I consider myself a proud Southlander, but Hanmer Springs is where I truly feel at home. I was born and raised in Invercargill, and my accent still bears traces of the region’s distinctive rolling of the R’s. Today, I live in Hanmer Springs with my wife Ruth and our daughter Maggie.
After gaining my commerce degree from Otago University, I moved to Ireland to play club rugby but left in 2013 after a bad injury. Good friends of mine who owned Hanmer Hospitality asked if I wanted to move to Hanmer Springs to work at Monteiths and a soon to be created Irish Bar their Irish Bar, O’Flynns. Although I had no experience in the hospitality industry, I was excited to try something new and fast-paced. It turned out to be a great decision because I met Ruth, my Irish wife, while working there.
Nowadays, I manage the Pool Operations and Customer Services at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. My day-to-day involves managing the pools experience, from reception through to lifeguards. I’m managing between 45 and 50 people and I love it. It’s such a supportive and family-orientated organisation. You’ll never work for a place as supportive as the pools. They’ve always made sure I have all the tools I need to succeed.
On weekends, we enjoy exploring the outdoors and discovering Hanmer Springs. Maggie loves the fairy door walk, skimming stones into Dog Stream, and playing on one of the many local playgrounds. We also enjoy hanging out at local cafes with Maggie where everyone knows her and says hello. We love that about this place.
As for me, I love trail running and feel lucky to live in a place with so many scenic trails. I recently discovered that 40-year-olds have Achilles and hamstrings, and they’re reminding me to take it easy. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to participating in the next Hanmer Springs Four Square Half Marathon.
It’s been ten years since I came to Hanmer Springs on a whim, and I still feel grateful to live in such a welcoming and close-knit community. Once you arrive here, you’ll see that it’s a home away from home, where people genuinely care for each other and look out for one another.