Extreme wind caves in Mt Cook bar

BLASTED: Ferocious winds blew in the picture window of the Chamois Bar
BLASTED: Ferocious winds blew in the picture window of the Chamois Bar

Extreme winds of up to 180kmh damaged a Mt Cook bar and forced it to move 20 guests.

During a storm which hit the Mt Cook Backpacker Lodge on Monday night, a wind gust blew in the picture windows of the Chamois Bar, which frame the view of New Zealand's highest mountain.

Lodge manager Justin Winter said the winds gusted up to 180 kmh, causing the windows to flex and timber to creak before the bar frontage caved in.

Everyone had been moved away from the windows so there were no injuries, he said.

The lodge moved its 20 guests to the Hermitage for the night.

"The damage we woke up to this morning was indescribable. Aside from the obvious cave-in, water damage throughout and just a huge mess everywhere'', he said.

The accommodation wing of the lodge was undamaged, but would remain closed until the common areas could be repaired.

The Mt Cook Backpacker Lodge opened on October 1 last year after an extensive refurbishment of an existing lodge and The Chamois Bar and Grill.

The Press