If you’re looking for a killer view of Queenstown without A. hiking or B. paying loads of money for a scenic flight- look no further than Skyline Queenstown. It’s right in town and makes for a fun outing any time of day. You can make reservations to dine in their restaurant, buy tickets for their insanely fun luge course, haul your bike up and mountain bike down, or just ride the gondola to the top for the best view of Queenstown and her lakes.
Queenstown Skyline Practical Information:
Gondola Hours: Open at 9AM daily. The last gondola down coincides with the restaurant hours.
Restaurant Hours: Lunch reservations are available from 11:30-1:30PM. Dinner reservations are from 4:30-8:45PM. All dining times are limited to 90 minutes.
Luge Hours: Open at 10AM daily. Closes from 6PM-8PM based on demand and sunset hours. Check their website for accurate closing time.
Gondola tickets: Adult- $28.50/44 NZD, child (ages 5-14) $16.80/26 NZD
Gondola+Dinner– from $64/99 NZD adult, $35/ 54 NZD children
Gondola +5 luge rides– Adults $43/67 NZD, child $31.50/ 49 NZD
Mountain biking: Adults $29/45 NZD, child $19.40/ 30 NZD
*Visit here for more deals and combo options as well as family ticket prices
*If you are thinking of doing bungee or white water activities- check to see if they offer combo tickets to get further discounts off these costs
*If you are in the area for several days, check the site First table (on your first day) for reservations and awesome discounts at the restaurant
*There are cheaper tickets for only 2 luge runs but trust me you want at least 5.
Our experience at Skyline Queenstown:
We unfortunately were not in the area early enough to catch reservations for the restaurant on First Table so I can’t attest to the food (although friends of mine went and said it was very good) we did however get to do the luge. Maybe it was the fact that half our tours in Queenstown were cancelled due to weather and we were happy just to do it, or maybe it’s because the luge really is the coolest cheap thrill you can find in Queenstown- either way I highly recommend it.
The gondola up itself is worth it (although you can hike for free). The ride is over in under 10 minutes and the views from the top are just insane. We were lucky to have a clearing in the week long rain and were up there close to sunset so the lighting was just brilliant.
The gondola spits you out like all rides in a gift shop. From there you can follow the path outside and down a slight hill to the start of a short ski lift which you can ride (no tickets needed) even higher up the hill to the start of the luge courses. We grabbed some helmets for the luge and hopped on the lift which took another 10 minutes or less and had even better views than the gondola.
At the top of the lift station there are more toilets, a walking trail that has picnic tables along it if you choose to walk down, and the beginning of the luge course. For the first ride down you have to go in the left line where the explain the rules and working of the sleds and you start on an easier track. The line was about 5-10 minutes for explanations and we got released in small groups of 4 -6.
Luging at Skyline Queenstown
The ride is sort of a cross between go carting and an alpine slide if you’ve experienced one of those. It’s a wide cement track (perfect for passing slow pokes) with twists, tunnels, and a few short drops. The toboggan sled requires you to push forward to go forward and allows for steering which requires BOTH hands.* You can really go as fast or slow as you want just keeping mind that on tight turns if you feel the wheels lift up you might want to take it a little slower.
Depending on how fast you go, each run lasts between 1 minute to 3 minutes and there are 2 different runs you can take.
*Don’t plan on holding a camera or phone in your hands as it is impossible to operate at the same time. Instead if you have a gopro- make sure to bring your mount as there were several helmets that already had a gopro mount fitting for videos.
We did the slower track the first time through and then did the faster one the rest of our 4 rides. The line was never longer than 5-10 minutes and we had an absolute blast zipping down the track over and over again. Trust me, even 5 won’t feel like enough.
Once we’d finished our rides, we rode the lift up one last time in order to walk down to the gondola station and enjoy the views a little longer. Back at the station we got some gifts from the gift shop and hopped in the gondola for the ride back down.
All in all, the gondola and luge was a highlight of our trip to New Zealand and if you’re in Queenstown, it’s a must do. Everyone can go their own speeds so even the less thrill seeking members of your group can have an enjoyable ride.