Luna Park, Sydney, AU

 

Luna Park is one of Sydney’s amusement icons with the distinctive Big Face as the main entrance. It overlooks the Harbour Bridge and the famous Opera House. Located at Milsons Point, the Luna Park in Sydney is a heritage-listed park and was opened in 1935.

 

The site on which Luna Park is now located has the following history:

  • Before 1789 – The area was occupied by an Aboriginal group called the Cammeraygal. They lived along the foreshores and bushland.

  • 1789 – Governor Phillip was entertained by Aborigines who danced for him in exchange for colonial items such as rum, jewelry, and textile. The area also became a popular site for settlers to hold picnics and entertainment.

  • 1806 – James Milson, for whom Milsons Point was named for, farmed the area and produced everyday necessities such as vegetables, dairy products, and spring water to colonial Sydney.

Luna park, Sydney, AU

     

  • 1830s – Passengers were rowed across the harbour from this area by Billy Blue.

  • 1837 – The slopes of Milsons Point were populated by boat operators or watermen who transported passengers for a fee

  • 1886 – A cable tram was introduced between Milsons Point and Ridge Street, Sydney. This was received well by commuters and soon, Milsons Point became very popular as a harbour crossing destination.

  • 1893 – The railway that covered Hornsby to Leonards was extended to Milsons Point.

  • 1915 – A new railway was built to accommodate the building of a new bridge.

  • 1924-1932 – Planning and construction of the new Harbour Bridge was awarded to Dorman Long and Co. Ltd. of England.

  • May 11, 1935 – The 20 year tender for the use of Milsons Point as an amusement venue was awarded to Hermann Philips who then started to build Luna Park.

The Luna Park in history:

  • 1903 – The first Luna Park on Coney Island in the United States was opened by Elmer Dundy and Frederick Thompson. This was inspired by a ride the two had developed called A Trip to the Moon.

  • 1912 – Australia’s first Luna Park was opened at St. Kilda by American showmen Herman Phillips, Leon Phillips, Harold Phillips and J.D. Williams.

  • 1930 – Inspired by the success of Luna Park at St. Kilda, David Atkins asked the Phillips brothers to open another one in Glenelg, Adelaide. This Luna Park was soon closed due to conflicts with locals and officials who resisted changes and development of the Park.

  • October 4, 1935 – The Luna Park on Milsons Point opened. The material from Glenelg Luna Park was packed up and shipped to its new Sydney location where it has been since.

Though the Luna Park in Sydney has gone through several periods of decline and revival, it is still a favorite amusement centre for Sydneysiders young and old alike.