“For us the advantages are all about quality of life, particularly the extra time in the day, the ability to work together, the ability to enjoy the magnificent environment that is on our doorstep, and the amazing friendly Coasters. Life has now become all about ‘working to live, not living to work.”
Swapping high-pressure Government jobs for the Coast life
After years of high-pressure roles in Wellington, Andy and Jolene finally left the ‘pressure cooker’ for a better quality of life on the West Coast, where they now own and operate boutique accommodation suites in Greymouth.
Andy McPhee and Jolene Phillips were both born and bred in Wellington, spending the last 20 years on the Kapiti Coast.
“Living on the Kapiti Coast required daily commutes of about an hour each way to our respective Government jobs,” says Jolene.
“Moving to the West Coast was all about losing the stress from the high-pressure government roles and getting off the ‘hamster wheel’.
“The thought of another 15 years in our roles, alongside the 20 good summers theory (when you hit 50 you only have 20 good summers left in life), resulted in the decision to not defer living until we retire. The result was a complete sea-change for us.”
This brought them to Greymouth, where they now own and operate Goldfield Suites - boutique accommodation built on historic goldfields and next-door to Shantytown.
“Being situated in an elevated clearing, within two hectares of native bush, we provide a tranquil oasis for guests to ‘chillax’ and to make the most of the views and the rural setting.”
Despite moving for the more relaxed lifestyle, Andy and Jolene have thrown themselves into their new life. Their enthusiasm and customer focus has seen great results: achieving a Qualmark 4 Star Silver rating, Trip Advisor Travellers Choice award 2021 (top 10% of places to stay globally), and a Booking.com Traveller Review award of 9.5 out of 10 for 2021.
Jolene says there were many advantages to moving to the West Coast.
“The lower cost of land meant we could afford to buy something unique that we couldn’t have afforded in the North Island and have change left over to invest into the business.”
Those investments have included an outdoor dining area where guests can enjoy slow-cooked BBQ over the summer months, a wood-fired hot tub, amazing Wi-Fi, Android TVs, Nespresso coffee makers, and ecologically friendly guest bathroom consumables.
“Coupled with our natural setting, we have the opportunity to provide travellers to Greymouth with a unique place to stay, and in an environmentally sustainable way” says Andy.
“For us the advantages are all about quality of life, particularly the extra time in the day, the ability to work together, the ability to enjoy the magnificent environment that is on our doorstep, and the amazing friendly Coasters. Life has now become all about ‘working to live, not living to work’.”