thanks for reading.



Judging from the looks, this neighborhood isn't the best.


Since the park really isn't comprised of much, it only took a couple of really hot summer hours for us to be ready for departure.


Oh well, I guess we have to go on the ghetto ghost train.


Please open this ride for us. I don't care if they are retracking it!


The ocean is just beyond the Scenic Railway coaster in this picture.



So here are few more random photos.


This park is crowded, hot and not very attractive and thus hard to get good photos of.


Of course the back side was a different story.


It was housed in a tent that was themed pretty nicely in the front.


Their new attraction for the year was a Tomb Raider maze.



They also have a Zamperla powered coaster called Silly Serpent.


The park also has two other coasters. This Galaxi type coaster is called Metropolis.




The Scenic Railway actually forms a large oval and the entire park is contained within it.


Unfortunately our suspicions were realized very quickly. The ride was closed.


The ride's entrance is very fancy.


The real reason for our visit was to ride Scenic Railway, the world's oldest continually operating roller coaster. The scaffolding was a bad sign right off the bat.


This entrance is known as the Mr. Moon Gateway and was constructed in 1912 and restored in 1999.


Upon exiting the tram we were excited to see the park's signature entrance.


Luna Park Melbourne sits a bit outside of the city's main center and thus requires a twenty minute tram ride to reach it.




But it also has its fair share of historic places as well.


Melbourne is a fantastic city with plenty of new modern buildings.


We arrived in Melbourne from Christchurch, New Zealand on Christmas morning. The streets were abandoned!

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Nice report, I live in Sydney and have been to Melbourne but I have never been to Luna Park, the shame.


I was going to jump on the oldest coaster bit because I went on 1901's Leap The Dips in August, but "continually" I think rules out Leap The Dips which is the oldest operating coaster.

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Shame you didn't get to ride the Scenic Railway, I guess the "continually" won't apply anymore and the guys at Lakemont will reaching for their lawyers if they claim oldest. Though I've seen more luxuriant claims, Marineland in Canada seem to think they have the biggest steel coaster in the world.


Looking forward to your Sydney report, I think I may have posted a PTR ages ago for Sydney, and even if I didn't I have plenty of photos.

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Shame you didn't get to ride the Scenic Railway, I guess the "continually" won't apply anymore and the guys at Lakemont will reaching for their lawyers if they claim oldest. Though I've seen more luxuriant claims, Marineland in Canada seem to think they have the biggest steel coaster in the world.


Looking forward to your Sydney report, I think I may have posted a Photo TR ages ago for Sydney, and even if I didn't I have plenty of photos.

Biggest meaning largest area covered, not height. So their claim is correct, though it is slightly misleading.


Anyways, great TR. It's nice to see some not as well known parks.

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^ I believe that the Big Dipper was removed after severe fire damage.


The Scenic Railway is pretty great from a historic standpoint, and it is very, very scenic, but it's not thrilling at all (which is fine - I just wanted to make it clear).


I took these when I was there in 2001, which was the last time I was there that they permitted on-ride photos.


Oh, and St. Kilda isn't run down at all .. it's one of the coolest suburbs in the whole city! (Well it used to be, before all the white, yuippie drones started to move in - seeing piles of condos go up there actually makes me hurt ).





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^Thanks for adding the photos. St. Kilda just seemed a bit run down and perhaps in transition, but I am no expert and you probably know better than me, so I defer to you.


BTW, this thread really exists to help add to the park index, so anyone who has photos please post them in this thread. Since I didn't take the photos with the idea of posting a TR, they aren't the best. The POV photo above is fantastic. Thanks everyone for adding to this thread!

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According to rcdb the Big Dipper in Melbourne was closed because:


"Demolished because the roller coaster needed a major wood replacement and it was not economical to do at the time."


The Big Dipper in Sydney was closed because of fire damage from the Ghost Train inferno which killed 7 people, I was actually there the day that happened, albeit I was a tiny tot.


I remember just scraping in on the height limit for the zipper, and getting absolutely pounded, it was like putting a puppy in a front loading dryer.

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According to rcdb the Big Dipper in Melbourne was closed because:


"Demolished because the roller coaster needed a major wood replacement and it was not economical to do at the time."




If they only spent the money on fixing instead of removing it, there was also the plans for the coaster that was going to replace it. That would have left the southernn end of the park and went over Beach Rd onto the foreshore and out over the bay.


But than again there was plans for the Paramount park in Melbourne Docklands, as well as the world tallest coaster at the showgrounds sitel.

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The major problems with Australian Parks is they lack, well everything, Movie World is really nothing more than a Half Day park ( on the right day! ). Dreamworld was once a great park, but sadly sports themed rides and up charges do not help.


Sea World well since it has been over 20 years since I was there, I can't really comment, but am looking forward to opening of Jet Resuce.


Expo Park back in 88 was fun and the coaster's where fun. Wonderland Sydney should have been a great park, but adding nothing new for years, caused the death of that park.


The two main water parks are fun.


But the park I am loking forward to is the new Water park north of Cairns due to open in 2009/2010.

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I've seen tits on coasters, now that was impressive.


What annoys me is that for the amount of money they spent on Mick Doohan's motocoaster, they could have done something so much better, irrespective of the demographic they were aiming for.

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^^Agreed. Mick Doohan's Motocoaster was such a huge disappointment. The only other coaster I have ridden of that type was at Chimelong Paradise in China and that was much better. So not only was it a fairly gentle type of ride, but it wasn't even a good version of it.

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Luna Park Sydney was originally built in 1935 and is located at Milsons Point on the northern end of Sydney Harbour. (Diagonally across from the Opera House and almost beneath the Harbour Bridge) While this park is old and historic, it has been closed several times and has a very rocky history. With the closures of Sega World and Wonderland, this is really the only theme park of size in New South Wales Australia.


While Luna Park Sydney also has a clown face as its entrance, Sydney's version has changed eight times over the years. More information on this park can be found at Wikipedia. Here are some photos from our visit on January 20, 2008. Enjoy and keep the comments coming!


Also, anyone who has pictures of this park can feel free to post them in this thread if they would like. I didn't really take pictures with the thought of posting them here, so I didn't get the best quality photos when I was there. Thanks again.


Finally I leave you with a shot of a group of the crazy people that climb up the bridge. (Not that anyone on this site would do that!) I hope you enjoyed!


It changes color depending on how the sun hits it.


In case you though that it was white, here is the real color of the Opera House's exterior.


Finally I leave you with a couple of random shots. This was taken inside one of the main lobbies in the Sydney Opera House!


Here is a closer view in case you need some help!


A couple of days later we visited the Opera House and got a nice look at Luna Park across the water. Can you see it?


Before long the ferry came and whisked us back across the water.


While waiting we couldn't help but enjoy the marvelous view. (This was the only clear day in 8 total that we spent in Sydney!)


After looking around for awhile we headed back to the exit to wait for the ferry back across.




While only rode the coaster, we did walk around to take in a glimpse of this historic park.


Yay for Wild Mouse.



POV Goodness!


Here is that picture providing an exclusive behind the scenes look into the taking of that now infamous funhouse pic!


A picture from the coaster of the park's funhouse which was built in 1935! If you look close you can see someone taking a picture of me!


My camera was out in plain sight and I wasn't breaking any rules in taking these pictures!


This coaster is simply called "Wild Mouse" and it is the only coaster in Luna Park Sydney.


and that was to get my Wooden Wild Mouse credit.


I was only here for one reason.


Although we didn't ride it, I am sure the views from the ferris wheel are quite special.




They use a lot of concrete here.



This clown is a lot less scary than its Melbourne counterpart.


Looking back at the bridge and opera house from the park's entrance.


I think this is the place.


Before long we were across and in the shadows of the fantastic structure.




From the bridge we enjoyed a spectacular view of the Sydney CBD and the Opera House.


To get to Luna Park Sydney we first had to cross the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge! (Jasmine is going to kill me for posting this picture! =)

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It's a shame you didn't go in the Coney Island funhouse at the back, they have some really cool wooden slides and other fun things.


It's a sad thing when a city of 4 million only has Luna Park as their sole amusement park, and the entire state only has 1 other credit in a Pinfari portable at Merimbula's Magic Mountain, 6 hours south of Sydney.


Unfortunately Luna Park will never be developed as an amusement park because of several factors relating to developers and unpleasant complaining neighbours.


We are the land that the coaster gods forgot.

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Hi TPR Members


There's a DVD detailing the history of Luna Park, Sydney. Copies can be ordered from the park... see their website!



[DVD 14] SPIRITS OF THE CARNIVAL: LUNA PARK, THE QUEST FOR FUN. [DVD-R / 1995 / 58 MINS] People have always looked for ways to have fun. Sigmund Freud called it “The Pleasure Principal;” since 1912 Australians have called it ‘LUNA PARK.’ This is the story about the magic of amusement parks, and two men who built a city’s dream. Plagued by controversy, the dream of bringing pleasure to people was not easy. With each decade LUNA PARK had to compete with changing social values, advancing technology and the dream of a new age. Behind the smiling face lies a story of sweat, greed, competition and tragedy that very nearly destroyed the dream forever.



Simon Baynham

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^Yeah, the ones on the left hand side are vertical, I was too scared to go on them as a little kid.


It's nice to go on a slide that doesn't burn a few layers of skin off your butt.


I've got some photos of that stuff somewhere, I'll post them if I find them.

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