Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tamarama Back in the day - Bondi Aquarium, an Elephant and Wonderland City

Sydney's Playground - Tamarama

Last week I wrote about our visit to Tamarama on a rainy day

While looking through some photos from another visit, I found a couple that I want to share. As my close friends know I have a interest in history, I tend to take pictures of all the any old stuff I can find basically. So when I found three plaques describing Tamaramas history I couldn't help myself and I'd like to share them with you guys. I transcribed the text so it's easier for you to read them. Hope you enjoy this bit of Eastern Suburbs history :)

Here are the photos, click for a larger version.

Vaudeville acts and an elephant called Alice.
The Bondi Aquarium, Sydney's first coastal amusement park opened on this headland in 1887. It's great attraction was a plunging rollercoaster that dived and twisted over the beach. People flocked to laugh at the vaudeville acts and marvel at the aquarium creatures, which included seals and a tiger shark.

Powered by it's own steam plant, Wonderland City which replaced the Bondi Aquarium, was an extravaganza of noise, entertainment and light. It thrilled crowds and with an airship suspended above the bay, and rides on the beach on an elephant named Alice.

However, battles with local residents over beach access, charges of cruelty to animals, and an accident involving the airship led to a decline in visitors. After a few years of poor crowds and low revenue, the Wonderland City closed in 1911.

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