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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.
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.
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.
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.