Close to 400 new parking spaces for Queenstown CBD - but there's a catch

by Kim Bowden - Jun 19, 2024

A five-level car parking building that will deliver hundreds of new parking bays is just weeks away from opening in the Queenstown CBD - but use of it will be limited to visitors of a public reserve.

Skyline, the tourism company behind the town's gondola operation, is constructing the new building, which hugs up tight against a hillside in the Ben Lomond Reserve.

The facility is reserved for use by bikers, hikers and visitors to the gondola and zip-line attractions that use the reserve.

A five-level parking building will open in the coming weeks beside the Skyline gondola's base building.

The opening - flagged for late June or early July - comes six years after Skyline reached an agreement with the council for lease of the site for that purpose.

The parking building is located beside Skyline's lower gondola terminal on Brecon Street.

It is big enough to accommodate close to 400 vehicles.

Skyline marketing manager Will Appelman says 100 of the spaces will be reserved for Skyline staff, while the remainder will be available for public use.

While parking rates are yet to be confirmed, Mr Appelman indicates $6 an hour, with evening rates from 9pm to 9am capped at $25, as "a guide", while a 20 percent discount will be available to annual gondola, mountain bike uplift, and three-day pass holders.

"To claim the discount, they need to scan their valid ticket at the pay station before payment, enter their vehicle license plate on the tablet provided at the top complex building, or visit one of our guest services staff."

He says the facility will also offer coach parking for vehicles 22 seats or larger as well as spaces for motorcycles, bicycles, accessible parking and electric vehicle charging - at a cost of approximately $12 an hour.

The building, with cylindrical ends, where ramps link the levels, and a rectangular face, was designed by Queenstown's Wyatt + Gray Architects.

It is the latest stage in a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the tourist attraction, that has included the installation of 10-seater Doppelmayr cabins, the felling of trees and rock retention work in the gondola corridor, and upgrades to the terminals at both the top and bottom of the gondola.

And there is more to come.

Skyline has flagged that in 2026 it will begin a more than two-year construction project at the top of the gondola to replace its existing building with a facility more than double in size.

The car parking building was a requirement of Skyline's resource consent for its redevelopment project.

Extensive rock blasting of the face of Ben Lomond was required to accommodate the building - approximately half of which sits on rock and half on piles.

Mr Appelman says the company is now waiting for final sign-off on the building from the council.

Main image: More parking - 397 spaces - are coming to Queenstown, but they're only for use by people heading up Ben Lomond.

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