A Whanganui riverside lodge encompassing buildings, freehold property and going concern backpacker accommodation business, is for sale for the first time in 25 years.

Tamara Riverside Lodge, at 24 Somme Parade, provides the opportunity to expand, diversify or simply live in a wonderful home, says Gordon Fridge of Link Business.

"Present owners have loved this grand old home and its history for 25 years . . . now they feel it's time to hand Tamara over to the next generation of history makers.

"If you're looking for a change of pace or be your own boss — working hours that suit you and your family — then Tamara could be the answer."

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The lodge has 14 bedrooms, large lounges, a big kitchen and a separate owners' or managers' apartment, while a separate two-storey block has four bedrooms with ensuites. Combined floor area of these structures adds up to 586sq m.

"The size and configuration favours a range of uses. Tamara Lodge served as a maternity hospital and boarding house before becoming lodge accommodation – and likely fulfilled other uses in-between these functions.

"Many a home business would fit with this versatile home. Some which spring to mind would include osteo, physio, midwifery, art studio, cafe, cooking school and administrative or financial services."

Fridge says the owners have run the freehold property as a superior backpackers.

"They've respected this grand old lady, keeping her well-maintained, sound and solid."

The lodge is a member of BBH World Traveller Accommodation, with about 80 per cent of guests coming from overseas.

Guests are from all backgrounds, covering an age spectrum of 18-80 years, and many return time and time again, Fridge says.

"In this way, the owners have met interesting and diverse people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe."

He adds that Tamara Lodge was once "a very significant" home and could be again.

"Someone simply wanting a large, impressive home with fabulous views could enjoy a very significant income from the separate block alone.

"All areas of the home are spacious, enhanced by high studs. Original features include kauri panelled ceilings, extra wide skirting boards, panelled doors, the decorative front veranda and a beautiful curved stairway with original kauri banister. The upstairs balcony railing is an impressive feature all in itself."

The property has freehold title, the section-size being just over the traditional quarter-acre, at 1172sq m.

It is well planted, with a rose garden, wide variety of fruit trees (lime, lemon, grapefruit, pear, apple) and grapes.

Fridge says the owners have consistently invested in the home and in their business.

"The exterior of the home was repainted in 2000 and the rear annex roof replaced last year. A new central heating furnace has been installed for the owners' apartment within the last year."

Fridge believes the property will appeal to those looking for a family-based lifestyle business removed from the congestion of the main centres.

"New owners can choose from such renowned schools as Wanganui Collegiate and the nearby Nga Tawa Anglican Diocesan School, which has its own horse riding academy."

"Whanganui is sharing in the population shift from Auckland and Wellington, with newcomers happy to share their very positive experience of their new lifestyles.

"The pace of life and the extreme value-for-money when buying a home are common reasons given for moving to Whanganui. The city offers a great family life (away from never-ending lines of traffic) and a vibrant arts and culture focus. Fridge says the property could not be better sited — "being a mere hop, skip and jump from the city-centre".

At a glance:

• Now operated as a back-packers.
• 14 bedrooms, large lounges and a big kitchen.
• Separate owner-managers' apartment.
• Separate two-storey block has four bedrooms with ensuites.
• Period features, such as high-stud, kauri panelling.
• Large section has rose garden and fruit trees.
• Could be business base or grand home.
•Asking price $750,000.