HOW SNOWY WATERS CAME TO BE
In 1941 the Waimarino District Health Board built a nurses home on Ward Street in Raetihi to accommodate staff of the Waimarino Hospital. The hospital had opened in 1922 back when Raetihi was a thriving timber town and the Raetihi-Pipiriki road was inundated with horses and teams of bullocks carting logs.
The Waimarino hospital was a busy and important place employing three full time doctors, plenty of nurses and a full time gardener. With its perfectly manicured gardens and huge oak trees, the hospital stood proudly overlooking the town and had arguably the best views of Mt Ruapehu.
In the early years, farmers from valleys such as the Mangapurua on the Whanganui River would travel 46kms on foot or by horseback to have their logging wounds tended to. Many of these injuries were serious. Some involved amputations so our hospital staff were prepared and skilled for all kinds of surgery. It even had a maternity wing where hundreds of Ruapehu residents, past and present were delivered into the world.
But as the trees were felled and forestry diminished so did Raetihi’s population. During the great depression, farmers walked off their land. Some of the service stores on Raetihi’s main street were affected and over a period of time almost all 11 timber mills closed down.
Later, rural hospitals closed and facilities, as well as staff, were moved to New Zealand’s main cities. The Nurses home was bought by local Doctor Jim Corbett. Dr Corbett and his family renamed the home Oak Lodge and operated it as guest accommodation for 14 years.
During this time, and at the age of nine years old, Sandy Waters stayed here with her parents Terry and Trish, and brother Storm. Seventeen years later while looking for an investment property and contemplating starting a business of her own, Sandy stumbled across the exact same place she had such fond memories of as a kid. The lodge had changed hands during this time and was known as Lodge of the Rings – aptly named by the owners, Marianne and Mogels Ring.
Snowy Waters Lodge was born in July 2006 and has been Sandy’s passion ever since.
Our vision is to create a friendly, clean and affordable, home away from home for families and groups of friends who want to relax and enjoy quality time together. As part of our ambition we are constantly renovating and upgrading so we kindly ask for your patience while we improve our facilities.
We look forward to sharing our piece of history with you soon.