One of Rotorua's most iconic tourism drawcards is set to take its 15 millionth ride this month.
Skyline Rotorua is celebrating its 15 millionth ride milestone with competitions and a special giveaway.
The world's first luge operation, which opened 28 years ago in Rotorua, is celebrating the milestone with two competitions and a special giveaway.
Based on electronic record-taking, the milestone is expected to fall sometime in April – and the lucky person who completes the ride will win a trip for two to Queenstown including return flights from Auckland to Queenstown, two nights' accommodation at Blue Peaks, a helicopter flight and dinner for two at the spectacular Skyline Queenstown restaurant.
Skyline Rotorua is also running two photographic competitions to celebrate and the winning entries will be awarded annual Gondola passes and dinner vouchers.
The first competition invites visitors giving their best pukana “a haka face” while experiencing the luge. Alternatively, the second competition invites visitors to post their own fun photos of Skyline Rotorua on the attraction's website page. The photos with the most public votes will win.
Skyline Rotorua general Manager Bruce Thomasen says the milestone is a "mind-blowing" development for the operation.
"Our luge operation was a world-first and it was the only commercial luge operation in New Zealand until Skyline Queenstown added a luge to its site in 1997," says Bruce.
"Now, more than 750,000 luge rides are hosted at the Rotorua site every year - with visitors usually riding more than once.”
Skyline Rotorua now has three luge tracks - with a combined length of nearly 5km including a scenic track and intermediate track, which are both suitable for all ages, and a 1km advanced track which features tight bends and dips suitable for more experienced lugers aged 10 and over.
The Rotorua operation is part of Skyline Enterprises, which now also operates luge attractions in Canada and Singapore, with planning underway for a new site in Korea.
"Skyline has become an iconic Rotorua attraction and remains a must-do for both domestic and international visitors. Our 15 millionth luge ride is an important milestone not only for us, but for the wider Rotorua region as well," says Bruce.
"We hope locals and visitors alike will play a role in helping celebrate this significant event."
During the last 12 months, the operation has opened its Jelly Bean Concept Store, established Volcanic Hills winery and tasting room at the site, and hosted the inaugural Skyline Sprint Warrior downhill mountain bike race in February.
Entries for the photo competitions close on Friday, May 5. For more information, visit the Skyline Rotorua website: www.skyline.co.nz/rotorua/