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This year, the journey to the Knoll Ridge Chalet's alpine location has become just as breathtaking with the addition of the Sky Waka gondola, and the dining experience transformed to offer a range of exciting new dining options - from a paddock to plate buffet restaurant, à la carte style cafe to Foodtruck style dining.
At 2020m above sea level, with breathtaking views of the Pinnacles and valley below this award-winning architecturally designed chalet was awarded the Design Curial Best Designed Café in the World, 2015.
A range of eateries
Travel on the Sky Waka gondola to New Zealand’s highest dining experience, Knoll Ridge Chalet. The multi-storey eatery features something for everyone, from a quick grab and go snack to a brand new menu of contemporary cuisine, all overlooking the wonder that is Tongariro National Park. All menus feature high-quality local produce.
The Sky Waka gondola and Knoll Ridge Chalet are open for sightseeing, as well as skiing/boarding access to Whakapapa Ski Area.
Various sightseeing and gondola/dining packages available. Book here
Paddock to plate buffet dining showcasing fresh local produce, such as venison and lamb from Waihi Pukawa Farm, carrots from Kim Young & Sons in Horopito and grass fed Angus beef from Awhi Farms in Ohakune. Ngā Tohu is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.
Breakfast 7.00am - 10.00am | Lunch 11.30am - 2.30pm | Afternoon tea 3.00pm - 4.00pm | Dinner (open Friday & Saturday and weekdays during NZ School Holidays) 5.30 - 8.30pm
Offers fantastic barista coffee and an incredible à la carte menu offering classic New Zealand café style cuisine.
9.00am - 4.00pm
Offers a selection of tasty dishes for the perfect grab-and-go meal Food truck style. It is located in a brand new refurbished downstairs area of the Chalet.
Coffee container 11.00am - 3.00pm
Food containers open subject to weather. Please check Whakapapa snow report for opening times.
Perched dramatically on a cliff edge and cited on New Zealand’s largest active volcano, the Knoll Ridge Chalet is an incredible feat of design and engineering! An ambitious design and build was initiated in 2009 to replace the original café which was destroyed by fire earlier in the year.
The project had a unique set of challenges – the harsh remote environment, including winds up to 220kph and temperatures well below freezing, rapidly changing weather, and limited road access meant the project required extensive logistical programming in order to ensure the safe delivery, placement and erection of materials – all performed via helicopter.
The form of the Knoll Ridge Chalet building reflects the strong geological features of the mountain. The “gull wing” roof was to appear to “cradle” the mountains peak. On a practical level the roof is used to manage the snow. The building is designed to cover with up to 3m of snow.
The Knoll Ridge Chalet is accessible via the brand new Sky Waka gondola.
Travel 1.8km from the Whakapapa Ski Area base station to Knoll Ridge Chalet in luxury, with incredible floor to ceiling views of Mt Ruapehu and neighbouring volcanoes, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.