Raetihi more than most small towns visited has economically suffered badly in recent years. The town is not a shadow of its formal self of just twenty years ago. It would seem Ohukune and National Park has assumed the high country high ground.
Raetihi was a minor industrial centre between 1900 and the 1950s. It had numerous timber mills which provided the bulk of employment to the region. As the timber was cleared, agriculture became more prominent in the local economy.
The decline of the timber industry negatively impacted upon Raetihi, but it has recently experienced some growth due to tourism. Its close proximity to Mt Ruapehu and popular ski fields has led to the establishment of accommodation and cafes to cater for the increasing number of visitors.
Raetihi still makes the synopsis criteria.
Raetihi no longer has a hotel.
The coffee at the local coffee shop should determine a beverage before tackling or after just traveling the Para Pares.