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