Scenic Fun on the Scenic Railway

Luna Park Melbourne

One of the smallest amusement parks, an enthusiast might encounter during his travels is the Luna Park Melbourne in St.Kilda. The historic theme park is sitting on a triangular spot of land with no space to expand anywhere. The amusement park heavily influenced by Luna Park on Coney Island in New York opened its gates in 1912. Its star attraction is the Scenic Railway, which runs along the outskirts of the park and gives it a beautiful aesthetics. Within the courtyard of the wooden coaster, all other attractions are placed.

When you enter the park through its beautiful yet creepy entrance portal, you directly encounter one of the park’s mayor attractions. The Luna Park Carousel was built in 1913 by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and features 68 horses and chariots. Each horse is unique and has a name.

Right next to it you can find a HUSS Enterprise, a Meisho built boat swing, as well as the Spider by the Eyerly Aircraft Company. This old-style flat ride has one of the creepiest decorations to be found on the eccentric designed by artist and children’s book author, Leigh Hobbs.

Power Surge

Past the park’s Ferris-Wheel, we quickly encounter a Power Surge by Zamperla. Although these rides are quite common on fair grounds in Australia and in the US, I’ve never encounter one of these attractions in person. I was surprised by its smooth and thrilling ride experience.

Scare Mazes

During our visit to Luna Park Melbourne, the park had hold two scare mazes. Extreme Phobia was located on the top level of the old Dodgems building, which nowadays is home to the Luna Palace room and Haunted Fairytales was located on the top floor of the Stardust room. Both haunted houses were upcharge and a rather expensive experience. My friend Aris went through Extreme Phobia yet did not found it particularly scary nor worth the money.

Ghost Train

An attraction I would have wished to be at least a little bit scary was the traditional Ghost Train by the Pretzel Amusement Ride Company from 1934. The short ride in the small trains featured for the most part just dark corridors with static paintings, some black light effects and just a handful of animatronics. Given that the ride featured the longest line in the park, I was not at all impressed.

Speedy Beetle

The novelty of this year was the small spinning coaster Speedy Beetle by SBF Visa, which just replaced the aging Silly Serpent family coaster. Surprisingly, it was the first spinning coaster of this type, I have come along. The small Figure-8 coaster can be found nearly everywhere around the globe and provides an excellent spinning ride for smaller guests.

Pharaoh’s Curse

The second big thrill ride of Luna Park Melbourne is the Kamikaze Pharaoh’s Curse by Fabbri. Unlike other Kamikaze rides by the company this one is much closer to the Original Sky Flyer by Vekoma and Mondial featuring just a comfy lap bar for the thrilling inverting ride. As good as this ride is, it looks like being in a terrible condition.

Scenic Railway

Something you cannot say about the Scenic Railway, which seems to be overall well kept. During my visit, it was the oldest operational roller coaster as Leap-the-Dips at Lakemont Park in Pennsylvania was currently in restoration. However, the ride is famous to be the oldest continuously operating roller coaster.

The ride on the Scenic Railway begins with a small S-Bend into the cable lift. After climbing the (for a coaster of that age surprisingly straight) lift, we pass a curve above the iconic entrance of Luna Park Melbourne. A large drop follows. After another scenic curve at lofty heights, we now descend close to the ground level and enter a camelback covered by a tunnel. With best views onto Port Phillip Bay, we take another turn. Shortly thereafter, the second round in the triangular layout of the ride starts. First, we take a large drop behind the station building of the Scenic Railway, before we take another S-Bend in order to continue our journey in the courtyard of the ride. Now we take a series of airtime hills and a tunnel while following the layout of the previously experienced track. While doing so, the train loses a lot of momentum and nearly crawls towards the station in the last curve.

The Scenic Railway is a historically significant roller coaster. Unfortunately, it is also the weakest scenic railway, I had the chance to try so far. It seems that the brakemen are using the brakes a bit too much and that the ride therefore becomes so gentle. Nevertheless, I am quite sure if you have a well experienced brakeman, you can have a blast of a time on the Scenic Railway.  It is a nice coaster with a fun layout and therefore worth to keep it running as long as possible. Just don’t miss it when you are visiting Melbourne.



Luna Park Melbourne is not a park I recommend visiting other for their iconic Scenic Railway. The park is expensive and there is a lack of attractions. Overall, it seems that the Luna Park Melbourne had its best years far behind. Everything is just a bit worn off and for a park of its size that does not give the best image you could have.

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Brighton Beach and the Dandenong Ranges

To shorten the waiting time until the late evening opening of Luna Park Melbourne, we started our day at Brighton Beach, which is mainly known for its colourful beach huts. Instead of some fun on the beach, however, an immensely high number of freshly hatched flies awaited us, which is why we only stayed here for a short time and headed back to the car as quickly as possible. It took a while until we could get rid of the last fly. With the window open and a bit of driving, it finally worked.

Our second stop took us to the Dandenong Ranges National Park. We parked at Grant’s Picnic Ground, where the first Rosella parakeets were already waiting for us. At a small feeding station you can also feed cockatoos here, which can of course be found in larger numbers.

Meanwhile, we were drawn to the rainforest. We first followed the Coles Ridge Track in the direction of Belgrave. On the way, we decided to have a look at Sherbrooke Falls, so we first changed to the Tregellas Track and then to the Bleakley Track. After crossing the Monbulk Road at the Micawber Tavern, things got really interesting. On the Hillclimb Track, we followed Sherbrooke Creek up the mountain, which gave us a sense of adventure due to the dense vegetation.

The Sherbrooke Falls were a little less impressive, but this did not detract from the trip. Via the O’Donohue Track we reached the O’Donohue Picnic Ground quite leisurely. Here we were finally able to catch a glimpse of the birds that had so loudly accompanied our hike – unfortunately you can hardly see the colourful birds hidden in the trees.

The way back to Grant’s Picnic Ground led us first into a residential area. After a few metres on Sherbrooke Lodge Road, we joined the Clematis Track, which took us back to our car, always going downhill. On the way back to Melbourne, we took advantage of a short petrol stop in Lysterfield to have something to eat at Nando’s.

Pictures Brighton Beach and Dandenong Ranges


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Walking through Melbourne

The second day in Melbourne started with a free walking tour by I’m Free Tours. Here we got to know some of the city, whereby the walking tour focused to a large extent on the really impressive street art of the city. It was quite an entertaining walk – but I didn’t retain much of the information. Since the tour ended at the Arts Centre with its funny Eiffel Tower-esque roof construction on the other side of the Yarra River – probably Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s Opera House – we made our way from here towards the Shrine of Remembrance. On the way, we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, which are really worth seeing.

The Shrine of Remembrance is one of the largest war memorials in Australia. Originally built as a memorial to all the men and women of Victoria who served in the First World War, it quickly became the central memorial to all 60000 Australians who died in the war. Today it serves as a memorial to all Australians who served in the war. The monument is truly impressive. From the Terrace you also have an excellent panoramic view.

After resting a little at the hotel, we went back to the city centre in the evening to see the musical Come From Away at the Comedy Theatre. The play, which revolves around the events of 9/11 and the resulting closure of American airspace, is quite remarkable. Each actor plays at least 10 roles, whether a resident of Newfoundland or one of the passengers on the 38 planes stranded in Gander. Several smaller stories are told; some tragic, some funny and some simply beautiful.

After our visit to the theatre, we went to one of the many rooftop bars in the city. The pleasant climate, the great ambience and the lighting of the other skyscrapers created an atmosphere that I have rarely experienced. Melbourne is a truly great city.

Pictures Melbourne


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