Whanganui's Riverland Family Park is flooding - this time with customers not water.

Despite being out of business for a whole year after the damage caused by the 2015 June floods, the tourist hotspot is thriving.

Owners Michael and Caryn Wilson bought the business from founder Barry Stewart in 2012 and it wasn't long before they were hit by not one but two bursts of flooding.

Mr Wilson said when they bought the Whanganui East business it was pretty run down and he was aware of the risk of flooding but he could see the park had real potential.


"Despite the floods, in the last five years we have seen a huge rise in business."

He said it was unfortunate to have lost the bumper boats but other developments had helped boost business and this time cater for all ages.

"We now have six kiddie cars each with built-in radios which the kids love, 12 mountain bikes including one tandem, seven adult go-karts that drift around corners and go double the speed than the old ones and in years to come we will keep expanding," Mr Wilson said.

He said they have also been working with the Top 10 Holiday Park across the road so customers can use their kayaks.

"It's great, we share our mountain bikes with them and they share the kayaks so one group might bike up the river and then kayak back down," Mr Wilson said.

He said although the mini golf course had recovered and reopened, this year's goal would be to give it a revamp.

"This summer has been busier than ever. We get a lot of out-of-towners come through telling us our new karts are better than most and it feels like the real thing."

Mr Wilson said financially they were in a lot better position and if hit with another flood they would be back up and running within two months.

"We now know what to expect and how to prepare ourselves, for example getting in the right clean-up machinery and accepting help from public after getting a contamination test done."

Looking forward, Mr Wilson said the next five to 10 years were going to be great.

"Whanganui all together feels positive."

*After hearing about these new "drift" go-karts, that apparently go double the speed, I couldn't resist giving it a go....to hear what all the fuss was about of course. But first, to get the ultimate comparison, I decided to go for a hoon in the older karts that they had operating for a slightly younger age group. With my foot slammed down the whole time and managing to nearly over-lap the "kids" I was up against, I felt ready to step it up a notch. And as fate would have it or perhaps adding to the theme of the story, after no rain for months it started to bucket down - I guess not being able to have a clear vision on track added to the excitement. Racing the owners, Michael and Caryn, I sure was given a run for my money but boy was it fun. Definitely worth a Whanganui-must-do.