Skyline Rotorua cuts ribbon on three new thrilling Luge tracks
Exciting news for thrill seekers this spring: you’ll be spoilt for choice with the opening of three new Luge tracks at Skyline Rotorua. This long-standing Kiwi attraction now boasts five Luge tracks to choose from, just in time for the beginning of longer days.
Twists, turns and a world first
The new tracks offer multiple thrilling corkscrew turns, unbeatable panoramic views of the city and four newly-lit tunnels — perfect for night Luging. With a total 7.3km of twisting tracks to ride, and new and different options suitable for all skill levels, there’s plenty of fun to be had for first timers and returning Lugers alike.
Skyline Rotorua’s general manager, Andrew Jensen says the new tracks are longer, smoother, and safer than ever before, while the new tunnel lighting is a genuine Luge world-first.
“It is 100 percent gravity fuelled fun — there is nothing else like this. Skyline is continually evolving the Luge model and track designs, and our latest design is truly state-of-the-art. This track investment reflects Skyline’s confidence in tourism, Rotorua, and the fun of Luge — plus the industry’s ability to bounce back.”
Connecting to the past and present
The project has been in the pipeline for more than four years, with construction taking about 14 months to complete. Skyline made a conscious decision to support and use local contractors for the development, including a strong involvement with Ngāti Whakaue. After the new tracks were blessed, the luge has even been gifted a new te reo kupu (word): Rūhā. This stems from Rū, meaning the rumbling earth, as it feels when you are riding the luge, and Hā, the breath of life that you enjoy when you are on the luge.
Skyline took a sustainable approach to the entire project, with 12,000 native trees planted onsite and four water retention ponds created. Old Luge carts were shredded and recycled into track curbing, old concrete from the tracks was crushed and used on site and no soil was removed from the property. The considerable investment, along with using local contractors, empowers the project to benefit both the community and tourism industry.
Paving the way for the return of tourism
Jensen says the past couple of years have been challenging for tourism operators across Aotearoa and they’ve appreciated the unwavering support from locals.
“There is no doubt that domestic tourism has kept us going — mentally and physically — through this tough time. In turn, we’re focused on bringing them new innovations and keeping our tracks fresh, so they’ll keep coming back to see us.
“Having said that, we’re super excited to welcome back our international manuhiri (guests) and I know we’re not the only ones eagerly anticipating their return.”
Despite the challenges of the past two years, the potential of tourism has never looked stronger — in Rotorua and nationally. As the home of the original luge, Skyline Rotorua is an iconic tourist attraction for the city, bringing in more than 8 million visitors since it opened in 1985. More than 25 million luge rides have been undertaken in that time, ensuring the attraction has become part of Kiwi culture and a must-do activity for international manuhiri.
Skyline Rotorua is loved by millions of people around the world, with Skyline now hosting Luge operations in Canada, Singapore, and South Korea, with other tracks on the way.
If you haven’t been to visit yet – or recently – the opening of the new tracks is a great opportunity to bring whanau and friends together for a day (or night!) of fun, thrills, and great views.