The first known Australian nudist clubs date back to the mid 1920’s, albeit they were highly illegal. Today, things have changed somewhat, though nudism or naturism as some like to call it, still has a certain stigma attached. Why do the body conscious among us still snigger at the flaunting of bare flesh? It doesn’t seem to worry the 10,000 or so members of the Australian Nudist Federation.
Lady Bay Beach is one of Australia’s oldest and most publicised nudist beaches, and was first granted legal status in 1976. There are currently over 20 legal beaches around Australia where you can bare all without the worry of being arrested.
Lady Bay (known to some as Lady Jane) Beach is a lovely secluded spot, surrounded by rocky cliff faces and white sand. You can bring a picnic, or take a walk into Watson Bay for delicious fish and chips at well known Doyles Seafood Restaurant.
The area has a lot of historical interest, including Camp Cove, the spot where the First Fleet first landed in Sydney in 1788 and Macquarie Lighthouse, the country’s first lighthouse, built in 1818.
A great way to get to Watsons Bay is to hop on a ferry from Circular Quay, fantastic harbour views along the way.
If you are driving, take the New South Head Road from the city, which runs into Hopetoun Avenue and onto Watsons Bay. Take a left into Military Road and keep driving as far as you can go along to the one way streets of Pacific and Victoria. You can park near Cliff Street, and access to the beach is via a steep pathway at the northern end of Camp Cove behind the Military Reserve.
So cast off those inhibitions, peel off the layers of self doubt and leave your swimmers at home! Or pop them in your bag…just in case.