The skyline over Mt Ngongotahā will be a little quieter next week with the iconic Skyline Rotorua gondola paused for maintenance.
The 2200m haul rope that connects the 900m-long gondola system is to be replaced as part of scheduled maintenance. The rope is replaced every eight to 10 years in line with industry and manufacturer guidelines and was last replaced in late 2013.
Skyline Rotorua general manager Andrew Jensen said the haul rope was being replaced early to ensure maximum safety for visitors and at a typically quieter trading time to minimise disruption.
"Our entire Skyline Rotorua site will be closed from Monday May 17 and will reopen again on Friday May 21 to give the engineering experts sufficient time to replace the haul rope and run safety tests.
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"It's a massive job as you can imagine as not only is the rope over 2km long, it weighs over 15 tonnes."
Jensen said they were hosting a team of experts that would complete the maintenance, including a specialist rope splicer from Switzerland, along with a team from the gondola manufacturer Dopplemayr New Zealand and their own Skyline engineers.
The rope replacement is part of an ongoing gondola system maintenance programme that also included a mechanical overhaul of the gondola in 2019. This ensures the Skyline Rotorua gondola system continues to benefit from the latest advances in gondola technology.
Gondola cable facts
• The Rotorua gondola boasts a 900m-long Doppelmayr gondola system requiring 2200m of cable
• Doppelmayr is one of the world's leading manufacturers of ropeways, cable cars and ski lifts
• The cable weighs a staggering 15.3 tonnes
• The cable is made up of six smaller cables each with many individual strands twisted together to make the overall diameter of 43mm. The process to bring these cables together is referred to as splicing
• The Swiss specialist splicer undertaking the work in Rotorua is in New Zealand undertaking six cable maintenance jobs across New Zealand