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What does Sugar Beach Ranch do?

A family owned beachfront property with 60 acres of natural beauty located just 20 minutes south of Ballina, Australia. Also known as ‘Nature’s Playground’, is one of the most secluded venues offering a variety of services including retreats, accommodation, camping, horse stays, weddings & elopements, professional team building days, corporate events, outreach programs, equine therapy, environmental regeneration, wildlife preservation and more - everything a rural heaven can offer.


What days are you open?

We operate Monday - Saturday and are closed on Sunday’s. However this is not a walk in operation. Please note this is a private property. All persons must have a confirmed booking for accommodation, equine experiences, team building, retreats and or invitation to attend the property. Trespasses will be prosecuted.


How do I get there?

Depending on whether you are travelling north or south of the M1 Highway there are two options to arrive at Sugar Beach Ranch: 


Option 1 - Via Ballina Ferry - Drive to the Burns Point Ferry. (Fee $7.00 via credit card). Once off the ferry (some maps may require you to turn off your GPS) drive approximately 2km and turn left into Keith Hall Lane (look for a blue phone box on the corner).


Option 2 - Via Wardell - Take the Wardell exit and follow signs to Wardell. Drive over Wardell Bridge and turn onto River Drive. Follow River Drive for approx. 10kms and turn right into Keith Hall Lane.


Once you are on Keith Hall Lane, follow the road all the way to the end, pass the ‘watch for wildlife’ sign and continue straight down a dirt road. At the end you will see the big white gates on the left. Enter Sugar Beach Ranch and drive slowly through and eventually up to the guest parking area on the left. 


What if I don’t have a car?

For those travelling by plane, the nearest domestic airport is Ballina Airport (30 minutes away) and the nearest international airport is Gold Coast Airport (1 hour away) followed by Brisbane Airport (2 hours away). We recommend two options for transfers too and from the ranch:




We may be able to offer transport from Ballina and Gold Coast Airports for you or your group for an additional fee. Transport is subject to availability, please Contact Us.



What is your cancellation policy on your services?

Each service is governed by its unique set of terms and conditions, resulting in varying cancellation policies. Prior to making a booking or buying a service, it is imperative to familiarise yourself with the specific cancellation policy associated with that reservation. This proactive approach ensures clarity and prevents any potential confusion in the future.


Kindly note that Sugar Beach Ranch does not have wheelchair accessibility. We appreciate your understanding in this matter and are available to address any concerns or questions you may have regarding accessibility during your stay.






What kind of accommodation do you have on the ranch? 

We have two luxury holiday bungalows that can fit 2 persons each. The total number of persons per bookings is 4. However should you wish to camp on the ranch, the maximum number of guests allowed is 10. The camping area comes with a latrine toilet and there is running water available for cleaning (not drinking). 


Additional camping accommodation can be facilitated for event bookings. 


How do I make a booking for accommodation?

To book the holiday cabins you can either go direct to AirBnb or Riparide booking pages, or for camping you can go to the Hipcamp booking page, to learn more about our accommodation click here.


How many guests can I bring?

The Luxury Holiday cabins can sleep a maximum of 4, however if you are wanting to camp, the area provided can sleep an additional 10 guests. For other guests invited onto the property must be approved and confirmed by Stevey before their arrival. 


Is there parking?

Yes there is plenty of parking. Guests staying in the holiday cabins are permitted to travel up the entire driveway, the cabins are the first buildings on the left as you arrive at the top of the hill and you can park next to or further round the corner on the left (see signs). 


Is there a kitchen?

The cabins have an equipped kitchenette in each room including microwave, toaster, kettle and coffee machine. There is also a stove top cooker, webber bbq and a wash sink located on the deck. 


Where is the campsite?

When you enter the white gates follow the driveway all the way round past the shed and about half way up the drive. The entrance to the camping paddock is on the right opposite the banana trees. 

What facilities are available for camping?

The campsite provides convenient access to water for both cooking and cleaning purposes. Additionally, an outdoor toilet is available for use. Regrettably, we currently do not have dedicated washroom facilities for campers.


Can I use the pool during my stay?

Certainly! The pool is open to all guests on the ranch. It's important to note that exclusive access to the pool during one's stay isn't guaranteed. Given the diverse range of activities and services offered at the ranch, other functions may take precedence over pool use. Guests will be promptly informed if the pool area becomes temporarily unavailable. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all guests in ensuring a harmonious experience and shared enjoyment of the facilities.


What is your cancellation policy for the holiday bungalows?

Full refund for cancellations up to 30 days before check-in. If booked fewer than 30 days before check in, full refund for cancellations made within 48hours of booking and at lease 14 days before check in. After that, 50% refund up to 7 days before check in. No refund after that.


Is there any additional information we should know before our stay?

Although we want you to fully enjoy your stay here we ask that a couple of house rules are upheld. Where the Arena family have graciously opened up their home and invited us all to enjoy the Sugar Beach Ranch experience, we encourage guests to explore the designated walkways connecting the bungalows,  campsite, pool, cabins, and beach however please avoid the main house as this is reserved for the family and staff. 


We prioritise the safety and well-being of our guests. Please exercise caution and understand that Sugar Beach Ranch is surrounded by 60 acres of horse paddocks, untouched coastland, and jungle. While we cannot control wildlife encounters, we advise guests to stay on designated paths and keep your doors closed or zipped up to avoid unexpected visitors.


Are there lifeguards present at the beach?

No. We certainly wish our guests to fully soak up nature as best they can. However, for safety reasons, please refrain from swimming after consuming (large amounts of) alcohol. Sharks and dangerous rips are present. Guests enter the ocean at their own risk.


What to do in the event of an emergency?

All staff members carry emergency phones. The nearest hospital is in Ballina, 25 minutes away. 




Can my guests stay on the grounds after the event?

Your guests are welcome to stay on the grounds after the event in the campgrounds or alternatively you can book at the Ramada Hotel in Ballina which is a short trip across the ferry or the Ballina Beach Nature park a short trip away.





What do I need to bring?

Upon confirmation of your booking we send guests an information pack that covers everything from what to bring to travel directions. 


I have medical and or dietary requirements, who do I notify?

Prior to your arrival you must notify Stevey (Ranch Manager) at of any medical or dietary requirements you have. 


What if the weathers bad?

The itinerary is subject to change based on unpredictable weather and seasonal variations. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and comfort of our guests and horses. Some adjustments may be necessary to navigate through any unforeseen challenges.

What is your Cancellation & Refund Policy for Retreats?

Guests must carefully review, understand, and agree to our cancellation policy before securing their spot in our retreat:


- Cancellations made with more than 60 days' notice before the retreat start date will receive a full refund, minus a $250 administration fee.

- For cancellations received within 30 days of the retreat start date, refunds are not applicable. However, we offer the flexibility to reschedule to another available retreat date.

- No changes or refunds can be facilitated within two weeks of the retreat start date.

- In the event of a no-show, arriving on a date other than the confirmed booking, or an early departure, payments are non-refundable, and bookings are non-transferrable.


COVID Positive Result:


In the unfortunate event of a guest testing positive for COVID-19:


If you test positive for COVID-19 and provide a doctor's certificate along with proof of testing, we offer the option to reschedule your position to a later retreat date.


The itinerary is subject to change based on unpredictable weather and seasonal variations. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and comfort of our guests and horses. Some adjustments may be necessary to navigate through any unforeseen challenges.





Do you do public/private rides? 

At present, Sugar Beach Ranch does not provide public or private ride services. However, for equestrian enthusiasts seeking an experience at the ranch, we offer Horse Stays, which includes accommodations for both the horse and its owner. Riders will be required to sign a waiver to ride on the property.


Do you do Equine Therapy?

Yes, we are partnered with an experienced and certified equine therapist, Maxime Willems, who provides individual, group and corporate sessions in Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning. For more information on services available click here


What is your Cancellation & Refund Policy for Equine Experiences?

Maxime Willems Therapy & Training values your commitment to your well-being and respects the importance of your time. To facilitate a smooth scheduling process, she kindly requests a minimum of 48 hours' notice for any cancellations or modifications to your appointments. When appointments are forgotten or cancelled without adequate notice, it not only leaves a void in her schedule but also denies those on our waiting list the opportunity to avail themselves of our services.


To uphold the personalised nature of our services, a cancellation fee will be applicable. 'No Shows' will incur a charge equivalent to 100% of the reserved service amount. Cancellations made with less than 5 hours' notice will also be treated as a 'no show' and result in a 50% charge of the reserved service amount.


For group bookings (3 or more), we kindly request a minimum of 2 weeks' notice for cancellations. Any cancellations made with less than 2 weeks' notice will incur a charge equal to 100% of the reserved service amount. Please note that deposits and prepayments are non-refundable.


For more information please go to Maxime Willems Therapy & Training





What if a Team Wellbeing program gets cancelled due to bad weather?

In the event that we determine weather conditions to be hazardous or the grounds excessively wet, we reserve the right to postpone your program. Should you have concerns regarding the weather on the day of your scheduled program, especially if you're traveling a considerable distance, please don't hesitate to contact us the day before your departure for further assistance and guidance. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. 


What if I’m nervous around horses?

We understand that for some, horses can present a sense of angst and fear and where this is certainly rational it has been known that these feelings can subside within minutes. Should anyone not wish to participate with the horses they can simply withdraw whenever they choose and our experienced facilitators will guide them through the next steps.


What is your Cancellation & Refund Policy for Team Wellbeing?

We will fully refund any booking that is cancelled at least 2 weeks before date chosen. Cancellations within the two weeks or no shows on the day of the program will lose their deposit. 


Please note in the event of refusals’, refunds will not be granted. Please ensure you read and agree to the terms and conditions below.


  • For health and safety reasons participants are required to wear appropriate wear including; closed toe shoes and appropriate outdoor clothing. We request guests bring their own hat and sunglasses

  • Failure to comply with safety guidelines & instructions, displays of aggression or intoxication will result in refusal or immediate termination of your experience

  • We strive to deliver a safe and enjoyable horse experience for all




If there is a question not answered here please get in contact to let us know your query, contact us here.

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