Skyline Gondola and Restaurant, Queenstown
Even if you don't try the luge or have dinner in the buffet restaurant, you should definitely take a trip up to Bob's Peak on the Skyline Gondola. The view is breathtaking. There are a couple souvenir shops that have anything you might collect but of course, as with any other tourist spot...the prices are a little expensive.
We got our picture taken as we got into the gondola and actually purchased it when we got back to the bottom as the attendant gave us a huge discount because we were on our honeymoon. Those kiwis, there they go again...being ultra nice!
We caught some sheep and mountain goats having a snack below us as we traveled up.
If you walk up the hill or take the Skyline Gondola - the view from the deck of the Gondola on Bob's Peak is a must for every Queenstown visitor. It offers such a spectacular 220° view of Lake Wakatipu and the mountain ranges, especially Cecil and Walter Peaks on the opposite side of the lake, and to the Remarkables - breathtaking!
Apart from enjoying the views or having a coffee in the restaurant you can start various walks from the Gondola station, and there is also the possibility to race down the slopes in a luge on wheels, or do the AJ Hackett's Ledge Bungy or Swing, or take off on a tandem parapente flight.
The first Gondola travelled up Bob's Peak on 3 November 1967. In 1987 the multi-coloured bubble cars were replaced with a new lift from Austria. In 1994 a massive upgrade took place, and a wall of 30 tonnes of plate glass was installed. This expanded the views to Coronet Peak and the valley towards Arrowtown.
The Skyline is the steepest gondola in NZ - but this is the only superlative if you are into superlatives. The Christchurch Gondola is longer and has a bigger elevation.
The facts (and facts of Chch Gondola):
Bottom Terminal Elevation: 340m (78)
Top Terminal: 790m (445)
Vertical Rise: 450m (367)
Total Length: 730m (861)
Incline Angle: average of 37.1 degrees (23.1)
View: 220° (360)
Operating Hours: Open daily from 9am until late
Price (valid until Sept. 2009): $ 22, children $ 10.
Combo (Gondola plus 1 Luge Ride): $ 29/19 (and it gets cheaper the more luge rides you buy...)
Wow! What a view you get!
I think this is a must do when in Queenstown!
A spectacular 220 degree panorama overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, Cecil & Walter Peaks and the beautiful Remarkable Mountain Ranges, is what we saw, what more could we ask for, it is breathtaking! The large viewing decks give plenty of chances to view the magnificent scenery from many different angles.
The Gondola ride is reputed to be the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, taking you to the Skyline complex located on Bob's Peak.
Perhaps if you took the slow ride up, you may want to take the fast ride down, I certainly didn't do it, was quite happy to go by Gondola both ways!
The Luge will allow you to hurtle down the 800metres in very fast time!
Make sure you get your free Skyline trail map at the Information desk. There are a few 30min walks, then some longer ones that you can do.
FOOD & SOUVENIRS
Snack food, drinks and a proper Restaurant was located here. Of course, there is a Souvenir shop!
PRICES UNTIL 30 Sept 2010
Gondola only...Adult... $23.00 ..child$12.00 ... Family.. $59.00
Gondola operates 365 days a year from 9.00am to late.
Gondola & 1 Luge ride $30.00 ADULT $20.00 CHILD $79.00 FAMILY
Gondola & 2 Luge rides $35.00 & $25.00
Gondola & Buffet Lunch* $47.00... $22.00.... $115.00
Gondola & Buffet Dinner* $72.00 ....$32.00..... $175.00
Gondola, Buffet Dinner* & Kiwi Haka...... $104.00
Do go, you won't be disappointed!
Be sure to take the Skyline Gondola (Approx $17NZD) to the top to view Queenstown from the top. One can clearly see the mountain formations that are carved from the last ice age. It is definitely promises fantastic pictures for the avid photographer. Good time to go up would be early in the morning. This is the time when the clouds are low hanging above the lake and this makes Queenstown exhibit a heavenly like quality. Plus, there is opportunities up there for you to try the Luge (Approx $6NZD per ride) as well as tandem para gliding. Luge is bob-sledding on a concrete track. tandem para gliding (Approx $185NZD per ride - comes with a roll of pictures that the instructor takes for you while you are up there) involves making a jump with an instructor with a parachute and sailing down to Queenstown below riding the drift and thermals.
Just about every tourist who comes to Queenstown experiences a ride on the gondola up to Skyline, the restaurant/cafe/shop with the great panorama of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, and Queenstown. There's also a luge there to ride on and you can bungy jump, swing, or take a paraglide as well!
I think it cost me NZ$14 to buy a return gondola ticket, but I can't be sure.
The view is stunning. Here's the title photo again just to tempt you...
This is one of the premier tourist attractions to Queenstown, and in my opinion needs to be experienced. The three main elements of this attraction are the gondola, the restaurant, and the Luge. As a person who is scared of heights, I would highly recommend looking directly into the mountain while taking the gondola up the hill, but if you are slightly more adventurous, turn around for one of the most breathtaking views you will ever experience in your life. This is by far one of the most picturesque rides you will ever take as you scale the side of the mountain.
Once you are up at the top of the hill, you will enter into the area which contains the restaurant. As we went to this adventure early in the morning, I can only verify that there is in fact a restaurant, but we did not try the food, and therefore I can not give you my opinion on it.
The third option in this trifecta of fun is the Luge.... wow, this was fun. There is an advanced and a beginner course for you to try and you can also ride double if you want to bring a child along or a less advanced rider.
The Queenstown gondola is reputed to be the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere and is located a five minute walk from the CBD.
It's also the final part of the 'Shotover High Five Combo' and finishes up in Queenstown.
Gondola Quick Stats -
•Bottom Terminal Elevation: 340m
•Top Terminal: 790m
•Vertical Rise: 450m
•Total Length: 730m
•Incline Angle: average of 37.1 degrees
•Average Speed: Variable to 3.5m/sec
•Capacity: 700 people/hour in twenty six 4 person cabins
•Operating Hours: Open daily from 9.00am until late
Departure Times: 8:15am , 1:45pm
Duration: 2.5 hours
Price: NZ$255.00 (Adult), NZ$195.00 (Child)
Skyline is reached by Gondola cableway which take you to 450 metres above Queenstown. There are sensational niews from the top and you can see Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. The gondola base station is located 5 minutes walk from central Queenstown. You can fit 4 people in each cabin and costs $15. Whilst at the top you can also have a go on the Luge track. The boys had a go, but I opted for a Parapente instead.
The Skyline Gondola in Queenstown offers magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountain ranges. They have a buffet dinner which we didn't try, and offer rides on a mountain luge which seemed like a lot of fun. I'd take the trip up just for the views.
Unfortunately, they weren't offering the tandem paraglides while we were up there, but I've heard those are a tremendous amount of fun to watch, even if you choose not to participate.
One thing that doesn't seem to be mentioned a lot are the hikes from the top of the Gondola. They offer even more unusual views, and an exposure to some of the beauty of New Zealand. You can find out more information here:
Walking from the Gondola
If you are feeling energetic, and it's a nice day, why not walk up the hill to the top Gondola terminal. Along Lake Esplanade, towards Glenorchy, you will find the beginning of the track, near the roundabout that branches off to Fernhill. There are various routes to take, but the trek to the Gondola takes approximately 1 hour. Of course this is a bit of a climb up a hill, but you can pace yourself depending on your fitness, and you don't exactly need to be an athlete to do this. It's a nice walk through the trees, and is a relatively good track. You will need, however, to wear flat shoes. You do cross a few other tracks, so take note at the bottom, of the route you should be taking. I took this photo of the map on the day I did the walk, so I could zoom in on the picture to check my route as I went.
Once up at the top gondola terminal, you can go to the Souvenir shop to buy a gondola ticket down, for $10.
The Skyline Complex sits high above Queenstown on Bob's Peak, 790m above sea level and is reached by Gondola Cableway. Enjoy panoramic views of lake and mountain while dining in the restaurant or coffee shop, or ride the two luge tracks for even more fun.
A Gondola ride is a must do activity in Queenstown. You could purchase a single gondola ticket or combo package at the Skyline counter.
And remember to smile for the camera crew at the Skyline Gondola so that you could purchase the souvenier back.
The gondola is one of the steepest gondola that carries its visitors 400m above Queenstown to the Skyline complex located on Bob's Peak.Even if you are scared of heights just like me, you will be amazed by the sceneries and you will enjoy this short journey on the gondola.
Each cabin takes 4 passenger at a price of NZ$19 (prices are increasing).
Just outside the cafe you will find a few paragliding instructor trying to get you to do the tandem paragliding with them.
You could have an adrenaline rush even without doing the ledge bungy jump from the top of the Skyline Gondola.
A tandem paragliding would cost about NZ$185. And it comes with a roll of pictures that the instructor takes for you while you are up there. Do give it a try if you could afford it and have the guts to do it.
I didnt have the guts and was eventually saved by the slight drizzling and the instructors started to pack up.
my favorite activity..there are so many trails to explore, either by foot or biking. My favorite is "Skippers road" in the "skippers canyon" of course. It's easy to get to, for info ask people from your hotel or just open any map!
The road is really steep and windy and not for the faint hearted; lots of fun!
There's cool history behind it, as it was made by miners looong time ago; check out the weblink below
The Skyline provide unlimited free chairlift rides.
The 2 seater chairlift takes both the riders and their luge carts back to the top of the hill.
For those who have purchase more than one ride on the luge, they need not walk up using the athe walking track.
Take a few rides on the chairlift because its free and one trip is never enough.