New Zealand, Reviews, Rotorua, Travel Review 18

Review of Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge – Fun Family Adventure!

We had our first campervan trip in New Zealand last week where we travelled around Rotorua, Bay of Plenty region and enjoyed a very packed 5 days filled with all kinds of activities – natural hot springs in the forest, luxery spa hot pools, 10k race in Redwoods, hiking, bursting geysers, zorbing, museums, experiencing Maori culture and a very new experience for us – Gondola and Luge!


What is Luge?

That’s the first thing I asked when Ashique suggested we do this as one of our ‘thrill seeking’ activities! In Rotorua this fun activity is provided by Skyline Luge Rotorua and in their words – “Part go-cart, part toboggan, the Rotorua Luge offers a truly unique outdoor experience that should be on your list of things to do in Rotorua” Kids wanted to do it as soon as we described to them what it was. You go on a gondola up the mountain and come winding down in a go cart! It is quite centrally located just a 10 minute drive from Rotorua City Centre. Winter opening hours are 9am to 5pm. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids cost $69 to start with but there are all kinds of deals here depending on how many rides or what else you want to combine the luge rides with. The picture below visually describes exactly what you will be doing.



It was a Bank holiday weekend – Queen’s Birthday – so we had the Monday off. Not sure if it is always this crowded or as a result of the long weekend. We got there late morning and already there were large crowds and long lines to get tickets.  It’s the first time in New Zealand that we faced long queues anywhere.  We took this scenic Gondola ride up the valley with lovely views of Rotorua lake and surrounding countryside.  We got helmets on and then waited half an hour in the queue for the first ride down. Once the ride was over you get to take another scenic chairlift ride back up to the restaurant area. At first I was nervous but once we started it was great fun!





The great thing about luging (is that even a word?) was the fact that kids of all ages could do it. We saw little ones aged 4 perhaps sitting in front of their moms or dads and kids a bit older riding on their own. Shama who is 7 could do on her own as well. There were 3 different levels you could do. The first time we did the beginners level, was just perfect for me. Second time around Ashique and Shahaar did the intermediate level. There was an advanced level as well for hardcore adventure and thrill seekers! The Gondola ride was fun as was the ‘ski lift’ ride back to the base where the café and restaurant was located and where the luge ride started.

At some point during the windy ride down, there is a side detour you can take and stop to take pictures with these dinosaurs!




The track was very windy at times but there are signs from before telling you to slow down. Obviously not everyone took this as a sign to slow down but rather speed up so they can then do a crazy turn when they get to the bend. Certain people from our group tried this too 😉 I kept it nice and steady the whole time.


Shama and I enjoyed a lovely meal at the café whilst Shahaar and Ashique went back for the second ride. Kids also enjoyed the jelly bean exhibition shop. They spent ages here looking at all the different figures made out of jellybeans!

Harry Potter made of Jelly Beans

Harry Potter made of Jelly Beans


All in all, a fun experience for the whole family. Something we would definitely recommend to others, only thing I would say is to try to go on a non busy day (if there is any day like that.) If you are adventure lovers like ourselves but need to tone it down if travelling with kids, Luge Rides is one way to get that thrill seeking pleasure whilst being in a safe and fun environment that the kids can enjoy as well.

Besides Auckland, we haven’t been to any other city as such, only lovely beaches, national parks and villages up in the Northland region. So it was quite nice to experience another city – not sure if Rotorua would qualify as a city – more like a big town with a diverse range of things to do. Our 5 days here was quite amazing, having the freedom of being in a campervan and finding hidden swimming holes, enjoying the hotpools at Waikete Valley Thermal Spas, hiking Rainbow mountain, luge fun, enjoy Maori cultural experience with Te Puia, visiting Rotorua Museum and the diverse range of restaurants to eat at! How did we fit it all I wonder! When we asked the kids which one was their favourite – Gondola and Luge with Skyline Rotorua was definitely up there on the top 🙂


We would like to thank SkyLine Luge Rotorua for the complimentary Gondola Passes. All opinions and views of our experience here is completely our own.

Linked to #MondayEscapes


and #Weekendwanderlust


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  • Joy says: June 9, 2015 at 10:49 am

    What an amazing day out – everything about this looks such great fun. Really enjoying your New Zealand posts – such a beautiful country and it seems like endless great family things to do!!

  • We Travel Together says: June 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Looks like a fun family day with lots of activities 🙂

  • Crysta says: June 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Love it! We were there a couple of years ago and had SO much fun!!!!

  • traudel says: June 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    “Luging” sounds like great fun! And a jelly bean exhibition – what a weird idea – but fun!

  • The Educational Tourist says: June 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    LOVE the art out of jelly beans! That is so cool and I’m sure kiddos loved it and the luge? What is NOT to love! Great fun!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

    • says: June 9, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      That was pretty cool to find jelly bean art! Quite random! Kids did love lugeing as did we 🙂

  • Shere says: June 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    when we were in rotorua the weather wasn’t so nice, so we didn’t went for the ride, but it really seems fun!!

    • says: June 9, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      We were really lucky with the weather..out of the 5 days there it only rained one of the days so could do a lot!

  • Katie says: June 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Glad to hear you guys loved Rotorua – I have been lugeing there since I was a kid and still love it! Out by the lakes is absolutely stunning and I would definitely consider living there

    • says: June 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      It is so gorgeous in this area! Must have been so much fun lugeing as kids over the years 🙂 I really think kiwi kids have the best childhood, so much outdoors stuff to do in such a safe environment too!

  • Jolanta | Casual Traveler says: June 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an attraction like this anywhere else, but tell me – can you actually stop these things if need be? I would probably go on the easy route, just like you. I’m not a big fan of high speeds. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do it, but i’s fun reading about it.

    • says: June 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      I hadn’t either or heard of the word luge until we got here! There is a brake you can pull to stop, I pulled it often 🙂 They keep it quite safe so that even little ones can do it, I think worst you just bump really hard onto others in front of you or get hit in the back by someone, again just a hard bump. Thankfully didn’t happen to us! All in all it was a fun experience, especially for the kids.

  • Ting at My Travel Monkey says: June 11, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    What an amazing day out. The Luge looks so much fun, I think I would have wanted to go on it again and again! I can imagine it must have been a shock to see a queue in NZ! But even from your photos it still looked pretty calm! Very jealous! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  • beatravelling says: June 13, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I too enjoyed Rotorua a lot! Just wish I had a bit more time.

  • Fairlie says: June 13, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I went on the Skyline Luge in Sentosa Island in Singapore – it was so much fun! I particularly liked that I could control how fast (or not!) I was going. We spent the first couple of days of our honeymoon in Roturua many years ago – but haven’t been back since. I’d love to visit gain.

  • Christine says: June 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Have just discovered your great blog via #MondayEscapes. Am rather envious of your NZ trip; we took the kids there when they were much younger (1 and 4) so didn’t get to do quite as many adventurous activities (they’d love the luge if they went now). It’s a beautiful country, look forward to reading more.

  • Anda says: September 9, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Luging seems pretty safe and still, the shock that you could get from an impact is not a joke. I’ve tried it when I was a kid myself and I remember having a neck pain for a few days after that. Back in Romania kids were way more aggressive and they would hit you on purpose.

  • LookintohawaiiDotCom says: January 4, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Looks like a BLAST. One day I hope to give it a go.
    Tom @

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