Postcards from 100 years ago





Wonderland City was an amusement park located at Tamarama, in Sydney, Australia. It opened on Saturday, 1 December 1906 and closed in 1911. At the time it was the largest open air amusement park in the southern hemisphere. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) amusement park was operated by theatrical entrepreneur William Anderson. During its operation the park was dogged by controversy for its attempts to block swimmers from Tamarama Beach. Before being occupied by the amusement park, Tamarama Park was the site of The Royal Aquarium and Pleasure Grounds, commonly called the Bondi Aquarium.

Wonderland City was based on Coney Island and occupied the site previously occupied by the acquarium which had closed in 1895.

387 Wonderland Tamarama

On 17 April 1907 a public park known by the name of ‘Tamarama Beach’ was proclaimed for public recreation, and Waverley Council was appointed as trustee. About the same time, the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club was established on the northern headland above Tamarama beach.

In 1916 Waverley Council again tried again to claim a greater area of Tamarama Gully for a public park but was again refused by the lands department. Finally, in 1920 the Government purchased an area of 7 acres fronting the bay and extending up the glen as far as Ashley St. “for public recreation”. It was proclaimed on 24 September 1920 as Tamarama Park.   In November 1920, Council accepted a proposal by a Mr. W. Scott-Griffiths to prepare a scheme for improvements to Tamarama Park.


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