The property was built in 1884 by the Gribbon brothers as a general store to service the surrounding farms. It was later owned and operated by Newton King, a local station owner and prominent businessman, and used to service local stations. The property was kept in the family until it was sold in 2005.
At one point there was a jetty on the river right outside the lodge and in the early 1900s a man was hanged on this jetty for stealing a bottle of whisky from the Awakino Hotel. This jetty serviced ships that came up the river offloading stores and on loading cattle and other farm produce that were taken by sea to New Plymouth and Raglan.
The property was over the years a Post office, Bus depot and tea-rooms, a museum, and at one stage had Petrol pumps attached to it. Is has also been used as small offices housing plumbers, carpenters and other craftsmen.
In its last use during the 1990s, before being transformed into the luxury West Coast accommodation that it is today, it was used as a full time café. When the current owners purchased the property, it had been abandoned and was in a very bad state of repair - the grounds were a wilderness.
Seeing the potential of the ramshackle historic building, the current owners spent the years from 2005 to 2009 carefully creating Awakino River Lodge accommodation, which both holds on to its eclectic past and becomes a rural hideaway for all that stay there.