Banff Gondola

Banff Gondola is a scenic tourist cablecar that travels to the summit of Sulphur Mountain in Alberta, Canada.

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It is approximately an eight minute ride by cablecar to the summit. Each gondola can fit four adults. It is also possible to hike a 5.5 km trail to the summit. During the winter months it is free to take the gondola back down.

Sulphur Mountain, which is named after a hot spring on its lower slopes has an elevation of 2281 metres (7486 ft) above sea level.

The upper terminal has two restaurants, gift shop and interactive displays in the Above Banff interpretive centre. Also check out the short film ‘Above Banff’ in the theatre.

There are also multiple viewing decks, including a 360 degree roof observation deck.

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Outside as well as views over the Bow Valley there is a boardwalk to Sanson’s Peak and the site of the Cosmic Ray Station.

Sanson’s Peak, the highest point on Sulphur Mountain is named after Norman Bethune Sanson who from the early 1900s to the mid 1930s recorded data at the meteorological observatory station, which is still standing today. Sanson climbed the mountain more than 1000 times to collect weather data.

The Cosmic Ray Station was built in 1956 and was in use until 1978. The structure was dismantled in 1981.

During the summer season it may pay to book online as there can be a wait to enter. It is also advisable to bring a jacket as even in summer the winds up there can be brisk.

Banff Gondola is located at 100 Mountain Road, Banff.

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Wellington Cable Car

The cable car has been an iconic part of Wellington’s landscape for over a hundred years.

Wellington's iconic cable car

Wellington’s iconic cable car

Wellington Cable Car, orginally called Kelburne & Karori Tramway Company formed in 1898. The company was sold to Wellington City Council in 1947.

The Wellington cable car runs from its CBD terminal on Lambton Quay to the top entrance of the Botanic Garden and the Kelburn lookout. There are three stops along the way, Clifton Terrace, Talavera Terrace and Salamanca Road (stop for Victoria University of Wellington).

The new Kelburn terminal opened 27th February 2014

The new Kelburn terminal opened 27th February 2014

The cable car runs every ten minutes from 7am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 10pm Saturday, and 9am to 9pm Sunday and Public Holidays (closed Christmas Day).

Adults are $4 (uphill – oneway), $3.50 (downhill – oneway), $7 (return). Children are $1.50 (one way) and $2.50 (return). Snapper (Wellington’s public transport card) concessions are available to passengers travelling through Lambton Quay.

Kelburn lookout

Kelburn lookout

The Cable Car Museum is located at the top beside the lookout. The museum is located in the original winding house and is open every day, except Christmas day, from 9:30 am to 5pm. Entry is free.

There is a gift shop and short documentary films on the history New Zealand trams and Wellington city are screened throughout the day.

On display in the museum are two of the three original grip cars. One has been beautifully restored to it’s original 1905 condition and the other to how it would have looked in the 1970s, when it was retired from service. Also in the museum are the giant wheels and original winding gear the pulled the cable cars.

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Grip Car 1, how it would have looked in the 1970s when retired from service

Grip car 3, restored to its 1905 appearance

Grip car 3, restored to its 1905 appearance

After visiting the cable car museum it is an east walk to the nearby Carter Observatory and Planetarium and a nice downhill walk through the botanical gardens back to the city.