Friday, October 11, 2013

Rotorua Road Trip Part 3 - Skyline Gondola and Luge - AWESOME

The Luge and Overlooking Rotorua!

The Gondola 

The gondola ride is a must do!  Not only is it a fabulous way to take in all the sights of Rotorua in one long sweep, but it is a pretty relaxing and chilled way to rise up 900metres into the sky.  

The Gondola Up the Moutain

View from the top of the Gondolas 

To reach the Gondola is only several minutes drive from the centre of the town.   The Gondola travels up the side of Mount Ngongotaha, taking you 487 metres above sea level.  As you travel up the Gondola you are instantly transported into a quiet peaceful space where you can sit and watch the world below.  I appreciate it doesn't take that long to make it to the top but the trip up (and down) is tranquil and once you do make it - the view is worth it.   We were lucky when we went as the weather was outstanding - but in fairness, I would go even if the weather was dodgy.  I have in Queenstown and like here, it is spectacular.  In many respects you could swear you were in Queenstown if it wasn't for the the lack of snow capped mountains!! 

Start of the Luge at the top of the skyline 
Well made and maintained - a blast of fun!

This was FABULOUS!! I have been on the one in Queenstown and it is great - but this one is longer and (don't tell the southerners) better.  I am not the biggest adventurer these days - but I had a blast.  Whilst it is expensive, I have to say that it was good value for money.  The luge itself takes a good amount of time to ride, then the trip back up the chair lift is just quite simply, fun.   You can choose (after you do the slow track first) to go medium or fast.  

You travel back from the bottom of the Luge
via the Chair and Luge Lift - this is one of two

Overlooking the Lake 
 I handed my next trip to Squirt as an extra (and an excuse to hunt down a mocha from the cafe - incidentally I had to pay extra for a take out cup which I guess was ok but I wish they had been up front about it - fortunately the coffee was very very good) bit of fun so she could go by herself.   We were up there for the afternoon and could have stayed most of the day exploring the walking tracks and indulging on the luge.  A round trip was on average about 20 mins, so in my book that was not too bad for value.  The fun factor was high so that means it was a big hit.

Speeding down the Luge!!

The Jelly Belly Store 

I think this was also a bit expensive - but for a few dollars Squirt was able to buy some small packets of Gourmet Jelly Beans (which she shared) and that made her happy.  It is worth going in to look at all the interesting displays made from the jelly beans and to see what flavours they have.  

Such a fabulous day for the Luge
Coffee and Other
Whilst I only had a coffee from the cafe - by all accounts the restaurant is lovely and the cafe food looked fine.  You will pay a little more given it is a major tourist destination.  We declined the photos but if you wanted a professional photo then that option is there if you so choose.  

There is also the Skyswing and 4D theatre - neither of which we did due to lack of time and in the case of the Skyswing, a distinct lack of courage and adventurous  spirit.  But, those options are there as well.  

As you can see from the bottom of the Chair Lift - the luges are carried up as well
(whew you don't have to walk back!)

So, my rating - most definetly a 4.5 out of 5 - it was fun, and it was exhilarating.  Considering how pricey it is - if you asked me would I do it again?  Oh heck yes - with bells on!!!  It will be a must do every time we go to Rotorua from this day forth!

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