Whangarei husband and wife fitness power couple and owners of Metamorph Fitness, Matt and Cara Rufus-Ellis are making quite a name for themselves in Northland. After starting their business from a local park and rugby club room less than two years ago, they have recently moved into their own premises from which they host their increasingly popular 8 Week Challenge, daily boot camp sessions, and where they will launch their high end Whole New You package in the new year.


“Metamorph Fitness – More Than Just Fitness.” Owners Cara and Matt Rufus-Ellis

Photographer: Sarah Marshall Photography

This is a family owned, family operated, and family focused business, built on a passion to inspire the local community to better health choices for themselves and their families. Cara and Matt have a young family so they know the struggles parents face when trying to commit to a healthier lifestyle. With this in mind they have created a space that is family friendly – they have their own Kidzone, created with little wanderers in mind so that mums and dads can still work out, and the kids can come along too.

Since opening their gym in early July 2016 they have continued to push themselves as hard as they push their clients and have already expanded their ever evolving business to include a full service beauty room complete with a infrared sauna, custom built massage table, and a mixture of vintage and shabby chic decor.


A beautiful vintage light fitting Cara found at her Grandparents house adorns the wall in the new Autumn Beauty studio.

Autumn Beauty – run by beauty student Autumn Perese, the newest member of the Metamorph family – is now open as an extension of onsite services on offer at Metamorph Fitness and I was fortunate enough to be asked to check out their newest services before they officially launched.

The main focus when adding additional services to the gym was always health, fitness, and recovery. The infrared sauna is a touch of class in an already well equipped space – nestled in the corner beside a beautifully lit and sweet smelling diffuser, and just along from a vintage armchair.


After being left with a plush and oversized towel, and a handful of simple instructions, and nothing but the glow of the diffusers, I stripped off and settled into the sauna ready to enjoy my 30mins of peace and quiet. Ladies – you are going to love this! The soft lighting is incredibly flattering, and even though I was sweating bullets within minutes (the sauna gets up to 65degrees pretty quickly) in the dim, romantic lighting you just look all glowy and tanned. It’s pretty great! As the sauna in not a traditional steam sauna, the heat feels a lot drier and made for a much more enjoyable sauna as I wasn’t dealing with steam on top of my increasingly “glowing” skin.

There is also a countdown clock inside the sauna so you can keep track of how long you have been in – as a control freak I found this incredibly useful as I was able to relax while still being able to keep my day in check.

After my 30mins was up I was greeted by a burst of fresh, cool air as I opened the sauna door. Despite being very, very shiny at this stage, I felt clean, refreshed, and detoxed. I toweled off and prepared for part two of my pamper session: the massage.


A health and wellness questionnaire must be filled out before any treatments take place. Client care is always treated with utmost privacy and respect.

I spend hours in a day hunched over my laptop – usually in bed or on the kitchen counter – so my request was a much needed deep tissue shoulder massage. It was great to see Metamorph’s wellness and health philosophies flowing through to the beauty room – Autumn uses magnesium and fractionated coconut oils for massages, both of which have health and recovery properties that add an extra level of care. The combination of soothing music and an equally soothing massage had me nodding off on the table from time to time.

Autumn offers a range of massages from deep tissue to relaxation. The idea behind having an onsite massage therapist is that members of the gym will have a place where they can work out, get nutritional advice and healthy treats, and then boost their muscle recovery through massage – and the sauna – all within a family friendly one stop shop.


You will find an array of wellness products available for purchase too – like these Epsom salt and essential oil blends.

Autumn Beauty offers a full range of beauty services all available strictly by appointment by booking through Metamorph Fitness – they have a full list of services on their facebook page.

I was also treated to a Rose Gold manicure, which gave me time to chat with Autumn about her new venture.


“I love making people feel good about themselves – it’s so rewarding to see what a difference a manicure can make to how someone feels.” – Autumn Perese of Autumn Beauty

Autumn was inspired by Metamorph’s core values, family focus, and the good vibes they have created – this made joining their team a very easy decision for her. She has worked with Cara to create a space that defies its’ industrial surroundings and carves out a little bit of calm and serenity for their clients.

With the busy festive season quickly approaching now would be a great time to think ahead and book a little pamper session with Autumn Beauty. Autumn also specialises in formal and glam make up application and is already taking bookings for end of year work functions and other social events.