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New look Knoll Ridge Chalet dining for the slopes of Ruapehu


New look Knoll Ridge Chalet dining for the

slopes of Mt Ruapehu

The Pinnacles

MT RUAPEHU, 20 JUNE 2019: Fresh produce sourced from local suppliers, a choice of dining options, and stunning views combine to offer a unique destination high on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu.

The iconic Knoll Ridge Chalet has always been popular with skiers and sightseers perched on a cliff edge overlooking Whakapapa ski area, and over the summer it has been transformed to offer even more dining experiences.

With three distinct dining areas Knoll Ridge Chalet will serve a variety of food from quick and tasty bites through to sit down dining to suit all tastes and budgets.

Whakapapa General Manager Jono Dean says, “It was perfect timing to transform the visitor experience, by not only offering a luxury gondola ride to Knoll Ridge Chalet on the new Sky Waka, but also a new dining experience with options to suit everyone.

“We’re very proud to serve dishes featuring produce sourced from local suppliers in a range of exciting new dining options, including a whole new Foodtruck style dining experience on the ground level of the Chalet.”

The Pinnacles Restaurant (Ngā Tohu) boasts breathtaking views with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Pinnacles and the valley below. NEW buffet breakfast and dining is offered along with an afternoon tea option.

Pātaka (The Larder) offers fantastic barista coffee and an incredible à la carte menu offering classic New Zealand café style cuisine.

Four Peaks Alley has a selection of tasty dishes for the perfect grab-and-go meal Foodtruck style. It is located in a brand new refurbished downstairs area of the Chalet that was previously staff rooms and maintenance areas.

And with the new dining experience comes a new Executive Chef, Bevan Stainthorpe who has a keen interest in the outdoors – including snowboarding - and began his career locally at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel. Bevan has a strong corporate hospitality background and specialises in delivering quality cuisine.

The new menus across all the dining venues will feature 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.

Seating capacity at the Chalet has also been increased by 50 percent.

At 2020m above sea level, with breathtaking views of the Pinnacles and valley below, Knoll Ridge Chalet will be accessed by the new Sky Waka gondola and open year round for a breath taking dining and sightseeing experience.

The form of the Knoll Ridge Chalet building reflects the strong geological features of the mountain. The ‘gull wing’ roof appears to ‘cradle’ the mountain’s peak. On a practical level the roof is used to manage the snow, the building is designed to withhold a snow cover of up to 3m.

The new high-speed Sky Waka features fifty Sky Waka gondola cabins with floor to ceiling glass for breathtaking views, internal ski racks, audio and lighting and individual leather seats offering business-class luxury to passengers befitting of the UNESCO Dual World Heritage status of Whakapapa Ski Area. Each cabin accommodates 10 passengers and even the tallest skiers will be able to stand upright in the cabin with more than 2m of internal clearance.

The Sky Waka will run from the Top of the Bruce base area directly to the Knoll Ridge Chalet. It will transport 2,400 people per hour over the 1.8km in approximately 5 minutes.

As a public benefit entity RAL invests its proceeds back into developing the mountain's facilities and the new gondola forms part of the $100m reinvestment strategy announced by the RAL board in 2015.

The Sky Waka project has been made possible by a loan from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).


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