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Beach Grit

Hollister crushes workers’ rights!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Don't think a job at the Ranch is gonna gift you waves… 

The private ownership of beaches is a helluva vexed issue. You know how your beach looks. There’s a road, a carpark, a cafe or maybe five, houses, crowds. Every major coastal town in the west, from San Clemente to Hossegor to Narrabeen is filled to the gills.

And then you have the Hollister Ranch in Santa Babs County. Fourteen-and-a-half thousand acres of unmolested Californian coastline. It’s hard not to drop your jaw at secluded beaches where whales roam in the sparkling Pacific, the grassy hills, the sage scrub, mountains, valleys.

It’s gorgeous! 

And there are waves too! Real good waves, in summer and winter swells.

Of course, the downside is unless you own a piece of land (The Ranch has been cut into 136 “parcels” of 100 acres each) or y’got a boat (the state constitution grants “the public the right to use the beach up to the mean high tide line”) you ain’t getting a piece of its surf.

And don’t think doing a little labouring at a farm’s going to open the door.

According to Ranch Rules as determined by The Hollister Ranch Owner’s Association, “Day Workers have no guest privileges and no right to use the Beach Recreation Common Area.

Go for a surf and your master will be slugged $250.

Ride your moto down to the beach faster than fifteen miles an hour, forget to slow down to five miles an hour for a pet dog crossing the road, got for a surf, and it’s seven-fifty.

In other words, own a farm and you’re welcome. If you don’t, you’re not.

It isn’t cheap to buy, but  part-ownership is a thing at the Ranch. A one-twelfth slice sold last June for half a mill. A one-third interest in a little guest house with views, a little under three mill. 

But it works, right? The Ranch is a rare hunk where the environment reigns supreme. Where man and dirt live in harmony. It’s everything the Supa Bank ain’t.

Which do you prefer?


Gold Coast crowds

Getting real close to your surf brothers on the GC!


Hollister Ranch

The Ranch’s gilded cage?

(Read the complete rule book here.)