We’ve hit the ultimate city competition ... Luna Park Melbourne vs Luna Park Sydney! Which one do you think wins?
Generations of Australians, young and old, have wonderful memories of visiting Luna Park in Sydney and Melbourne. Both parks have long histories, have recently been brought into the 21st century and both are keen to outdo one another in true New South Wales and Victoria tradition!
Melbourne's 1.5ha Luna Park opened in 1912 on wasteland which was mostly lagoon. Its most recent facelift was in 2001. Ten million dollars was spent over the five-month operation. New attractions were added, making a total of 16.
Twin Dragon is a family thrill ride. Shock Drop is a highly-original version of the bungy jump and Arabian Merry is great for young children, riding flying elephants and going on a magical safari adventure. Red Baron gives the feeling of flying in cartoon-style planes, Odyssey AS1 is an interactive simulator of a flight training mission and Pharaoh's Curse is a state-of-the-art thrill ride.
The original carousel with Roman-style chariots, 68 prancing horses and beautiful original oil paintings remains. It was built in the US in 1913 for a park in Sydney which folded and was purchased by Luna Park, Melbourne, in 1913 for the equivalent of just $30,000 a bargain for something which is now heritage-listed.
In 1912, the scenic railway opened and it is now the oldest continually-operating rollercoaster in the world, one of just 10 remaining. It travels at 50km/h, but seems faster. Those who can keep their eyes open get a great look at Port Phillip Bay. It was refurbished in 1999.
The second-most-popular ride is the ghost train, with its original 1936 tracks. There is a 12-car ferris wheel, the Metropolis, which is fast and furious, and the Spider, which is fun for the entire family. Be lifted and spun on the G Force! Everyone will love the Silly Serpent rollercoaster. Dodgem cars and the thrilling Enterprise are also part of the enjoyment.
Sydney Luna Park first opened in 1935, built mainly by workers who had just completed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After being closed for eight years, the fun park has recently re-opened. All rides except for the Octopus and the Big Dipper remain. The Crystal Palace is now a five-star banquet and function venue, there is a three-storey café and a Popcorn Hall has been added.
The first famous face was rather stern and austere and over the years much cosmetic surgery has been carried out, with varying results. In the 1950s Arthur Barton came up with an old-King-Cole style face. The 2004 refurbishment has given the face a more friendly look.
Sydney Luna Park rides: Ferris wheel: Offers sweeping bay and city views from 14 metres in the air. Its 12 cars carry 36 people. Rollercoaster: Built in 1912 and fully restored in 1999. The oldest continually-operating rollercoaster in the world.
Melbourne Luna Park rides: Taj Mahal is the largest mechanical instrument in the world, with over 1200 pipes, drums, castanets, woodblocks and 1000 lights. Ferris wheel: Heritage-listed amusement which has been restored. It has 28 cars and carries 144 people. Roller coaster: Removed in 2001 due to noise complaints. It is now in Dreamworld, Queensland. Carousel: Built in 1913 and Australia's largest. Heritage-listed with Roman-style chariot, horses and oil paintings. $2.2 million was spent on the restoration of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel. Thrill rides: Metropolis gives fast and furious clips and turns and is not for the faint hearted. Pharaoh's Curse is a start-of-the-art thrill ride from which you can see Port Phillip Bay upside down.
Sydney and Melbourne
Sydney Luna Park's day passes start at $15 to $35. Children's day pass: from $15 and family day passes for two adults and two children are $95.
Melbourne Luna Park's day passes are $33.95 for adults and $23.95 for children. Children's day pass: $23.95 and family day passes for two adults and two children are $99.95.
Operating hours are listed below.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.
More informationLuna Park Sydney
1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point 2061
Ph: (02) 9922 6644 www.lunaparksydney.com
Day passes for unlimited rides are based on height. Under 105cm: $15. 105-130cm: $25. 130cm plus: $35. Family day pass (2 + 2): $95. Individual rides can be paid for by using Luna currency. Green rides: 3 lunas. Blue rides: 5 lunas. Red rides: 6 lunas. Three lunas cost $3, 12 cost $10 and 30 cost $20.
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm. Friday 11am to midnight. Saturday 10am to midnight. Sunday and public holidays 11am to 6pm. Open every day, except December 25.
Key attractions: Super thrill rides such as Pharoah's Curse, Metropolis and Enterprise. Exhilarating rides such as Spider, Twin Dragon, G Force and Shock Drop. Rides for the whole family are Arabian Merry, Silly Serpent, Scenic Railway, Carousel and Red Baron.
What's new: Twin Dragon, Shock Drop, Arabian Merry, Red Baron, Odyssey AS1, Pharaoh's Curse.Luna Park Melbourne
Lower Esplanade, St Kilda 3182
Ph: (03) 9525 5033 email@example.com
Day pass for unlimited rides. Family day pass (2 + 2): $99.95
Opening Hours: Winter: 11am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. Summer: 7pm to 11pm Friday. 11am to 11pm Saturday. 11am to 6pm Sunday. Open every day during school holidays.
Key attractions: Coney Island from the 1930s, giant slides, the Joy Wheel, Ye Old Turkey Trot, Barrels of Fun and other amusements such as slot machines and mirrors.
What's new: UFO, Spider, Loads of children's rides, Big Top.