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The Christchurch Gondola: Awesome Harbour and City Views!

The Christchurch Gondola: Awesome Harbour and City Views!

We’ve always been fascinated with cable cars. Riding a cable car / gondola / funicular is a great chance to see a place from a whole new perspective. On our recent trip to Christchurch we took a ride on the Christchurch Gondola. The central city is known for its flat terrain in comparison to other cities in the South Island such as Queenstown and Dunedin, so we thought it would be a great idea to see Christchurch from a different vantage point.

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The Christchurch Gondola

From the base located at Heathcote Valley, the Christchurch Gondola traverses the slopes of Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills. The gondola ride takes about 10-minutes each way, and with its glass-enclosed gondolas, you can safely take pleasure in the impressive views along the way.

At the Top

The best part of the Christchurch Gondola experience happens at the top. Located at the top of Mount Cavendish, 445 metres above sea level, the summit of the Christchurch Gondola offers spectacular views over the city and beautiful alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch. The panoramic views at the top includes Christchurch harbour, Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, the mountains towards Kaikoura, Lyttleton and the Banks Peninsula. Make sure to take some time to time to explore parts of Mount Cavendish, which is accessible just outside the Christchurch Gondola terminal. If you have more time and feeling adventurous, you can also wander and explore one of the many walking tracks including the famous Bridle Path or hike to the Crater Rim. If you choose to stay at the terminal, you can spend some time at the Red Rock Café for a coffee (or in our case a milk shake). There is also a souvenir shop here and a small attraction, the Time Tunnel experience.

Christchurch Gondola: The details

The Christchurch Gondola is one of the top tourist attractions in Christchurch and it’s nice to get out of the centre city, where there are still so many reminders of the tragic earthquakes of 2010 / 2011. The Christchurch Gondola return ticket costs $30 each for adults and $15 each for children.  They also have a family pass (2 adults + up to 3 children) which costs $75.

The base of the gondola is located around a 20-minute drive from downtown Christchurch (head towards Lyttleton — use Google Maps!). You can also catch a bus there – from the city catch bus 28 which also runs to Lyttleton. We visited Lyttleton after the gondola and it seemed like a nice little harbourside suburb – there’s not a lot to see for tourists though.

Walks in Christchurch

We considered doing the Bridle Path but then realised we’d see the same views on the gondola, and it was a lot easier than walking! The best hike in Christchurch, in our opinion, is the Taylor’s Mistake to Godley Head Track. Check out our post about it!

Taylor’s Mistake to Godley Head

Are you planning a trip to Christchurch? Will you ride the Christchurch Gondola? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.