The Eagle skylift at Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne opened in late 2016.
Prior to this new European style gondola opening, there had been a chair lift on the site since 1960. During the early 2000’s with the chair lift infrastructure ageing, 2 major accidents happened to cause the eventual closure and dismantling of Arthurs Seat chairlift. The Eagle concept would be born over the next decade.
The Arthurs Seat Eagle takes flight
The Arthurs Seat chairlift had become one of the most iconic tourist attractions of the Mornington Peninsula and the State of Victoria Australia. When you mention the Mornington Peninsula everyone will tell you ‘I went on the chair lift as a kid’ or ‘We have taken our kids on the chair lift’. So, we thought why not? It was time for Willow and Marley to experience the re-born Arthurs Seat chairlift ‘The Eagle’. Our girls love going on gondolas, chair lifts or cable cars. We have been on similar ones in Dubrovnik, Barcelona and Zakopane just to name a few.
The Arthurs Seat Maze and State Park
The Eagle is located in Arthurs Seat State Park. The State Park is a dominant feature on the Mornington Peninsula. Arthurs Seat rises up 315 meters from the waters of Port Phillip Bay. Arthurs Seat State Park is popular for bush walks and mountain bikes. At the top, you will find barbeque facilities, picnic tables, toilets and car parking facilities. The Popular Enchanted Adventure Garden is located next to The Eagle.The Adventure Garden incorporates the Arthurs Seat maze, high ropes course and Tree Surfing Mornington Peninsula.
The Arthurs Seat Eagle has a summit station and a base station. We were staying in the bayside suburb of Dromana which was 5 km from the summit station and even less to the base station. The drive to summit winds its way up the hill through the state Park. There are a few chances to stop on the way up the hill and get some great photos of Port Phillip Bay in each direction.
So make sure you take your time on the drive so you can get some great pictures towards the heads and the open sea or towards Melbourne. Arthurs Seat parking is readily available on site. Just in front of the summit station is a look out and an actual seat, well actually more like a throne, for people to get that cheesy tourist shot while sitting in ‘Arthurs Seat’ (And yes, we got that shot!). The amazing Arthurs seat cafe at the Eagle serves food and beverages.
The Arthurs Seat chairlift is a fond childhood memory for many
The day we went on the Eagle crowds were low and we were able to hop straight on for our journey. Even though the gondolas hold 8 people, it was just the four of us in ours for our ride down and back. The gondolas are semi-enclosed so you will still be exposed to the elements if it’s windy or raining. The one thing The Eagle promises like so many other chair lifts, gondolas and cable cars we have been on is a great view. In this case, the Arthurs Seat Eagle does not disappoint.
As you pull out of the summit station you slowly rise before going over the edge of the mountain where the views of Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne come into sight. On a clear day, the Melbourne Skyscrapers are easily viewed. Even with our overcast, gloomy day, the city skyline was still superb. As you head down the mountain the bushland and roads slide under you with the view of the surrounding landscape and the bay is all encompassing. The trip to the base station takes around 14 minutes.
Our tip would be to start at the base station take a picnic lunch with you and get off at the summit. Have some lunch in the surrounding park and picnic areas before making your way back down hill on The Arthurs Seat Eagle
FAST FACTS about the Arthurs Seat Eagle
- The Eagle has 24 gondolas
- Each gondola can hold eight guests.
- The summit is 314 metres high
- The flight takes approximately 15 minutes each way
- There is 120t of steel in the towers
- Each gondola weighs 750 kgs
- Over 10,000 metres of electrical cable is used overhead to transport the gondolas up and down the slope
- The gondolas were manufactured in Switzerland
- The tallest tower is 19 metres from the ground to rope level
We really enjoyed our ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle. Even though it had been raining all care was taken to make sure the inside of the gondola was dry for us. It was a nice ride down to the base station and then back up again. We got to see great views of the Bay and the skyline of the city through the stormy clouds. It really made Melbourne look very mysterious in the mist!
Arthurs Seat Chairlift Prices
Adults: $24 Return ticket
Children $15 return
Working in disability support I am always pleased to see attractions that are accessible to all. The Eagle at Arthurs Seat allows for easy access for wheelchairs, zimmer frames, prams and strollers to board. They have ramps out front for getting in and out of the summit and base stations and easy access toilet facilities.
Arthurs Seat Eagle provided us with free entry to experience their attraction. This in no way influences our review and thoughts on the Eagle.