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Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

Mountain areas in New Zealand generally require you to do some uphill hiking to see the best views, but luckily there is an easier option in Queenstown. Skyline Gondola, located a short walk from downtown Queenstown, takes you up a forested hill above town. From there you’ll see an amazing view over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range. It’s iconic Queenstown stuff and you won’t want to miss it.

Skyline Gondola

There’s something about a gondola ride (or cable car as they are more regularly known) – it’s exciting to be travelling through the air like that and they are always cruising over good views. Skyline Gondola in Queenstown is no different – the view of town and Lake Wakatipu slowly gets more panoramic as you near the top of Bob’s Peak. There isn’t a lot of variety in terms of views, and it’s quite a short ride compared to some of the others I’ve done around the world, but what awaits at the top is extra special.

READ MORE: Queenstown Itinerary: How to Spend Three-Seven Days in Queenstown

Skyline Gondola view, Queenstown, New ZealandSkyline Gondola, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Top

Queenstown views don’t get any more iconic than the one from the viewing area at the top of Skyline Gondola. It’s the perfect mix of town, lake, peninsulas and mountains and gives you a good idea of how amazing the scenery is in these parts. You can see other great views from many places in Queenstown, but this is the most famous (and for good reason). There a few places to eat and drink at the top making it a relaxing spot to spend a few hours. You can also do some shopping (check out the jelly bean shop).

The view from Bob's Peak, Skyline Gondola, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Luge

If you’re looking for some adventure with your views you should consider doing the luge. We did three rides and it was so much fun. I got passed by heaps of people on my first run (I’m a very careful driver and it’s hard to unlearn that!) but I got up some good speed on the final two runs. The luge is easy to control and moves quickly – I see how it could be scary for some people, but you can go slowly if you need to.

READ MORE: 15 of the Best Things to Do in Queenstown

The luge, Skyline Gondola, Queenstownluging in Queenstown, New Zealand

Ben Lomond

The Ben Lomond Track starts at the top of Skyline Gondola. It’s the best day hike in Queenstown (and one of the best in New Zealand) and I highly recommend doing at least some of it. The summit is special (especially in winter / early spring) but if you only go as far as the saddle you’ll still see some incredible vistas.

Ben Lomond, New ZealandBen Lomond summit, Queenstown, New Zealand

Tiki Trail

This steep forest track takes you from the bottom of Skyline Gondola to the top. It means you can save some money by not paying for the gondola. If you’re planning on doing the Ben Lomond hike you’ll definitely want to consider paying for it — any chance to avoid an hour of boring uphill walking on a day hike like this should be grasped with both hands.

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Check out our post about the top 6 Scenic Drives in Queenstown!

We were hosted by Skyline Gondola. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.