Mt Ruapehu's newest tourist attraction, Sky Waka, is ready to take its maiden trip.

The gondola is opening for sightseeing on Tuesday and will take skiers once the upper mountain ski fields open.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) chief executive Ross Copland said it was a proud and exciting moment for the RAL team but also for the rest of the country.

"Sky Waka is one of a kind in New Zealand and will transform the mountain visitor experience lifting it to a whole new level," he said.


"It also brings with it a huge economic boost for the local economy through accommodation, restaurant and other sightseeing activities, and also opens up a lot of job opportunities for locals all year round.

"A big thank you goes to the Provincial Growth Fund for granting us a loan and recognising the value of the Sky Waka to the local economy and people."

Sky Waka travels 1.8km between the top of the Bruce Base area to the Knoll Ridge Chalet and is able to transport 2400 people in around five minutes.

It has 50 cabins which can carry ten people at a time. Cabins feature floor to ceiling glass, internal ski racks, audio, lighting and leather seats.