Gondola gives tourists, Kiwis a new way to take in the view from Mt Ruapehu

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Operators hope Sky Waka will provide a major boost to the local economy. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's newest tourist attraction, Mt Ruapehu's Sky Waka gondola, opens for sightseeing today. 

The gondola travels for 1.8km on Mt Ruapehu from the top of the Bruce base area to the Knoll Ridge Chalet. 

At peak times the gondola will transport 2,400 people per hour, with the 1.8km trip taking approximately five minutes. 

"Sky Waka is one-of-a-kind in New Zealand and will transform the mountain visitor experience, lifting it to a whole new level," Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive Ross Copland says.