NZ Travel/Food Guide: Gondola & Stratosfare Restaurant

So after doing some research to find that the Skyline Gondola is a must do in Queenstown, we decided to check ouT to see if there were any deals for this at all. As we were planning to take the gondola the very next morning, it was highly likely that this would be booked out ! Unfortunately, no spots were available on so we had to check out other websites. We ended up on Viator and luckily found the deal. It was a bit different on Viator because after we paid for the reservation, we were notified that we needed to await for confirmation of available spots. Not too sure if this was something that was required specifically for dining deals on Viator but being the fact that it was the next day, we had to call the restaurant directly to check. Thankfully they did, so our last minute bookings went pretty smoothly for us. Talk about being lucky! We managed to scrape through with the many ‘on-time arrivals’ to all our activities and sometimes even 5-10 minutes late.

If you stay at Pinewood Lodge, you save about 10 minutes of driving around the area to get to the bottom of the gondola. At the lodge, there’s a short bush passage which you can take which gets you there in about 5 minutes – and that’s walking not driving !

You can get your tickets via the website or even at the place but ours was covered as part of the deal which includes the gondola ride and the lunch buffet at the Stratosfare restaurant.

Stratosfare restaurant

Unfortunately, Stratosfare only does buffet dining so you can’t casually rock up for a short lunch or dinner.

The view is honestly amazing, overlooking the entire Queenstown city. If you dine at night, it’ll be a city of lights but you obviously won’t be able to see the entire city.

Stratosfare restaurant

From my experience, I’d say if you want the full view of the mountains and the lake, definitely go during the day or towards sunset. At night, you’ll only be able to see the city filled with lights, not the surrounding lakes and mountains as it’ll just be pitch black !

view from Stratosfare restaurant

To check out what the restaurant looks like inside, especially the buffet section, check out my previous video post of NZ!

After finishing our lunch, we decided to go outside for a bit instead of taking the gondola down immediately. You can enjoy the same view as you did in the restaurant, but with the addition of the beautiful, cool breeze.

view from Skyline Gondola

Stratosfare is just on the right side of this view, sitting just at the peak of the mountain. However, if you want to get to the absolute peak of this mountain to see the full surrounding view, you’d have to do the Ben Lomond hike. It’s not the easiest hike, and will definitely take at least 4 hours to get you to the peak.

view from Skyline Gondola

Skyline also offers a luge experience, right beside this beautiful view.

view from Skyline Gondola

I highly recommend making a visit to this location.You can get the same view on the other side, but the image you capture here is exactly what you see when you google Queenstown. It’s amazing when you can put those images right in front of your eyes in real life.

Photographs captured by : Jenifer Pham & Daixi Huang



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