The Hotel has undergone major renovation, completed in 2014, including the modernisation with new bathrooms, lighting, plumbing and insulation. Guest rooms have air conditioning.
Waitara is a thriving town with a local population of 7000. Waitara has a local supermarket, bank, numerous coffee shops, takeaways plus other shopping outlets for every need. New Plymouth is a very short drive away, a city with a population of 75,000 with a very large selection of excellent restaurants, shopping centres etc.
Waitara is a service centre for the farming sector which includes dairying, beef cattle for meat, sheep for both meat and wool, fruit – mainly kiwifruit – other horticulture including tree and shrub nurseries, and poultry for meat and eggs.
This watercolour depicts the Waitara township in 1896. The view is taken from Manukorihi hill with the bridge in the foreground running into McLean Street which intersects with Quay Street in the midground.
The Masonic Hotel is the second large building on the left hand side of the picture in McLean Street. There is a group of figures being led by a man on a horse about to cross the bridge.
A surf boat and ship are moored up against reinforced river bank. A railway runs parallel to the river with a carriage to the right of the red building. The engine can be viewed on the edge of town to the right.
Waitara originally had three Hotels, The Bridge, The Waitara Hotel and the Masonic Hotel. The Bridge Hotel burnt down three times and rebuilt twice, The Waitara Hotel was demolished in 2009 having been previously owned by Wayne Young in 1971. The Masonic Hotel is the only Hotel left in Waitara today. It was opened in 1880 and since 1985 has been owned by Northland Hotel Management, a privately owned company. In 1987 the first major renovation of the hotel was undertaken, closing the Public Bar and upgrading the accommodation. The second major renovation started in 2012 and completed in 2014.
The Masonic Hotel is managed and run by Patrick Corrigan.