Due to be completed and functional by the end of June, Whakapapa's new 1800 metre addition is set to be a game changer for mountain-goers of all variety this winter.


The Stoked Podcast caught up with General Manager Jono Dean to get the lowdown on this masterpiece - he was also kind enough to let us in on a couple more developments in the pipeline, as well as further plans for the season.

Warning: May contain some coarse language and adult themes, recommended to ages 18+

Constructing New Zealand's first and biggest ski Gondola has been no mean feat for Whakapapa Ski Field, with towers up to 34 metres tall and 1100 tonnes of concrete to be poured it's no ordinary lift.

Set to transport shredders of all variety, this is luxury far from familiarity for those of us weathered to Ruapehu's harsher conditions.

Hoping to bring a tourism boost to the region, the $25 million project has had its difficulties - volcanic terrain doesn't make for the world's most inviting of building sites.

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It's certainly not easy operating a world-class ski field on the side of a volcano, as Dean makes clear; not that he'll let that stop him - but a gondola with capacity to transport 2400 people an hour won't hurt.

An artist's impression of how a gondola return station could look at Mt Ruapehu's Knoll Ridge Cafe. Graphic/ supplied
An artist's impression of how a gondola return station could look at Mt Ruapehu's Knoll Ridge Cafe. Graphic/ supplied

Stay Stoked!

In case you didn't know, we're coming at you with episode 60 of the series, (we know you knew, you're an intelligent Stoked listener). If this one tickles your fancy you can catch the backlog on Apple podcasts here, and iHeartRadio here.