The Queenstown gondola should be one of your first activities if you are visiting Queenstown.
Taking you high above Queenstown to Bob's Peak, the Queenstown gondola is a truly memorable experience and is one of our all time favorite things to do in Queenstown.
A combination of breathtaking views and a variety of things to do once you reach the top, makes this one of those family friendly places where you can easily pass the day.
On a clear day it's a wonderful place to sit and relax with a coffee, and on those colder winter days, the views of the surrounding snow capped mountains have you snapping away on your camera.
The first time we visited Queenstown we stood in the town centre and looked up at the gondola thinking "Wow" we have to do that. Our first gondola trip lead to dozens more as it quickly became one of those things we can't resist in Queenstown.
There is a real sense of anticipation as you hop on to your gondola car. The journey begins slowly as you make your way out of the access area and before you know your ascent begins.
The views on the way up are stunning and we are always amazed at the skills of the construction workers who were able to build the huge supporting pylons on the side of such a steep incline!
After a few minutes you reach the top and enter the Skyline complex.
So much to see and do
The trip up to the top is only the start of the fun at the Queenstown gondola complex.
There is so much to see and do up there and it's really easy to lose track of time.
Here's a brief summary of the treats up top:
Okay we have to admit that we are addicted to the luge.
Offering a choice of two tracks, this infectious ride takes you downhill, inches above the track, on a small ground hugging cart, through a series of bends over an 800 metre stretch of concrete. Beginners should take the gentler blue track until you get comfortable, before progressing to the red track.
Over the years we have had literally dozens and dozens of runs and we highly recommend the luge.
You can see what all the excitement is about for yourself - check out the video at the bottom of the page.
Stratosfare Bar and Restaurant
With perhaps the best view on the mountain, the restaurant and bar are very popular and offer both lunch and dinner options.
For the best seats, bookings are essential.
You can make your bookings for the buffet lunch or buffet dinner right here - just click on the button
The Market Kitchen offers cafe style food with everything from cakes, sandwiches and coffee, to fish and chips, pizza, curries, and many "cooked on site" special treats. And all with that famous view in the background.
Kiwi Haka show
This Maori cultural show tells the story of the traditional Maori people through song and dance.
They perform the iconic haka and a very energetic poi display, watched from the comfort of your tiered seating in a dedicated theatre. If you haven't been to a Maori cultural show in New Zealand, it's well worth a visit.
With its clear night skies, Queenstown is the perfect place to star gaze!
Viewed on special telescopes high above the gondola, the 75 minute experience reveals, in fine detail, so many sights not available with the naked eye, like the Southern Cross, the Milky Way, and planets.
It's a really relaxing experience and well worth a try.
The obligatory souvenir shop has a large range of New Zealand inspired souvenirs, with something to suit all budgets. It's a good spot to grab a few post cards or some gifts for everyone back home.
They also have a range of more expensive items like jewellery and carvings.
The Queenstown Bike Park sits above the gondola and has over 30 km of world quality tracks.
You can pay your fee, attach your mountain bike to your gondola car, take it up to the mountain bike park, and start riding!
We are not into mountain biking, so we haven't tried the park, but all reports are that the 27 trails are very, very good, with something to suit all skill levels
The legendary AJ Hackett began the bungy craze at the original Kawarau bridge site near Queenstown.
These days there are several bungy sites in Queenstown and the gondola complex is home to the "Ledge" bungy and swing. Imagine jumping or swinging off a platform 400 metres above Queenstown!
Check out the video at the bottom of the page!
We haven't tried these, but have jumped off the Kawarau bridge and can honestly say that it was the most exciting thing we have ever done.
There are lots of great trails at the top of the mountain, with walks from 30 minutes to 6 hours.
A trail map can be obtained from the information desk at the top of the gondola, or for a more detailed map, visit the Department of Conservation office in Stanley Street.
You can pre-book a range of Queenstown gondola activities.
View the range by clicking HERE.
Access to the Queenstown gondola is from Brecon Street, which is a short five minute walk from the main Queenstown shopping area.
There is a car park at the base of the gondola, but parking can be tight on busy days, so it's best to leave your car back at your accommodation if you can.
Parking in central Queenstown is always difficult and is mostly pay as you use. Queenstown is also very hilly, so unless you are staying close to the centre of town, expect some hills if walking to or from the shopping centre.
For those reasons we highly recommend staying close to the central business area.
Visitor friendly hours
The Queenstown gondola is open from 9.00 a.m. daily, and closes at 9.00 p.m. for trips up the mountain.
The luge opens at 10 a.m. daily. During the shorter daylight months it closes at 5.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. However as the days lengthen, it remains open for longer, and in January closes at 9.00 p.m.
Stratosfare Bar and Restaurant is open for lunch from 12 .00 noon to 2.00 p.m. daily.
The Market Kitchen cafe is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
The Kiwi Haka show has four or five performances daily with the first usually commencing around 4.15 p.m.
Stargazing tours operate every night with start time varying throughout the year. You will need to allow around two hours including time on the gondola.
The souvenir shop is open daily from 9.30 a.m.
Please note that times are subject to change without notice.