Ski Waka

Things to do in Ohakune

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Ride Sky Waka


NZ’s largest and most technically advanced gondola. Situated within the dual world heritage Tongariro National Park, Sky Waka travels 1.8kms through one of the North Island’s most rugged and spectacular landscapes on Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu.

All our guests will enjoy a 10% discount! Just ask for it in reception!


Your exploration of New Zealand isn’t complete until you’ve experienced our ride through the sky on the most advanced gondola in Aotearoa, with floor to ceiling, 360 degrees views. Journey over waterfalls and ancient lava flows and take in the majestic scenery of Mt Ruapehu and its neighboring volcanoes, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.

-Uphill capacity of 2400 people per hour

-50 cabins seating up to 10 people

-Operating speed is up to 6 meters per second

-Floor to ceiling views of the volcanic landscape


Experience the volcano in summer for alpine adventures on a variety of Short Walks. Typically available from December – June. Come back in winter and the mountain is transformed with snow. Ski and ride Whakapapa, New Zealand’s largest ski area where the Sky Waka is just one of ten ski lifts to access the expansive terrain.


What to bring
It’s important to make sure you are prepared for the alpine environment here at Mt Ruapehu. The first thing to remember is that every trip needs a plan, even a short day walk. Use this simple and easy tool to plan your trip and find a recommended equipment list.

A symbol of the future


The waka, celebrated by name in song and story by Maori poets and orators, we know it to be more than a voyaging canoe, more than a carrier of people – the waka carries family. All Maori, after all, have lineal ties with the chiefs of the great waka.

As the highest and longest gondola upon Te Ika a Maui, this is more than a machine. It is a vessel to bring people together, to elevate them, together, upon this great maunga. It is a thread, weaving earth and sky.

We celebrate the waka and its symbolism of interconnectedness between the past with the present and future. For this is surely a symbol of the future, ascending this ancient mountain.


Stay at LKNZ Lodge while you explore Ohakune, New Zealand.
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