On our way to Whakapapa Village, we drove up to Skotel Alpine Resort, a ski resort on Mt. Ruapehu, one of the worlds largest active volcanos! During the summer months parts of the resort stays open and keep the chair lifts running. Great for hikers wanting a short cut or for those just wanting to go up Mt. Ruapheu to admire the view, or perhaps pay a visit to the Knoll Ridge Cafe.
We arrived in the afternoon around 2.30pm, it was warm and sunny, we were in shorts and t-shirts. I thought we’d better layer up, so we dug out our thermals, hats and gloves from the bottom of our backpacks and made our way to the chair lifts.
I don’t suffer from fear of heights, but I must admit, even I got quite a bit of a fright and tingle in my tummy when we sat in the chair lift on our way up to the top. We both held on tight to our cameras and each other. The views from the chair lifts, both on the way up and down are fantastic, perhaps more so on the way down. Completly different from everything else we had previously seen in New Zealand.
Once we reached the end of the chair lifts and the Knoll Ridge Cafe, at 2010m above sea level it was rather windy and cold, so we went inside for a warm up coffee and to admire the views of course. It’s an impressive and handsome building, that sits perfectly in its natural environment and the windows take panoramic to a whole new level. However the quality of the coffee and the treats on offer could be better. But as far as views goes, this place definitely takes the top spot for the cafe with the best view!