Business Franchise Australia


Australian wellness franchise City Cave adds first international centre to its portfolio – opening its 17th franchise, in New Zealand

City Cave Float  Wellness Centre Co-Founders and Directors Tim Butters and Jeremy Hassell.jpg

City Cave Float & Wellness Centre has made the jump across the Tasman, with the multi-international award-winning Australian franchise set to open its 17th, and first international centre on 13 March in Queenstown, New Zealand at the Remarkables Park Town Centre.


Having launched in 2016, City Cave aims to provide tranquil spaces where people can enhance their health and wellbeing through services that treat the mind, body and gut. These services include float therapy, which uses sensory deprivation to achieve deep relaxation, infrared saunas, which detoxify the body, and massages, to relieve tired muscles.


The Queenstown City Cave location will be made up of three private sauna, and three private float rooms, as well as three massage rooms. It will feature the brand’s signature style and biggest point of difference – luxurious feeling private float and sauna rooms, complete with own shower, and open pools, which are designed in house and made locally in Australia.


Each centre is also designed to have a low sensory impact with accents of nature throughout in the form of stone, wood and greenery, and clients are offered City Cave’s very own carefully curated teas and essential oil blends.


A successful franchise model, combined with City Cave’s unique points of difference, has seen Co-Founders and Directors, Jeremy Hassell and Tim Butters, two former construction workers, achieve rapid growth for their business in a short period of time with their float centres now covering more of the southern hemisphere, at more locations than any other float centre in Australia.


Co-Founder and Director of City Cave Float & Wellness Centre, Tim Butters who is originally from Queenstown, said the business’ move into the New Zealand market represents a very important milestone for the City Cave brand.


“We have noticed an increase in popularity in floatation therapy, infrared sauna, and massage across the ditch and are projecting for our brand to follow the same successful trajectory in New Zealand that we have seen here in Australia over the past five years,” he said.


The Queenstown centre will be owned by Luke Hutchinson and Riki Hunter, who much like Jeremy and Tim, had a background in construction before making the move into the wellness space.


City Cave Queenstown Franchisee, Riki Hunter said he and his co-franchisee Luke decided to open a health and wellness centre in Queenstown as there were limited offerings of that nature in their area.


“Part way through our due diligence process we discovered what Tim and Jeremy were doing with City Cave in Australia so we reached out to them for advice,” he said.


“They talked us through their journey and provided us with invaluable guidance so we could avoid making the common mistakes new business owners often make within the wellness space, many of which we were about to fall victim to ourselves before we received their expert advice.”


“It was then a no-brainer to become City Cave franchisees. They had a proven business model and after getting to know the guys personally, we realised we shared a lot of the same core values and business goals.”


Mr Hunter said he was proud of what he and Luke had been able to achieve with their franchise in the midst of a pandemic.


“We’re so excited to be opening the first international City Cave centre in Queenstown. It feels like we’ve been working on it forever but in reality we’ve been able to bring this to market in roughly eight months, which is quite amazing considering most of our training and guidance has been completed over zoom due to the pandemic.”


Mr Butters said much like the rest of the world, 2020 was a strange time for City Cave.


“Our centres were forced into an unprecedented mandatory shutdown for nine weeks due to the pandemic. Rather than rolling over and simply waiting to reopen though, we chose to come together as a team to create a plan for a strong reopening campaign,” he said.


“Due to our proactive approach, we were able to achieve massive growth when our doors swung open again and I attribute our success post that period to our amazing team of franchisees and the increased awareness the pandemic has brought, around preventive healthcare and building up a strong immune system, both areas City Cave can aid in.”


2021 is set to be a record year for City Cave with the business’ portfolio set to more than double between now and June, with 20 new centres scheduled to open across Australia in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Melbourne. For more information on City Cave and its services visit


City Cave Float  Wellness Centre Private Float Room.jpg


City Cave Float & Wellness Centre has seen award-winning growth since it’s 2016 launch, having received the following accolades:


2017 Entrepreneur of the Year

2018 Entrepreneur of the Year

2019 IFA NextGen in Franchising

2019 IFAH Top 100 Healthcare Companies

2020 IFA NextGen All Stars


What is float therapy?


Flotation therapy is recognised for not only its spiritual benefits but mental and physical too. At City Cave the process involves laying in an open pool of 400kg of magnesium Epsom salts, in complete darkness, with the air and water heated to skin temperature, making guests feel like they are suspended in air. Add to this, the choice of silence or calming music, to make for the ideal space for deep relaxation.


What are infrared saunas?


Unlike a regular sauna, an infrared sauna heats the body by penetrating deep into the joints and musclesjust as the sun would, without the UV damage. Rather than heating the air around a person, an infrared sauna uses infrared lamps, that use electromagnetic radiation, to warm the body directly. This results in a deeper detoxification process and the technology has been used to relieve pain, increase circulation, purify skin, and aid in relaxation.


The benefits of combing massage therapy with floatation therapy:


Floating before a massage speeds up the process of muscles relaxing, which gives the massage therapist more time with already loose muscles, and floating after a massage is also beneficial as it further cares for the problem areas that may have been targeted during the massage.