Are you planning to visit Melbourne with kids? One of the most fun things to do in Melbourne is to take the family to Luna Park, the famous old amusement park in the suburb of St Kilda. Luna Park Melbourne has been open since 1912, and over time become one of the most iconic Melbourne attractions.

 

The Luna Park entrance in Melbourne is an unforgettable sight. You walk through the mouth of the manically grinning Mr Moon into the fairground, with the heritage Luna Park roller coaster running overhead.  Luna Park in Melbourne is actually quite small, with twenty rides packed within the circumference of the roller coaster.

 

We passed Luna Park on our first day in Melbourne and our Little Man couldn’t wait to visit. It’s one of the most obvious things to do in Melbourne with kids, so we returned on a sunny evening a few days later.

 

Here is our Luna Park Melbourne review.

Our Luna Park Experience

 

Image of the vintage ferris wheel at Luna Park Melbourne

The vintage ferris wheel at Luna Park Melbourne

Luna Park is one of the most exciting things to do in Melbourne for kids, and we adults couldn’t wait to go either. Faye and I loved visiting the funfair during our childhoods at opposite ends of the world. Melbourne’s Luna Park is the oldest amusement park in Australia, and it’s wonderfully evocative for nostalgic souls like us. We thought it would be one of the best things to do in Melbourne for families, and so it proved to be.

 

Once we were through ticketing and Sam had his wristband, he was bubbling with joy and couldn’t wait to experience the rides. The atmosphere is amazing, with all the noise from the rides and amusement arcades. It’s exhilarating for an adult, so imagine what it’s like for a four-year-old. There’s also the fairy floss (what we Brits call candy floss), which he couldn’t wait to try. He even saved some for the tram journey back to the hotel. You can also get other perennial fairground favourites like popcorn, hot dogs and ice cream.

Image of child and mother on the Carousel at Luna Park in Melbourne

Sam and Faye on the fantastic old Carousel

One of our favourite rides was the Luna Park Carousel. It’s the largest in the southern hemisphere, and was one of 80 carousels made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It was the only one exported outside the US. Sam had several goes on it, going on the horses and in one of the chariots.

 

We let him choose the rides he wanted to go on. He still likes the fairly sedate kids’ rides like the train ride around the park and the Red Baron, a gentle ride in toy vintage aeroplanes. He’s also beginning to acquire a bit of a taste for speed. He particularly enjoyed the flying elephants, the Arabian Merry.

 

Melbourne Luna Park Rides – Who Can Ride What?

 

Image of child on the Betty Choo Choo train at Luna Park

Sam on the Betty Choo Choo train at Luna Park

Most of the Luna Park rides have height restrictions.  These vary from one ride to another: the Luna Park website lists them in full.

 

For example, the Arabian Merry has a 110 cm minimum height stipulation. This means that a child has to be 110 cm or over to be able to go on the ride alone.

 

If a child is under 110 cm in eight they can still go on the ride, accompanied by an adult or mature teenager.  In this instance the accompanying adult rides for free.

 

Image of the Arabian Merry ride at Luna Park in Melbourne

The Arabian Merry ride at Luna Park

However, if the child is 110 cm or over, they ride alone, or the adult has to pay $10.95 for the ride.

 

If your child is borderline with one of the heights (100, 110 or 120 cm) it’s worth getting him or her officially measured and then getting the height written down on the wristband. Sam was 107 cm, 109 in his sandals, and was officially measured. As it wasn’t written down, every ride he wanted to go on insisted on measuring him.

 

Eventually we asked to speak to a manager to sort it all out. Everything was quickly and amicably resolved.  The wristband error was duly noted and corrected, and Sam and Faye went on to enjoy several more rides before we called it a night. We were also given a Luna Park voucher for Sam to return any time in the next twelve months.

 

Luna Park Melbourne – Our Verdict

 

Image of child on the Red Baron ride at Luna Park

Sam flying on the Red Baron ride

The three of us had a wonderful time at Luna Park in Melbourne. We’ll definitely go back, and hopefully Sam will feel emboldened enough to try the roller coaster next time.

 

We had also taken the Little Man to Luna Park in Sydney, and he had a fantastic time there too.  Melbourne’s Luna Park is around $5 cheaper per ticket, and the overall experience is very similar.

 

Luna Park Melbourne Opening Hours

 

Image of statue-like figures at Luna Park

Some of the fun figures around Luna Park

Luna Park Melbourne opening times vary throughout the year.

 

The one constant is that it’s open every weekend – Saturday and Sunday – of the year. It’s also open on Fridays in the warmer months (October through to April).

 

Luna Park opens every day during Victorian school holidays, but closes Monday to Wednesday during school term (it’s closed Monday to Friday during winter).

 

The Luna Park website has full details here.

 

Luna Park Melbourne Tickets

 

Image of shop and arcades

The face inside Luna Park in Melbourne, with the shop and arcade below

Luna Park prices are as follows:

Family of 4 people unlimited rides – $ 149.95

0-3 unlimited rides – $17.50

4-12 unlimited rides – $39.95

13 – adult – $ 49.95

Entry only for adults – $2

Single ride for adults – $10.95

 

How to Get to Luna Park Melbourne

 

Image of the candy floss hut and roller coaster at Luna Park in Melbourne

The fairy floss hut and roller coaster at Luna Park

Getting to Luna Park is very straightforward.

 

We suggest public transport wherever possible, especially within cities, and Melbourne

 

public transport to St Kilda and Luna Park is excellent. Two main Melbourne tram routes – the 16 and 96 – stop outside Luna Park.  If you venture beyond the CBD you’ll need a myki card to use public transport in Melbourne. You top it up with whatever funds you need, and tap on and off at the beginning and end of the journey.

 

Several buses also pass through St Kilda, including the 246, 600, 606, 623, 922 and 923.

 

Other things to do in St Kilda Melbourne

 

Image of child playing at St Kilda Adventure Playground, Melbourne

The little fellow exploring the wooden aeroplane at St Kilda Adventure Playground

Luna Park is right next to St Kilda beach, one of the most popular beaches in Melbourne. It’s well-known as the home of the St Kilda penguins. Every evening, around dusk, a colony of little penguins congregates at the breakwater at the end of St Kilda Pier.  Some Penguin Guides are also present. They give information about the penguins and also ensure people stay the requisite distance (3 metres) from them. You’re able to take photos of them, but must not use flash or white light as this greatly upsets them.

 

If you’re staying in St Kilda or spending more time in the suburb, it’s well worth seeking out the St Kilda Adventure Playground. It’s hidden away off Neptune Street, roughly ten minutes’ walk from Luna Park. It’s a wonderfully ramshackle affair, with many of the rides built from wood. Our Little Man particularly loved the wooden aeroplane. It’s best suited to kids over 5 years old, and is open between two and four hours every afternoon.

 

Hotels Near Luna Park Melbourne

 

If you’d like to stay close to Luna Park and make a weekend of it by the beach, there is a great range of St Kilda accommodation to choose from.

 

One of the closest hotels to Luna Park is Cosmopolitan Hotel Melbourne. It’s a boutique hotel on Albert Street, two minutes from the cafes of Acland Street. Luna Park is another two minutes away. They have family rooms (with a queen and two twin beds) for a very reasonable $171 a night.

 

Novotel St Kilda enjoys another prime location on The Esplanade, close to Luna Park and the beach. You get all the four-star facilities and a heated pool year-round, ideal for some family down time. A superior double with two double beds works out at $251 a night.

 

There are also several apartment hotels close to Luna Park. Quest St Kilda Bayside has two-bedroom apartments for $204 a night. For this, you’re a few minutes from Luna Park and St Kilda Pier, and there’s a heated pool during the summer months as well.

 

 

David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing the world for over 25 years.  His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times.  His images are frequently used throughout the world by tourism bodies such as Visit Britain and Visit Wales.