Christchurch Gondola

Cruise past shimmering blue lakes and snow-capped mountains on your way to the top of Mount Cavendish.

Admire spectacular 360-degree views as you take a ride in the Christchurch Gondola. Have a drink or something to eat at the café before you gently descend back toward the city skyline.

Departing from the station in Heathcote Valley, the gondola travels for almost a kilometre (0.5 mile) to the peak of Mount Cavendish at approximately 450 metres (1,480 feet) above sea level. Part of the Port Hills, Mount Cavendish is a section of the crater wall of an extinct volcano.

Once inside your carriage, relax and enjoy this opportunity to see Christchurch from a unique perspective. Pass over fields of lush green ferns and dense shrubs. As you approach the end of the ride, look for black lines of lava flow that have been preserved over a period of thousands of years.

Step out at the top and head to the summit centre to continue taking in the magnificent scenery. Gaze back toward Christchurch and see Lake Ellesmere and the natural harbour of Lyttelton to the southeast. Come on a clear day when you can make out the snow-covered Southern Alps to the west.

Before you leave, treat yourself to a snack at the café. Try the delicious coffee or have a light lunch. Peruse the adjacent shop where you can purchase postcards and a range of souvenirs.

Several hiking trails lead from the summit to the base of the gondola or into the town of Lyttelton. If the weather is good, ride the gondola to the top and enjoy fresh air and exercise with a hike down the mountain.

The Christchurch Gondola leaves from the base of Mount Cavendish in the Heathcote Valley. Get here by taking the 15-minute shuttle bus from Rolleston Avenue in the city centre. There is also a public bus service on the same route that runs throughout the day. The gondola departs every hour and has a small admission fee.