The Queenstown gondola, which has proven to be a popular tourist attraction. The group behind the Nelson gondola plans hope it will be just as succesful.

Nelson gondola to be a ‘world class attraction’


Plans for a “world class” gondola in Nelson will take a giant leap forward today if Nelson City Council agrees to fund a feasibility study as expected.
Nelson Cycle Lift Society has asked the council for funding for its study into the project which, if successful, will see a 1.6 kilometre gondola go from the Brook Valley to the top of Fringed Hill.
The gondola will be targeted at mountain bikers but will also be used by sight seers with a restaurant and café also planned for the gondola’s summit. Spokesman for the society, Jo Rainey, says the gondola will be a “world class attraction” for Nelson. “This is going to be an outstanding mountain biking park, like nothing else in New Zealand and could be a world-class resort.”
Jo says the tourist numbers “stack up” and the mountain bike park and gondola would attract more people to the region. He says there are a number of avenues to attract investors for the business which could cost “anywhere from $5 to $10 million”.
The gondola will operate on council-owned land and will summit 800 metres above sea level, taking around six minutes to reach the top. If it goes ahead, it will be the biggest gondola in the country.
Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio last week told the Nelson Weekly he was fully supportive of the project and expected his council colleagues to approve the $15,000 grant for the study today. “I’m incredibly excited to see the group at the point they have got to, they have been keeping me informed of progress over the last few years and I have been and visited the site with them on a few occasions. I firmly believe this could be one of the single biggest economic opportunities for this region. A gondola of this nature will firmly cement our place as the mountain bike capital of New Zealand.”
He says the views will be better than Queenstown and it has the potential to revolutionise the tourism industry in the region and give it a critical boost that it needs. “This will make us the mountain bike mecca of New Zealand, if not Australasia. I’d say it’s the biggest economic development project that the city will undertake in the next decade, for sure.”