PHOTO: Unclad athletes compete in the marathon event during the Nude Olympics on Maslin Beach near Adelaide © JAMIE MCDONALD / AFP / Getty Images
Easygoing Australia has an abundance of choice when it comes to beaches where nudism is legal and accepted. Most of the destinations on this list are nestled away, and home to communities of friendly, like-minded naturists who welcome newcomers. At some, you may be the only person there – just you, the sun, the sand, the surf… and not a stitch of clothing to separate you from your surroundings.
Editor’s note: Please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government advice.
Why go nude?
Stripping down at a beach can deliver a boost to self-esteem, letting you see first-hand that most people don’t have supermodel bodies. There is also a strong community of naturists to join, whose openness and friendliness come from the fact they have nothing to hide – not even tan lines. Many naturists say the reason for nude beach-going is simple – they just feel more like themselves without clothes getting in the way.
Nudist beach for first-timers
If you’ve never been to a nudist beach before, common sense and respect is all you need to try it out. Remember that you have full control of when you want to disrobe and when you want to leave. Observe some basic rules and there’s nothing to fear – don’t litter, take photos, get sexual, wander outside of designated nude areas, or come just to stare; do bring sunscreen and shade, take your time, and spread out your towel before sitting on a chair when you’re not wearing clothes. And be sure to check out our list of the best nude beaches for first-timers.
Are nude beaches legal?
The legality of individual beaches depends on the state and local council. Queensland is the only Australian state without a legal nude beach. But stick to the recognised clothing-optional beaches listed here and you’re unlikely to experience problems with the law. You’ll find that the general attitude of Australians is live and let live, even if you’re in your birthday suit.
Maslin Beach – Adelaide, South Australia
Who has the best bum? Find out at Maslin Beach, home to what was once called the Nude Olympics. The competition’s naked three-legged races have been held here since 1983. Alas, the name had to be changed a few years ago because the Australian branch of the IOC (International Olympics Committee) wasn’t amused, nor did they smile upon the revised Maslin Beach Nudo Lympics (nice try). Its official title is now the Pilwarren Maslin Beach Nude Games. The best bum competition is still called the best bum competition, though.
Lady Bay Beach in Sydney (see below) may be Australia’s oldest nudist beach, but Maslin Beach was the first to achieve legal status in 1975. The 1.5km southern end of the beach permits full nudity. The craggy white cliff towering above the squeaky sand occasionally attracts sightseers, but this is rare and the shielded cove feels far away from the clothed north end. Expect clean sand, blue water and golden sun on your bare skin.
Getting there and more info
The beauty of Maslin Beach is that it’s only 45km south of Adelaide and accessible by public transport. From the city take a train to Noarlunga Centre. Then take a Maslin Beach bus from the bus depot. Drivers can park at the cliff-top car park from Tuit Road and walk down the stairs. Being an urban beach, there is a kiosk for food and drink, and a 4WD that passes along the beach in summer selling refreshments.
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