We took the Gondola Shuttle Bus from outside the Christchurch Museum ($10 return) for the 15-minute ride to the Gondola ($28 for an adult). Each cabin holds 4 people but as they were so quiet when we went, everyone seemed to have a cabin to themselves. As is always the case now, it seems, someone takes your picture when you get into the cabin, and then someone accosts you when you get back to try to sell you the photo at an extortionate cost ... no thank you.
The views from the top are excellent, and you can see for many, many kilometres on a clear day. Remember to take binoculars with you if you have them. You can do a walk around the crater rim, which could be a tough walk for anyone who has difficulties with their mobility. There are a lot of steps and the paths are rocky and not level.
We took a packed lunch up with us but there is a restaurant there, plus a shop. I can't really comment on either as we didn't eat or browse the shop.More