Wake to the throaty calls of kookaburras or the delicate trills of peewees right outside your room. Meander the onsite bush paths and spy a snuffling echidna or a pair of coyly courting lyrebirds. Sip an afternoon cocktail on the breezy deck of the rustic Saloon Bar and watch the resident kangaroos grazing on the lawns.
Nature reigns at The Jackson Ranch, a relaxed 15-hectare property on the NSW South Coast that’s part Montana-style ranch, part bush retreat, where you can be as active or as unwound as you wish. Set on Lake Willinga, with kayaks and paddleboards at your disposal and a brand-new 15-metre resort pool to lounge by, it’s the perfect place to recharge and relax or to gather with friends for an exclusive retreat.
Where is The Jackson Ranch?
About 3.5 hours south of Sydney or two hours from Canberra, the property is just inland from the tiny coastal hamlet of Bawley Point.
What’s near The Jackson Ranch?
Some of the South Coast’s most spectacular, uncrowded white-sand beaches are a short drive away, from nearby Bawley Beach to the aptly named Pretty Beach further south. To learn about the area’s rich Aboriginal history, book a bespoke Nura Gunyu cultural experience with local Bundawang elder Noel Butler.
If you’re feeling active, stretch your legs on an unforgettable ascent of local landmark Pigeon House Mountain, about 45 minutes away. The five-kilometre grade-four round trip in the Morton National Park rewards hikers with incredible panoramic views. For a great game of golf, you can’t go past Hilltop, a spectacular 18-hole championship course carved out of the bush at Mollymook.
The Jackson Ranch has everything from a luxe two-person glamping suite to the four-bedroom, three-bathroom Homestead, with a huge chef’s kitchen, spacious indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, and exclusive use of an outdoor hot tub plus your own private mini lake, complete with pontoons. Four new eco cabins with decks and barbecues are a recent addition to the mix. Planning a wedding or large gathering? You can book the entire property for exclusive use (just make sure you bags the stunning Glamping Suite, nestled in the trees with a private deck and romantic two-person outdoor tub).
Restaurants and bars
Book your stay to coincide with seasonal popup dining by celebrated local chef Jonny Staples of Citrus. His three-course menus offer excellent value and superb quality. You can self-cater or request hampers, grazing platters or hearty breakfast boxes from Deli on Perry in Batemans Bay but be sure to book a dinner at Rick Stein at sister property Bannisters by the Sea. You’ll receive priority reservations at this South Coast destination restaurant (and there’s a courtesy car to take you there and back). If you’re out and about, grab one of the amazing cardamom buns at artisan bakery Lagom on Burrill Lake or drop into The Milton Hotel to sample a local craft drop from Dangerous Ales.
All water is rainwater harvested from the roofs and undergoes a strict filtration process so don’t be alarmed if what’s in your glass or tub appears a little cloudy – the taste is pure and clean. Sustainability is a focus and upcoming initiatives at The Jackson Ranch include solar banks, green energy and a transition away from single-use toiletries.
Local makers have been supported in the hotel’s recent refit, with striking reclaimed timber pieces by young wood artist Kimberly Klau in several cabins plus The Saloon Bar. Visit her in her studio and bush shop just down the road from the property.
Travel for work
More of a team-building destination than a conference option, The Jackson Ranch can seat 50 in the light-filled Jackson Room for seminars, with plenty of onsite or nearby activities for a corporate retreat. Book your team in for surfing lessons with former world surfing champ Pam Burridge at Mollymook Beach or connect with yoga by the pool.
Spa and pool
A sparkling new 15-metre heated pool with decking and sunloungers set within lush green lawns overlooks the lake. There is no onsite spa but guests are offered priority bookings and loyalty rates at Spa by the Sea at sister property Bannisters in nearby Mollymook.
What you need to know
The Jackson Ranch is a dog-friendly resort so you’re welcome to check in with your four-legged friend. If your pooch loves the sand, hit Cormorant Beach, just five minutes away by car, for 24/7 off-leash fun.
Best for: Couples or large groups
Design: Ranch-style comfort
Number of rooms: Nine individual cabins or homes (from one to four bedrooms) plus one Glamping Suite
Price: From $269 per night for an Eco Cabin to $5500 per night for exclusive use
Wi-fi: Can be patchy, depending on your room
Parking: Free onsite parking
Address: 101 Willinga Road, Bawley Point
Telephone: (07) 4252 7777