If you’re looking for a day full of fun, for both young and old, as well as a trip to one of Melbourne’s greatest historical icons, look no further than Luna Park.
Originally opened in December 1912, Luna Park officially celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012. It’s located in a prime position to look over the famous Port Phillip Bay (you get a great view from the top of the rollercoaster) and is in one of Melbourne’s favourite suburbs, St Kilda. This location alone is reason enough to drive your Hertz Melbourne Airport car hire over to Luna Park. Luna Park is nestled in the heart of St Kilda and there’s a lot to do in the area. You’re right near St Kilda beach, definitely worthy of a visit and you’re also be right near St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Acland Street and Fitzroy Street are also a short walk away, so you can pack plenty into one day.
When you arrive at Luna Park you’ll be instantly greeted by Mr Moon – that giant grinning face you might have seen in pictures. Step inside his giant mouth and find yourself in a carnival atmosphere surrounded by a a mixture of historical rides, including heritage listed attractions, and more modern thrill rides.
The most famous of the attractions with Melbourne’s Luna Park is the Scenic Railway Roller Coaster. This coaster is a large wooden coaster that wraps around the outside of the park and is the oldest continually operating wooden roller coaster in the world. This ride is so old school that a standing brakeman is in control on board the moving carriages. Don’t worry, its safety is up to date. Whilst it may not be the fastest roller coaster in the world, it does provide some pretty stunning views of Port Phillip Bay.
Whether you are travelling with kids, as a couple of with some grown up friends, you’ll find that Luna Park has something for everyone. There are plenty of fun rides kids such as the Metropolis and Silly Serpent, both mini rollercoasters. Then there’s some faster-paced, more daring rides like the Pharaoh’s Curse and Enterprise to keep adrenalin junkies entertained.
Luna Park in St Kilda first opened in 1912. It was the first of four Luna Parks which were built in Australia in the early 1900s. Of the others, only St Kilda and Sydney’s Luna Park are still operating today. The other two which were located in Glenelg, South Australia and Redcliffe, Queensland closed in the 1930s and 1960s, respectively.
The Scenic Railway and the Mr Moon face entry are as old as the park itself. These two attractions are the only two original attractions still standing today. Other attractions are not quite as old but are still historical. For example, the carousel which was built in 1913 was built by the renowned Philadelphia Toboggan Company and is now a heritage listed attraction. The castle-style Dodgems’ building was constructed in 1927 and the Ghost Train was built in 1934. You’ll still find all these attractions in operation today.
Luna Park doesn’t charge entry, but it does charge for rides. So you can wander over to Luna Park just to take a look at this historical attraction.
Luna Park is open every day from 11am. Closing hours vary so be sure to check the calendar on their website. Luna Park is really easy to get to, either on a tram, or in your Hertz rental car. There’s plenty of council metered parking in the streets nearby (try Beaconsfield Parade, Shakespeare Grove and Cavell Street) so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to rest your hire car while you go and have some fun.