One of Whanganui's best-known tourist destinations has been sold after a long search for the right buyer.

Rory Smith has lived and worked at Tamara Riverside Lodge on Somme Pde for the best part of 26 years.

As experienced backpackers themselves, Smith and his Canadian wife Barbara Charuk reckoned they had the right stuff to run a lodge of their own in Whanganui.

"Our son Max was a baby when we walked into 24 Somme Parade in 1993 and walked straight out again.

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"It was dingy and it stank of cigarette smoke."

At the time, the premises was a hostel

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