Skyline seeks feedback on Franz Josef Gondola project

Skyline seeks feedback on Franz Josef Gondola project

October 29, 2018. For immediate release

Skyline Enterprises is seeking feedback on its proposal for a gondola to be built at Franz Josef Glacier, as part of public consultation to the draft Westland Tai Poutini National Park Management Plan.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has released its draft management plan for Westland Tai Poutini National Park, which sets out the proposed management regime for the area for the next 10 years.

Within the draft plan, DoC has considered gazetting an amenities area in the Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere Valley, which could allow a gondola to be built for tourists to safely access the retreating glacier.

The provision of an amenities area is the first step in allowing the gondola proposal to be considered and would be subject to relevant resource consents, Skyline Enterprises chairman Mark Quickfall says.

“As the glaciers continue to retreat, safe and reliable access to them has become a considerable challenge for the Westland community and for park management,” he says. “A gondola within a confined amenities area in the Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere Valley could provide a quiet, easy and safe alternative for a wide range of visitors to view, access and be educated about the glaciers and surrounding environment.”

Skyline has consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including Te Runanga o Makaawhio, Ngai Tahu, Franz Josef Community Council, West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board, Westland District Council, alpine groups, recreational users and other relevant parties during its investigations into the Franz Josef gondola.

“This management plan is an important document for one of most New Zealand’s most outstanding national parks. The Park and its environmental significance is valued by all stakeholders, the local community that lives and works there, and tourism within the Park is of major economic importance for the West Coast,” Quickfall adds.

“Sustainable management, adaptability and resilience is central to managing activities in this dynamic place and Skyline is committed to producing a tourism offering that respects the values of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Management Plan, runanga and the local community. Like DoC, we are keen to get public feedback on the amenities area and invite interested parties to make a submission.”

This is the first time DoC has considered gazetting an amenities area in a national park (or any public conservation lands and waters) for an activity not already in existence.

Submissions close at 4pm, November 9, 2018. The draft plan can be accessed here and the Amenities Area section is on pages 122-126. Submissions can be e-mailed directly to the Department of Conservation at


For more information, please contact:
Mark Quickfall, Skyline Enterprises Chairman,  0274 336 576

About Skyline Enterprises
Skyline Enterprises was established in 1966 and has become a major tourism operator with operations in NZ and offshore. Pioneers of the gondola in New Zealand, Skyline owns and operates gondola cableways in Queenstown and Rotorua, accessing restaurants and cafes, luge operations and other activities. It also owns accommodation properties Blue Peaks Lodge in Queenstown and Mercure Leisure Lodge in Dunedin; 100% of the Christchurch Casino and 33% of the Dunedin Casino; Totally Tourism Group operating The Helicopter Line, Glacier Helicopters, Mitre Peaks Cruises, Milford Sound Scenic Flights, Milford Sound Flights, Harris Mountain Heli ski, Challenge Rafting and Queenstown Combos and a portfolio of nine commercial properties located in Queenstown’s CBD. Internationally Skyline owns and operates four luge sites at Sentosa Island in Singapore, Mont Tremblant and Calgary in Canada (seasonal only) and at Tongyeong in South Korea.  For more details visit

Written by Celia Crosbie

Celia is an award-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.