Continuing with our second day in Sydney, Phillip and I would go to visit our second theme park of this trip, and the first in Australia. Luna Park is located just on the other side of Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay, and is an easy ferry ride away.
Of course, being on the ferry and crossing Sydney Harbour means getting some more great views of the Opera House. (I hope you're not sick of it yet, because there's plenty more where they came from!)
Even from the other side of the harbor, there are some great views!
While I could have spent even more time enjoying the views of the harbor, there was a park to visit! Luna Park has been a staple of Sydney's waterfront since 1935. While there were some periods of time in the 1980's and 1990's when it was closed, it has managed to stick around to provide some classic rides, mixed in with more modern attractions.
The one downside to our visit came in the beginning as they had minimal staffing for their ticket booths, making for a bit of a wait to trade our vouchers we purchased for ride wristbands. Although this was a bit inconvenient, the bright side was that the park over all was not busy at all. Other than some school groups and some other people visiting, it was a relatively quiet day at the park, making for an enjoyable afternoon.
Now, the park has retained a piece of it's history in the old Big Dipper entrance. In its history, Luna Park has had two roller coasters to bear the Big Dipper name. The first was an old wooden coaster that operated in the early years of the park. The second was a custom Arrow looping coaster that was installed in 1995, and was removed in 2001. It now can be found at Dreamworld in Coomera, Queensland. The building that still stands in the space offers tributes to both coasters.
The park does also offer a variety of modern rides, including a Huss Breakdance that was a lot of fun.
The one roller coaster that is in the park is the Wild Mouse. This is a very rare type of roller coaster as it is one of only 4 operating wooden wild mouse coasters in the world! The ride looks like it would be a tame ride, but looks are quite deceiving as this is a very wild ride! There are some airtime hills that can surprise you, and because of the up-stop system sitting in the middle of the track, it gives the car the ability to lean a bit through the turns. If you find yourself having an opportunity to ride one of these gems, DO IT!!! It's a great ride!
The true highlight of Luna Park is Coney Island, their classic Fun House.
Inside of the building, you will find a rare experience in the theme park world. These fun houses were a staple to classic amusement parks of the past with fun wheels, uneven and moving walkways and a mirror maze. Coney Island also features pictures that highlight the history of Luna Park. One of the unique features of this fun house is the slide with an uphill portion. Without enough speed, you'll actually slide back (which did actually happen to me).
Then there's my personal favorite part of Coney Island, the Joywheel! It's a spinning disk that you sit on, and the challenge is to try and stay on it longer than anyone else. If this were in the United States today, it would likely be a lawsuit waiting to happen, which is a real shame as it is
just plain fun.
One of the biggest thrills at Luna Park is their drop tower ride, Hair Raiser. Providing some great views of the park and the harbour, this is the type of drop tower that doesn't have a delay when it reaches the top, making it feel much more sudden for a great thrill!
Another classic ride that calls Luna Park home is the Rotor. While I have been on rides like this before, there were two features I had not seen with them before. The first was the difference in operation as most of the Rotors I have seen load and start with the floor in the raised position. This one has the floor down when it is loaded, then the floor raises before guests stand next to the wall for the start of the ride. The other feature that I had not previously seen before was an observation deck that was not a part of the line for the ride. From my understanding, this was a common feature for these rides in the past so that those who didn't wish to ride could observe those who did ride.
The last ride that we'll see is the Ferris Wheel. Here we get some great views of the park, its rides and buildings as well as the surrounding area, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and.....you guessed it....the Sydney Opera House.
And with that, we end our look at Sydney's Luna Park. If you come to Sydney, and enjoy amusement parks, Luna Park is a must for some awesome classic rides!
Up next, we'll head back to the other side of Syndey Harbour by way of an icon!
See more of 2016 New Zealand & Australia Trip:
1: Arriving in New Zealand / 2: Walk to Mission Bay / 3 : Mount Eden / 4: Rainbow's End / 5: Arrival in Sydney /
6: Mrs. Macquarie's Point / 7: Sydney's Luna Park / 8: Sydney Habour Bridge & Rocks Tour /
9: Bondi Beach & Darling Harbour / 10: Walking Through Cairns / 11: Green Island & The Great Barrier Reef /
12: Warner Bros. Movie World / 13: Australia Zoo / 14: Aussie World / 15: Sea World & Wet'n'Wild / 16: Alice Springs /
17: Kings Park & Indian Ocean / 18: Fremantle / 19: Perth CBD & Elizabeth Quay / 20: Adventure World /
21: Walking Through Melbourne / 22: Luna Park Melbourne & St. Kilda / 23: Victoria Parliament / 24: Back to Auckland