It's one of Rotorua's most iconic and popular tourist attractions, and Skyline Rotorua is flying high once again after a five week shut down due to Covid-19.

But it's not exactly business as usual.

"It's all around sanitisation," said Andrew Jensen, general manager of Skyline. "So making sure the cabins can be cleaned down between guests.

"Cabins are allocated to bubbles, so we aren't grouping people that aren't in the same bubble to the same cabins.

"Out on the luge, helmets are sanitised between customers, the karts and handlebars, chairlift bars, everything is cleaned.


"Everywhere we look we've made that effort to keep staff and customers safe."

The gondolas and luge have been in operation since 1985. During peak times like school holidays or long weekends, it's one of the region's busiest hotspots.

There are numerous touchpoints across the different parts of the operation, which are now providing numerous challenges.

"Yeah, multiple touchpoints so every part of the operation we've had to strategise and review and see how we'll meet the demands of the Level 2 restrictions," Jensen said.

"We've had to put separate walking paths in ... because the pathways are quite narrow.

"Both the Saturday and the Sunday over Queen's Birthday weekend, we actually had to stop selling tickets at the bottom so we could control and keep people safe at the top."

Skyline is currently only open five days a week but there are plans to move back to a full week of service once restrictions are lifted.

And while tourist operators are bracing for the loss of international visitors during the already slow winter months, there may be a silver lining.

"School holidays are coming up the beginning of July," Jensen said.


"There will definitely be a dent but we're lucky in Rotorua to have a strong domestic following anyway. Queen's Birthday showed they're still there, still supporting us.

"The trans-Tasman bubble, we're all looking forward to that but it's going to take some time before full international tourism returns."

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