Hang on tight! Skyline Queenstown affords the city’s best views, but the gondola ride isn’t for the faint of heart. Zipping up 1,475 feet (450 meters) to the top of Bob’s Peak takes about 10 minutes aboard the steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere. En route, enjoy 220-degree vistas of Queenstown, the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. At the top, dine at the mountaintop Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar amid panoramic views while the Skyline Luge track—with two steepness options, one easy enough for kids—sends adventurous riders screaming on their return trip to the mountain’s base.
The Skyline Queenstown complex offers single round-trip gondola tickets as well as combo tickets pairing the gondola and the luge and the gondola and a buffet-style lunch or dinner experience at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar. After the thrilling ride and stunning views, evening visitors can opt to experience a traditional Maori haka at the top of Bob’s Peak; tickets are bundled with the gondola return ride. Other Skyline activities include mountain biking and after-dark stargazing.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Alternate routes down the mountain include walking tracks in the Ben Lomond Reserve and mountain biking trails in the Queenstown Bike Park (in season)
- Family bundles—with return fare for two adults and a maximum of three kids—offer good cost savings
- Skyline stargazing tours must be booked at least 24 hours in advance
- Maximize your Queenstown experience with a discounted combo ticket for a gondola ride plus other local adventures, like skydiving, bungee jumping, a helicopter ride, a jet boat tour, or canyon swinging
- Kids under 3 feet 6 inches tall (110 centimeters) must ride in tandem with an adult
How to Get There
The Skyline Gondola is a few blocks northwest of downtown Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu. Follow Rees or Camp Streets west to Man Street, then at Brecon Street head up to base camp. The Skyline Gondola cars streaming up the peak are easy to spot from points around town.
When to Get There
The gondola operates 365 days a year, heading up the mountain from 9am to 8:45pm. It can be busy around midday and on weekends; to avoid crowds, make the trip in the late afternoon and before dinner. Because ride tickets aren’t timed, if you’re planning for lunch or dinner at the top, plan to depart 30 to 45 minutes prior to your reservation to make sure you arrive with plenty of photo-taking time to spare. Lunch reservations are available from noon to 1:45pm, while dinner runs between 5:30 and 8:45pm. The luge is open daily from 10am to 7pm.
The Kiwi Haka at the Top
The short (30- to 45-minute) but informative Kiwi Haka cultural performances are a nighttime highlight for many Skyline visitors. A half dozen Maori share their traditional culture through song, dance, and question-and-answer session in an intimate theater seating only 75 people. Audience participation is encouraged, and there are four nightly shows (at 5:15, 6, 7:15, and 8pm). For the best deal, book your tickets before your gondola ride up—the cost of the performance includes your round-trip transportation.