Discover the magic of our
Mt Ruapehu Summer Season
Sightseeing passes
Welcome to our Summer Season
Our Summer Season is weather dependent, operating 10am-4pm each day. Ride the Sky Waka gondola, treat yourself to our new high 'Tea at 2020m', and other food and beverage options, and explore our unique volcanic terrain on foot.

Explore the heart of New Zealand’s North Island at its most raw and real, from both above the ground and on foot.

From December to April, Mt Ruapehu sits mostly bare of its winter coat, exposing its unique volcanic terrain in its rawest form.

The Sky Waka gondola – gives views of this terrain from above, carrying guests on a 1.8km journey.

On arrival at 2020m, guests are welcomed to the Knoll Ridge Chalet offering different food and beverage options, with views extended out across the maunga (mountain) and Central Plateau.

Ride the Sky Waka

A journey on the Sky Waka gondola – translated to mean ‘voyaging canoe’ in Te Reo Māori - begins at the base station of Whakapapa ski area, a short walk across the plaza from the carparks.

Guests are welcomed aboard one of 48 gondola cabins, each seating up to ten people and glass encased to invite in the panoramic views.

The climb of 390m or journey of 1.8km takes about 12 minutes, each way. The line is slowed down in summer to allow guests to settle in, unwind, and take in views out to the Central Plateau.

Dine at 2020m

At 2020m, and on completion of the Sky Waka gondola journey, guests are welcomed into the architecturally awarded, Knoll Ridge Chalet.

In summer, the Pinnacles' Café serves up a range of light meals to grab-and-go cabinet food, including made-to-order pizza, a burger special, salad bar, various hot dishes, and pre-packaged sandwiches, pastries, slices, and fruit pots.

Enjoy your meal and / or drink with a backdrop of Ngā Tohu, Pinnacles range - a spectacularly sharp ridge that belies the reality of Mt Ruapehu's volcanic origin.

High 'Tea at 2020m'

New this Summer Season!

Our take on a traditional high tea - 'Tea at 2020m' - an evolving menu of sandwiches, savouries, and cakes. Served on a two-tiered cake stand, you can expect finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, a hot savoury, and collection of sweet pastries and slices.

Includes your choice of tea or coffee, or add on a flute of prosecco (our Royal High Tea) or a gin and tonic (our Gin Tea), depending on your taste.

Quite possibly the highest high tea in the world.

Purchase in combination with your Sky Waka gondola pass to save. Bookings required.

Explore on foot

Explore the fascinating mix of volcanic rock, pumice, scoria, and sand, on foot, with four walks well marked by our team, to help you navigate through the rocky formations.

Ranging from 20 minutes return through to 2.5 hours return, the walks – Waterfalls Descent, Skyline Walk, Wild West Trail, and Meads Wall – commence either at the base of the Sky Waka gondola or at the top.

Suitable for a range of abilities, and good walking or hiking shoes are recommended.