We took a trip up on the Wellington Cable Car. A trip on the Cable Car cost only $7.50 return each and took about 5 minutes to get to the top, including a trip through 2 100m tunnels each with a light show.
In 2012 the cable car celebrated 110 years of service to the City of Wellington. A favourite of locals and visitors alike, the cable car allows easy access from its terminal on Lambton Quay in the CBD to the top entrance of the Botanic Garden and the Kelburn lookout.
Fulton ‘s design for the cable car allowed for a track that was straight in both distance and elevation and passed over or under all existing roadways allowing for uninterrupted passage. The cable car was a major achievement for New Zealand engineering. It was 785 metres in length rising over 119 metres at an average of 1 in 5.1 and passed through 3 tunnels and over 3 viaducts.
Initially the preferred means to power the cable car was with a water balanced system. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway in the UK is a surviving example of this. This system is both clever and simple with two cars each with a large water tank. The car at the upper station has its tank filled with water allowing gravity to pull the lower car upward as it descends. There are however, a number of drawbacks to this system and the idea was scrapped in favour of a steam driven power source.
Check out my series on our recent trip there in my