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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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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