The gondolas were enclosed, but ventilated, and accommodated six people. Conveniently, there were six in our group; had there been less, we might have had to share with other tourists as it was the busy season (one way to meet new people I suppose).
The staff at Skyrail were friendly, helpful, and went above and beyond helping tourists in any way they could (including, I noticed, slowing down the gondolas for those who were slower to depart).
Before I go any further, let me clarify for those who are afraid they will have to jump onto the gondola mid flight and if they don't make it will have to hang on to a bar along the bottom until they reach the next stop (just me? Okay). The gondolas are on a loop and you will be required to get off at one station and have the choice of getting off at another on the way to Kuranda, but the stations are well designed and undercover.
Although you are encouraged to step onto the very slow moving gondola as it comes into the station, if you have any concerns about your ability to do so, the staff are able (and willing) to help you on and off and can stop the gondolas if needed.
Heading up over the canopy was beautiful and gave us a great view of the coastline, the city, and the surrounding mountains.
Part way up the mountain, it started to rain heavily and although it got a little sticky in the gondola, the sight of steam rising off the rainforest floor was worth it.
The stations along the way gave us the opportunity to become immersed in the rainforest as we walked along the wooden walkways and marvelled at the beautiful waterfalls, trees and surrounds.
I should warn, I'm not afraid of heights, and a friend did tell me about a man who was less than happy all the way up the mountain, so if you have a phobia of heights, perhaps head towards the car park and see the gondola system for yourself before you make a decision. I can say they are completely enclosed, the system is in great condition and it's clear it's well maintained.
When the trip was over, I would have been more than happy to go again (as I hummed the James Bond theme song and made inappropriate Monty Python 'gondola' jokes).
Book online or head straight to the Skyrail terminal for your chance to sit back, relax, and be close to nature (and watch where you walk in the car park, we saw several tiny frogs hopping around on the footpath).
I took the photos in this article while on / at Skyrail, but for further pictures and updates, head to the website (the 'about' section is particularly interesting as well as the webcams), like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.