Enter through the huge, grinning clown face and towers to discover the 1930s-style Luna Park Sydney amusement park located near the northern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sydney's north shore. The restored icon is a recognisable sight for Sydneysiders and occupies some of the best Sydney real estate offering nostalgic fun and amazing harbour views.
First opened in 1935, Sydney's Luna Park (there's also one in Melbourne with same iconic clown entrance) was based on the concept of the first Luna Park at Coney Island in New York, and has survived a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. The park closed in 1979 after a fatal fire in the Ghost Train, reopened in 1982 and closed again for renovations in 1988. Luna Park reopened briefly in 1995 before being unceremoniously closed again in 1996. The revamped park opened again in 2004 and has welcomed over one million visitors since - all keen to partake in some good old-fashioned fun. The reinvented Luna Park now hosts concerts and events under Big Top and capitalises on that million-dollar waterfront view with The Deck Sydney restaurant (offering upmarket fare rather than hotdogs and chips) and Crystal Palace Wedding Venue Sydney.
Most punters come for the nostalgic rides, which number over 19 permanent fixtures, including a 40m Ferris wheel, carousel, fun house and dodgem cars, as well as the less sedate Rotor and Flying Saucer. The latest temporary addition is the five-storey Pirate's Revenge rollercoaster that plunges into water. There are also kid's rides for the littlies, and carnival games in Sideshow Alley. Complete the amusement experience with fairy floss, popcorn and pluto pups - but maybe wait 'til after the rides!
Entry to Luna Park is free, however the pricing structure for rides is according to height, eg a daily unlimited rides pass for kids 85 to 100 centimetres tall, is cheaper than for kids 106 to 129 centimetres tall. The closest train station is Milsons Point. From here, it's a six-minute walk down Alfred Street South and right on to Olympic Drive.