Newest Review: ... are extremely steep, so beware if you;re driving a campervan or smaller engine car. As its such a busy town, the car parks quickly fill up... more
Member Name: cools952
Skyline Gondola, Restaurant and Luge (Queenstown, New Zealand)
Advantages: Incredible views, luge great fun
Disadvantages: A little expensive, car parking
Queenstown is known as the extreme sports capital of New Zealand and so it was with some trepidation that we visited this area, concerned with what regretable activities we would be encouraged to partake in. One of the first attractions we visited however, was the Skyline Gondola which offers a variety of activities whether you enjoy all things "extreme" or not.
Before I fully review this place I must warn you that parking here is an absolute nightmare! Owing to its mountainous terrain, many of the streets in Queenstown, particularly when you approach the base of the mountain, are extremely steep, so beware if you;re driving a campervan or smaller engine car. As its such a busy town, the car parks quickly fill up. So if you don't want to have a 15-20 minute uphill walk from the next nearest parking space, make sure you arrive here early as there is a car park right by the gondola entrance.
About $25 will pay for your trip on the gondola to Bob's Peak and although this is quite expensive for what is essentially a chairlift, it provides some quite incredible views over the town and surroundings along with access to the other activities. I can honestly say that some of our best shots of New Zealand were taken here and that is despite visits to the more scenic Milford Sound and Bay of Islands.
The gondola ride itself is not for the feint hearted and is quite steep. On a windy day, even the most adrent non vertigo sufferer will have concerns! At the top, I headed straight for the luge track which isn't quite as "extreme" as it sounds! It basically comprises of a one seater go kart with a steering wheel, brakes and no engine! You travel down one of the two downhill courses (the beginners one is mandatory before taking on the "extreme" course!) and return via a small chairlift. Despite my initial disappointment that this wouldn't be more silimar to the Winter Olympics event, this was great fun and those participating ranged from children to pensioners alike.
The mountain provides other activities too and had a good cafe and restaurant along with a walking trail which takes about 30 minutes to navigate. Weather can be an issue as even though it was a sunny day when we visited, you are on the top of a mountain so it is chilly, bring a jumper! Expect to find the usual souvenir shops and Maori exhibits that adhorn most places in NZ and obviosuly there are options to bungee jump off the side of the mountain which I observed and looked terrifying! All of these things come at an extra price which makes the gondola experience feel a little over priced if I'm going to be overly critical.
Summary: Well worth a visit if in Queenstown
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