The popular swimming hole at Quinneys Bush will look a lot different after this month’s floods.

While floods are not unusual, Andrew Quinney says the sheer force of this flood eroded the land more than any he can remember.

“We are fortunate it happened over winter when we are closed,” he says. “We use this time for maintenance and rebuilding.”

For the past few years Mark Quinney had been building a slide down to the swimming hole. The flood destroyed the slide, its structure and 20-tonne concrete foundation that took several years to build. It also destroyed the raft, and the new diving platform which hadn’t even been used. “It was looking really good,” says Andrew. “It’s a bit gutting especially for Dad who has worked hard on it.”

A Facebook post from the family last week says,”It is with great sadness that we must inform all our wonderful guests that the popular swimming hole known here as Quinneys’ Lake is no more”.

According to staff, the slide has been spotted down at Kohatu. The slide structure, including the concrete foundation remains destroyed in what is now the middle of the river. The diving platform will be somewhere downstream, and ‘Mark’s Ark’ could be anywhere between here and Motueka. Debris will be retrieved as soon as the river has dropped to a safe level.  

Andrew says they will definitely have a swimming hole this summer. They have consent to dig it out each year but won’t know how that will look until the river goes down. The slide is not salvageable.

They are looking at options including a lake inland away from the course of the river, but this is currently just an idea. 

Although gravel on the roads washed away, the rest of the camp fared better with no water getting into the toilet block, cabins, or sheds. 

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