Queenstown, New Zealand – Skyline Queenstown

My last day in Queenstown was a quiet one. I had some work to do, so I relaxed in my hotel until about 1pm.

I wanted to get one last great view of the area, and there’s no better way to do that than from Skyline Queenstown, which sits high on a hill above the town. It’s a large entertainment complex that is accessed either by gondola or by hiking up. Despite my well-documented feelings toward heights, I opted for the gondola.

On the way up the short hill to the bottom Skyline Queenstown gondola station, I passed the Kiwi Birdlife Park. It looks like an interesting wildlife park dedicated to the endangered kiwi & other animals, but since I didn’t have a ton of time, I skipped it (the 45 NZD fee also helped me make that decision, though they do a lot of conservation work with that money).

kiwi-birdlife-park

A ticket on the gondola up to the top of Skyline Queenstown is 32 NZD. It’s a little steep in both senses of the word, but you pay for the views. There are also ticket add-ons, including rides on the luge track at the top. I was intrigued by that, but it seemed like it would be more fun with people rather than solo, so I decided just to do the gondola. I bought my ticket, and since it was a fairly quiet weekday afternoon, I got a private gondola ride up to the top.

skyline-queenstown-new-zealand

queenstown-gondola

The ride takes perhaps five minutes or so. The gondola swung a bit, but not too badly. There were sheep grazing on the mountain.

Once I was at the top, I checked out the huge entertainment complex at the top. There’s a restaurant with large windows looking down over Queenstown, plus a cafe and ice cream shop.

skyline-queenstown-restaurant

skyline-queenstown-gondola

There is also an outdoor deck that rings the building, so you can get an even better view. Yes, that’s a bungee jumping platform. No, there’s no way I would ever do it.

queenstown-new-zealand

queenstown-panorama

Inside, there was this jelly bean poster of Elijah Wood/Frodo Baggins.

jellybean-frodo-baggins

The building can get crowded, but if you want to get away from people, there are many hiking & mountain biking options in the area. You can continue your hike upward into the mountains toward Ben Lomond, or you can hike back down to Queenstown. Many of the people on the mountain that day were mountain bikers who had brought their bikes up on the gondola, then were going to ride back down to Queenstown.

skyline-queenstown-mountain-biking

skyline-loop-track

I chose to do a short forest loop hike. The forest walk was nice, though if you take it expecting better views of the valleys below, you won’t see much until the very end of the loop.

skyline-queenstown-hiking

queenstown-forest

queenstown-hikes

queenstown-paragliding

After my hike, I arrived at the top of the luge track, which looked like a lot of fun. There is a chairlift up to the very top of the run, then you ride back down on your luge. Tickets weren’t actually too expensive, so I began to have some pangs of regret. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to buy a single ticket if you’ve hiked to the top, which seems like a missed opportunity. There weren’t a ton of people out hiking where I was, but a single ride down the hill would have been cool.

queenstown-luge

skyline-queenstown-luge

Instead, I walked back down to the main Skyline building, then took the gondola back down to Queenstown.

Back on the ground, as I ate some peanut butter banana, gingerbread, and hokey pokey (honeycomb) gelato at Mrs. Ferg Gelateria, I wished that I’d had more time in Queenstown. I would be leaving on the bus to Franz Josef in the morning.

mrs-ferg-gelateria

mrs-ferg-gelateria-queenstown

There’s a booming tourist economy in the Queenstown region at the moment, but that has also brought with it a housing shortage. It’s easy to see why both parts of that statement are true. Queenstown is the sort of naturally beautiful place that a lot of people visit, and some stay forever.

Read below for all of my posts about my trip around the Pacific Rim!

A trip around the Pacific Rim – Introduction
OneWorld Business Lounge Los Angeles LAX review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Boeing 777-300ER Los Angeles LAX to Hong Kong HKG review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Airbus A330 Hong Kong HKG to Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral review
A layover in Kuala Lumpur – Street markets & Petronas Towers
Cathay Pacific Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL satellite review
Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL satellite review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Airbus A330-300 Kuala Lumpur KUL to Auckland AKL review
Air New Zealand Economy Class Airbus A320 Auckland AKL to Queenstown ZQN review
Queenstown Motel Apartments – Queenstown, New Zealand review
Queenstown, New Zealand – A Lord of the Rings tour
Day trip from Queenstown, New Zealand – Milford Sound
Queenstown, New Zealand – Skyline Queenstown
Craft beer in Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown to Franz Josef, New Zealand by bus
Hiking to Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Franz Josef to Nelson, New Zealand by bus
Fellworth House – Nelson, New Zealand review
A beer & wine tour through Nelson, New Zealand
The best craft beer in Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson to Wellington, New Zealand by bus and ferry via Picton
A nerdy day at Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand
Exploring the museums & parks of Wellington, New Zealand
The best craft beer in Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand by bus
New Year’s Eve in Auckland, New Zealand
A rainy New Year’s Day at the Auckland War Memorial Museum
A rainy day at the Auckland Art Gallery & New Zealand Maritime Museum
The best craft beer in Auckland, New Zealand
Emperor Lounge Auckland AKL review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Airbus A330-300 Auckland AKL to Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur review
A layover in Kuala Lumpur – Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia & Jalan Alor
Malaysia Airlines Golden Regional Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Boeing 737-800 Kuala Lumpur KUL to Hong Kong HKG review
A visit to Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong for dim sum
A rainy day in Hong Kong – Science Museum & Kau Kee noodles
Hong Kong – Victoria Peak & more great food
More dim sum in Hong Kong – Din Tai Fung & Dim Sum Square
A day trip to Macau from Hong Kong
Grand City Hotel Hong Kong review
The best craft beer in Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong review
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Business Class Lounge Hong Kong review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong HKG to Osaka KIX via Taipei review
A layover in Osaka – Ramen, sushi, & exploring the city
JAL Sakura Lounge Osaka KIX review
JAL Business Class Boeing 787 Osaka KIX to Los Angeles LAX review

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