As we left the busyness of the Gold Coast and headed south towards Newrybar (just minutes out of Byron Bay), I had no idea what to expect, or what the week ahead was going to be like. All I knew was that we would have a very supported, slow week ahead. We were advised to pack comfortable clothes to wear around the house, Ugg boots a must. There was to be an open fire, a daily infrared sauna, along with meditation, yoga, gentle walks, massage and reflexology treatments and as much filtered water and herbal tea as we desired.
As we pulled into the destination, I was immediately in awe of the beautiful surroundings. An unassuming wooden sign “Blue Green Sanctuary” guided us along the long, private dirt road, lined with Palm Trees and an abundance of tropical foliage and beautiful iron sculptures thoughtfully placed, taking us up to the main house, which couldn’t be seen from the road. As we neared closer to the main house, I thought I had arrived in heaven. I had only ever seen a property like this in pictures, or the movies.
It wasn’t ostentatious or shiny and new, but it was impressive by scale, and had such an authentic and organic feel to it. It was understated, stylish and very considered.
The exterior was a soothing combination of hardwood, stone and hand bagged concrete that nestled perfectly in the natural setting of manicured green lawns that undulated down to edged bushland. There was a beautiful small lake covered in water lilies and a bungalow that housed comfortable recliners, a BBQ and dining setting. There were many pathways on the property that led to inconspicuous seating and resting areas that were perfect for reading, contemplation, and meditation. There was a strategically placed outdoor bathtub, allowing guests to bath privately amongst the natural landscape, under the stars, or basking in the sunshine, overlooking the paddocks below that were home to several Llamas.
The beautiful lake covered in water lilies
We entered through the beautiful hardwood double doors into a circular entry area with stunning stone floors that opened to an enormous open plan living, dining and kitchen area. Soaring raked ceilings with huge old hardwood beams (all sourced locally) consolidated the enormous open space, and it immediately felt warm and inviting. The walls housed the most incredible art and the furniture was neutral, substantial, comfortable and stunning. There was a huge stone fireplace that commanded your attention and beckoned your company in this main room, along with a beautiful staircase that led me up to the main bedroom complete with open ensuite (with a sunken stone bath), walk in robe and balcony overlooking the peaceful rural setting.
The enormous open plan living/dining area
The semi commercial open plan kitchen, finished with polished concrete, wood and stone, was a cooks delight, and made me want to spend my days by the fire, listening to music, drinking wine and cooking feasts to enjoy for long lazy lunches and dinners. Then I remembered why I was here…detox, water and herbal teas only. Ahh but to dream!
The concrete stairs feature stunning decorative tiles
Blue Green Sanctuary is a labour of love for owners, couple Dolores & Simon, who purchased the property in 2003, 20 years ago. Simon recalls it only feels like yesterday. Back then it was very different to how it appears now. It had a simple, small dwelling and a lot of potential.
Over the years Dolores & Simon have worked tirelessly and very hands on to create this piece of paradise. They have done things creatively, slowly, and well. You can tell in the detail it has been an absolute labour of love. Everywhere my eyes searched there was clever design and beauty in the interior. Dolores is an accomplished artist (many of her pieces adorn the walls) and the property exudes storytelling everywhere. It really is a breathtaking visual journey showcasing Dolores and Simon’s vision, patience, eye for detail and incredible style.
The property is as comfortable as it is breathtakingly beautiful
Adjacent to the kitchen there are large hardwood framed sliding doors that open to a beautiful pool and outdoor dining area, complete with (yet another) impressive outdoor fireplace and seating area. The use of natural light brings the outside in, and at all times you really feel you are living “in and alongside” nature.
The property has morphed and developed over the years and now has the House, (accommodating up to 4 ppl), the Villa located next door (accommodating up to 10 ppl) and on the other side and separated by a small pathway, the Loft (accommodating up to 4 ppl). All with their own kitchen facilities and private pools.
Celebrating the end of a successful day shooting our S23 campaign at BlueGreen Sanctuary
Blue Green Sanctuary can be booked as an entire property, or the House, Villa and Loft can be booked individually. The space and thoughtful design allow absolute privacy for individual groups but is in close enough proximity for all three properties to be booked as one.
I was lucky to meet Dolores the week I was there (and their beautiful animals). Dolores and Simon live on the property, but respectively keep to themselves (unless the guests need something or have a question). Both are delightful, inspiring and have so much knowledge to share about the area and the property itself.
I connected with Dolores and we got chatting about the stunning interiors and her clear brilliance for creative vision. I broached if she would allow us to capture an Eadie Season there one day in the way of a photoshoot. She was open to it and we shared details.
Just one of the stunning locations at BlueGreen Sanctuary we included in our S23 Zoe Campaign
Little did we know that covid was just around the corner, and life as we knew it was about to change for a while. There was one false start due to circumstances, but we finally were able to secure the Villa & Loft for our Summer 23 Photoshoot for “Zoe”.
Our crew of 6 arrived there for a week. It was important to me that the authenticity and relaxed luxury of the property was conveyed in the photos and video content. So we decided to stay for 5 nights and enjoy the experience as a team, working hard through the days, yet relaxing when we could in between shots with the open fire, swimming pool, outdoor bath (yes a couple of us took the plunge), and wonderful kitchen where we enjoyed making many delicious meals (so much better than water and herbal teas).
We were able to enjoy the Blue Green Sanctuary in its true essence, spend time with Dolores and Simon, and capture the same magic they have created, in the images showcasing our summer collection “Zoe”.
The secluded outdoor bath
I love the serendipitous way this all came about. Blue Green Sanctuary was the most perfect place to showcase our beautiful new collection, house our brilliant team and celebrate creative vision, beautiful hospitality and comfort.
I encourage you to experience this beautiful oasis. The property is delightful all year round and will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and rested. There are a number of fabulous restaurants, cafes and galleries close by in both Newrybar and Byron Bay. The beautiful beaches surrounding the area are all easily accessible by an easy and convenient drive.
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