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November, 2023
Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

Situated on a sprawling 55 acres of Bundjalung land in the Byron Bay Hinterland, this ranch-style eco-lodge has more to offer than meets the eye. 

Upon approaching the property by car, we pass local properties surrounded by aged Eucalypts, Australian shrub-land and an open landscape. Reaching our destination, we are greeted by ranch-style wooden gates encouraging us further into the sprawling private eco-lodge property…

Champ Travel correspondent and Argentinian-Australian designer Alexander Lotersztain checks in to Sun Ranch, the newest property to open in the beautiful Byron Bay Hinterland.

Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince
Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

Independently owned by 13 creative friends, Sun Ranch is like no other hotel in the Byron Bay Area. The locals know the hinterland holds secrets waiting to be uncovered, the land is fertile and energised with soul. The Sun Ranch team would know, they are locals themselves, and had the property doused before beginning any work on the project, finding it was enriched with (feminine) energy. They also had it blessed by their local Indigenous elders, communicating that they would look after the land and leave it better than they came to own it. A new approach by 13 first-time hoteliers presents a soulful new hospitality project.

Sun Ranch is indeed a luxury estate, with a 5-bedroom eco-lodge and six brand-new fully self-sufficient, two-bedroom barns (in total hosting up to 34 guests), a Pool Club, sauna and ice bath, badminton area and various areas to explore on the property by zooz e-bike or horseback, the hotel presents a getaway for the mind, body and spirit. At the hotel’s Stoney Ridge Healing Circle, cacao ceremonies, sound healing sessions and and astrology readings are all possible, as are wine and cheese over bonfire overlooking the days end sunset. It’s both wholesome and enriching, made even better depending on the company you’re with.

Champ Travel correspondent, Argentinian-Australian designer Alexander Lotersztain explores Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

Enlisted by their co-founders to execute all of the design, Julia Ashwood and Jamie Blakey oversaw every detail, from the interior design to the guest experience.

Tapping their experience at hotels around the world, creating an immersive experience at the ranch – from the complimentary cocktail upon check-in, to the homemade muffins by room doors each morning.

Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince
Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

The two combined their taste for both antique and artisanal wares for the interior design, inspired by Quentin Tarantino and 70s California ranches. Antique furniture was sourced from Los Angeles, Spain and SODA Objects in Adelaide, creating an eclectic mix of original details and never-before-seen furniture.

Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince
Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

Sustainable building company Balanced Earth worked with the Sun Ranch team on the build, renovating the Longhouse and building the 6 new barns. The magnesium infinity pool was designed and built by Land Company on a hillside site just a few minutes walk from the hotel and barns.

Sun Ranch | Photography Jessie Prince

Once on the property, you’ll never want to leave.

Margaritas aside, the Sun Ranch team have a bar menu of Aussie favourites – toasties and prawn sandwiches, whilst a rotating roster of chefs operate the Field House outdoor kitchen every other weekend, prepping the Argentinian bbq using herbs for the nearby herb garden. Breakfast at the hotel is complimentary, using local farmers market produce, of course.

Sun Ranch | Photography Chris Searl
Sun Ranch | Photography Chris Searl

Relax, unwind and let loose at Sun Ranch, designed to fulfil an ideal getaway for any type of traveller.

For those seeking spirituality and serenity, it can be found here alongside fire-side chats with others and late-night margaritas by the lounge. The scene has been sit by the Sun Ranch team, with a set design created for a script of anyones making.

Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Champ Travel meets Julia Ashwood, one of the 13 founders and owners of Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©
Sun Ranch | Photography Champ Magazine©

Sun Ranch
17 Byron Creek, Coopers Shoot,
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

For more Australia destinations, click here.

Visited and reviewed by: Champ Travel global team, designer Alexander Lotersztain
Images: As credited, Champ Magazine © and Sun Ranch

November, 2023