Bannisters might be best known for its seaside hotels in Mollymook and Port Stephens, but the group’s latest opening, the Jackson Ranch, is on 37 acres of natural forest on the lush NSW South Coast. General manager Alison Mates says it’s like the “wild west with an Australian twist”, and you can book out the whole thing or just a single cabin for two.

The hotel group acquired the property in 2021, and after a three-month refurbishment it reopened the Jackson Ranch with a splash of Rocky Mountains interior inspiration. Each cabin has a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace and barbeque, with some offering outdoor clawfoot tubs and showers. All have forest-getaway charm – reclaimed wood, exposed beams, antelope horns here and there, plus natural linens and textiles.

There’s also an event space, a commercial kitchen and a saloon bar that guests can take over for weddings, birthdays and yoga or artistic retreats. “We can tailor the ranch to what you need, including full-scale event catering,” says Mates.

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For a weekend away, you can hire the cabins individually – from the one-bedroom Lakeview cabins to the Homestead, which sleeps eight people. Exclusive hire of the entire property can accommodate up to 30 guests.

Located 30 minutes’ drive from Bannisters by the Sea in Mollymook, guests of the Jackson Ranch get priority bookings at all the sister hotel’s restaurants – that’s Rick Stein, Pool Bar and Pavilion Rooftop – plus access to the swimming pool. You can also book a private chef to cater for your stay or event at the ranch.

It’s surrounded by bushland overlooking Willinga Lake, which means there are walking tracks and water sports on your doorstep. Everything is self-guided, including use of the kayaks on-site. Bikes and outdoor climbing equipment can all be arranged by staff, or you can kick back and watch the wildlife; kangaroos and the occasional possum are known to pop by.

Reservations are now open. Email or call (02) 4454 7400. Rates start from $250 per person per night, with a minimum two-night stay.