When someone tells you they're coming to visit our vast and beautiful country, what's the first thing you'll suggest they see? Kangaroos? The Sydney Opera House? Bondi Beach? The Outback? Australia is known for a lot of things. After all we're one of the most popular destinations in the world. The land down under boasts incredible tourist attractions and activities. But how about this for a crowd puller? Nude beaches. Yep that's right. Nude beaches give new meaning to a land down under. I mean, they're not a tourist attraction you usually find on a mainstream tourist itinerary. But we have plenty of them. So why not get your kit off, take the plunge and visit one?
Whether you're daring and adventurous, or even just a little curious, Australia's nude beaches are for you. Like most Australian beaches they're bedazzlingly and beautiful. Nudists and naturists rave about them. So come on, let's go on a nudie run through nude beach Australia to find out just how spectacular Australia's nudist beaches are and what to expect when you're on one.
How Nude Beaches Came to Be
Nudism is not a new movement or idea. It's been around for more than 100 years. The first Olympics featured nude athletes. The first nudist colonies were set up back in 1891 in British India. They've been going strong ever since.
The naturism or nudism movement first took off in the early 1900s when Germany's nudist colonies opened in 1903. The Nazis suppressed the movement but it didn't completely stop or disappear and enjoyed a post war resurgence.
In the 1920s, a small number of secluded clubs joined the illegal movement. After World War II ended, more clubs accepted naturism and this paved the way for increased popularity. By the 1960s countries such as France began to embrace nudism too.
In Australia, naturism was introduced to the public in 1968. That's when the Australian Nudist Federation was founded. The group was established not only to support nudism, but also as a means of creating strict rules governing the behaviour and activities of its members. Movies, TV shows, and magazines had started featuring partial and total nudity. Society was becoming desensitised to flesh and nudism was finding greater acceptance.
Early Perceptions of Nudism
Naturalism was considered an extreme taboo. Many saw it as an activity of sexual deviance and pornography. It's little wonder it was outlawed. But like many misunderstood and unsupported practices, the more popularity grew, the more misconceptions shrunk. Society generally became less conservative so perceptions around naked beaches and nudist vacations changed.
Today, nude beaches are often included in travel guides and itineraries and there are several countries that have made these places legal destinations.
Why Go to Nude Beaches? Why Take Off Your Clothes?
One of the most common questions thrown at a nudist is, "Why do you go nude? Why do you like going to a nudist beach and strip off?" So yes, why does one feel the urge to strip off down to their birthday suit. Well, there are several answers.
1. Going nude makes you feel fresh, refreshed and free. Being at one with nature is the most natural drug there is. Taking away the only layer that sits between you and the world (your clothes) allows you to feel truly connected to the earth.
2. Going to a nude beach is the ultimate lesson in self confidence. Being confident enough in your own skin to go nude in front of strangers is liberating and transformative.
3. Going nude helps reduce judgement. Not everyone has six-pack abs or a Victoria Secret body. Nude beaches are a judgement free zone. They encourage acceptance no matter your shape, size or colour. Let it all hang out. No one cares.
4. Going to a nude beach is fun. It's a mental and physical challenge but ultimately it's about feeling free and happy. And that is what makes it good, not so old fashioned, fun.
So this is why more and more people are discovering–and enjoying–the different kind of beach experience nude beaches offer.
Nude Beach Etiquette and Nude Beach Rules
Now if you're thinking of checking out a nude beach, it's important to understand there are rules and etiquette to follow. It's not just a case of come as you are and do as you wish. Oh. No. Do not be fooled by the easy going connotation that gallivanting around naked might imbue. Make no mistake. Nudists and naturists have some of the strictest and rigorous regimens around.
1. The first rule: DO NOT take photos–of yourself or of anyone else.
2. Do not leave your garbage anywhere. Littering is a serious offense on nude beaches... or any other beach for that matter.
3. Do not get sexual. If you're thinking "can you have sex on a nude beach?". The answer is a flat out no. Never do anything that could make others feel uncomfortable. This applies to the way you sit, stand or lie. Natural is fine. Provocative is not.
4. Do not make jokes–any joke–about breasts or any other part of anatomy.
5. Do not wander nude anywhere outside the designated nudist area.
6. Do not go to a nudist beach just because you want to stare. Pervs are not permitted. It's supposed to be a safe zone not a voyeuristic paradise.
1. Do bring and apply sunscreen to all parts of your body.
2. Do find some shade or go under an umbrella.
3. Do use a towel wherever you are sitting or lying down.
4. Do take your time. Relax and recharge.
Following these rules will help make your nudist beach experience memorable and enjoyable. Remember, one wrong move could have you thrown off the beach in seconds.
Nude Beach Laws
Australia law around nudism varies from state to state. In most states there are places to go legally nude. But in Queensland, home of the famed Gold Coast and Noosa, at least officially, nudism is forbidden. Unofficial nudist beaches do exist though. There are also clothing optional beaches.
You can't show your map of Tassie in Tasmania either. But still there are at least three "unofficial" nudist spots there.
Clothing Optional Beaches and Family-Friendly Nude Beaches
Australia has several types of nudist beaches such as the clothing optional ones. These beaches are so-called because visitors can wear clothes. It's not mandatory to be nude or not. The term can be mistaken to mean topless beach even though they are completely different things. Going topless seems to be acceptable -ala European tradition–on most Australian beaches these days.
The land down under also has a family nude beach option. Nude beaches that are family-friendly so mum, dad and the kids can skinny dip.
There are also entire nudist caravan parks, which often come with amenities and activities like walking, table tennis, and golf. Nude camping is also an option for the true naturist.
The 10 Best Nude Beaches in Australia
10. Cobbler's Beach, Sydney
Cobbler's Beach is where the Sydney Skinny takes place every year. Naked participants swim 900 metres as fast as they can. This nude beach is open to anyone who wants an even tan.
Located at the northern part of the harbour, it is a pictures que beach that's also ideal for snorkelling and picnicking.
Cobbler's Beach is in the Sydney Harbour National Park. There are also areas that require clothing, particularly in the grassed area behind the beach and in the bushland.
9. Little Diggers Beach, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
A Private Spot for Nudists
Located in Diggers Headland Place along Coffs Harbour, Little Diggers is the ideal choice for nudists who want to find some quiet time alone. If you go there during low tide, you'll find an area of rocks that you can climb over. It leads to a small secluded area that you can have for yourself. Calm waters and relaxing swimming.
8. Casuarina Free Beach, Darwin
Casuarina Beach is located in Darwin in the Northern Territory. It's popular not only among couples and friends, but also among families. Casuarina Free Beach is its clothing optional beach. The beach is open the whole year but swimming is not allowed from May until October because of the presence of the deadly box jellyfish.
The beach has amenities like clean toilets and showers.
7. Armand's Bay, New South Wales
Best for First Timers
Located in Bergami South, Armand's Bay is ideal for first time nude beach swimmers. It offers body surfing. What first time skinny dipper wouldn't enjoy that?
The beach is safe enough as it is located in a secluded area. There's no need to worry about peeping toms, sneaky photographers, or curious passers by. The down side is it doesn't have nearby amenities. Facilities and food can be hard to come by. So BYO is the key here.
6. North Swanbourne Beach, Perth
The Posh Nudist Beach
Located behind army barracks in a posh Perth suburb, North Swanbourne Beach is a strip of beautiful golden sand that welcomes nude swimming. Before stripping down to your birthday suit, look for the yellow garbage bins first. They're the flags for where you can go nude. This is a clothing optional beach.
The beach's waters are not necessarily calm and friendly, but they're perfect for a nudie adventure. North Swanbourne is only 20 minutes away from the city centre.
5. Alexandria Bay, Queensland
The Well-Kept Secret
Alexandria Bay is not really a secret; it just seems that way because not a lot of tourists who go to the Noosa National Park (where it is located) are aware of it. It's well hidden from the public view.
Known as A-bay to the locals, this beach is a good choice for those who want a private nature-inspired experience. You can get in a good swim and enjoy nature at the same time.
Be careful though. There's no surf patrol on this beach so swim at your own risk or stay on the sand.
4. Cow Bay, Queensland
The Wild Landscape
Ever dreamed of going nude in the Australian Outback? Well, Cow Bay is the closest you can get. This rocky beach is set amongst the wild of the Australian landscape. Jellyfish, mangrove trees and crocodiles. It's the best option for those who want to experience nature at its rawest. Swimming, however, is not recommended.
Cow Bay is close to areas that provide caravan and camping supplies.
3. Lady Bay Beach, Sydney
The Oldest in Australia
Considered the oldest nudist beach in Australia, Lady Bay has been attracted people even before 1976, when nudity was legalised. It has a carefree atmosphere, which is perfect for nudists whose main objective is to relax and have fun.
Lady Bay has two natural piers, both pretty rocky. It's beautiful and clear blue waters attract a variety of visitors, including the gay population and tourists. Sometimes, there are even families with children there.
You'll love getting lost in the jagged skyline of this nudist beach.
2. Sunnyside North Beach, Melbourne
This clothing optional beach has been serving the people of Melbourne–and its visitors–since 1983. It's favourite spot for nudists. One of the reasons for its popularity is the fact that it is ideal for beginners or first timers because it's quite sheltered. No worries about getting lost or accidentally walking into the clothed area.
It's has a cool vibe. Relaxing, and Friendly. Sunnyside Beach's calm blue water is a big attraction. Make sure you bring food, water, and essentials. There aren't any shops nearby.
1. Maslin Beach, Adelaide
The Nude Olympics
Maslin Beach is known as the first legal nude beach in Australia. It's popular because it is the home of the Nude Olympics, an event that has featured naked three-legged running races since 1983. Although the competition's official name has been changed to the Pilwarren Maslin Beach Nude Games, people still remember its old title.
For those who prefer to go all-out nude, there's a full nudity strip at the beach's southern end. With cool blue water, clean sand, and a bright sun, the cove is protected and separated from the clothed area. There's a white cliff overlooking the beach, but it's still pretty protected despite the occasional sightseers.
This nudist beach gained legal status in 1975. Food and refreshments are sold at Maslin Beach which makes it perfectly convenient.
Now you have all the necessary information about nude beaches. So what are you waiting for? Take the plunge. Go nude or go home!