James Cameron’s sprawling ranch, nestled in Hollister Ranch—a community passionate about conservation, has been put up for sale, tagged at a whopping $33 million. The elegant wood and glass architecture of the primary residence offers breathtaking vistas of the ocean.
The property, sprawled across about 100 acres, can be found on the picturesque Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County. Historical records reveal that Cameron, originally from Canada, procured this property in the late 1990s, shelling out $4.375 million.
The director behind many blockbuster films notably shared that the house boasts an ocean-view room which he transformed into a library and workspace. It was here that he penned parts of “Avatar,” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” He mentioned that the stunning oceanic panorama served as his muse.
Nestled within Hollister Ranch, this property is part of a unique enclave that places great emphasis on the preservation of the environment. This includes maintaining vast expanses for grazing and natural wildlife habitats. On sharing their initial motivation to purchase this home, the Camerons recollected their desire to shift from their expansive Malibu residence to somewhere more serene and agrarian. Suzy Cameron humorously added that their journey from the Malibu house to the ranch would often see a musical transition—from rock ’n’ roll to more tranquil tunes by Enya.
Mr. Cameron fondly spoke about the transformative experience of driving along the coastal road, mentioning, “As you drive along that coastal road, the cares of the world go away.”
This ranch estate comprises an approximately 8,000-square-foot main house with five bedrooms, reveals Emily Kellenberger, who is co-listing the property. Alongside the stunning ocean views, the home offers multiple offices, a gym, entertainment spaces, and a media room. After acquiring this residence, the Camerons invested a year in revamping it, emphasizing the property’s authentic charm by bringing back its original woods and installing quartzite flooring. The director added, “The previous owner had had a lot of marble. We brought it back down to something that felt connected to the land.”
Beyond the main house, the sprawling property features a guesthouse spanning 2,000 square feet, a tennis court, and an exotic lagoon-styled pool which, in the director’s words, mirrors the allure of a Hawaiian resort.
The property also houses a mammoth 24,000-square-foot equestrian barn. Cameron, a deep-sea exploration enthusiast, uses this space to store his helicopters, submarines, and other expeditionary vehicles. Additionally, the property is equipped with a helicopter landing pad.
Both James and Suzy Cameron are recognized environmentalists. In line with this, their ranch allows them to grow a wide variety of organic produce. In fact, their yield has been substantial enough to contribute to their school’s food supply. Their love for animals is evident in their choice of pets—donkeys, goats, and a pig, though they clarify that these are for companionship and not agriculture.
From this property, Cameron has been privileged to witness the region’s vibrant marine life, spotting an array of creatures ranging from gray whales to dolphins. The house’s proximity to the beach, a mere quarter-mile away, allows them to regularly observe surfers riding the waves.
Proudly, Cameron pointed out the ranch’s self-sufficiency. It operates on wind and solar power, generating around 100 kilowatts, and has provisions to function off-grid indefinitely. It also has its water sources, ensuring complete autonomy.
Reflecting on the world’s uncertainties, he remarked, “I think if the world ends, it’s going to end everywhere, so we’ve got to work pretty hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. But in terms of short-term shocks, where you do want to make sure that your family’s secure, this would be a good place to weather a storm.”
For relaxation, the couple often strolls on the ranch’s expansive trails. They particularly enjoy “the Mama Jama” trail, known for its challenging terrain. Their evenings usually culminate in them settling on a love seat in their backyard, sipping on their preferred wines, and watching the sunset, as Suzy Cameron shared.
In recent times, the topic of public access to California’s beaches has sparked significant debate, with Hollister Ranch at its epicenter. While state officials aim to open a public pathway through the ranch, owners are apprehensive about its environmental implications. Echoing the sentiments of many fellow property owners, Cameron voiced concerns about potential damage and emphasized the importance of privacy, stating, “I’m an old-school land rights kind of guy in that regard.”