Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published November 24th 2011
We've all been there - sunbathing naked on the sand, half-asleep, enjoying the cool breeze, only to be rudely awakened by a gang of policemen. In 2010, Little Congwong Beach near Bare Island (yes, Bare Island) was raided and the nude bathers were evicted. What can you do to avoid this unpleasant scenario? Are nudists to be segregated from the rest of society, only permitted to strip off in their backyards? Fortunately, no: there are several NSW nude beaches, like...
Lady Bay Beach
One of Australia's oldest nude beaches, Lady Bay Beach is an excellent place to let it all hang out. It's known as Lady Jane Beach by the people who go there, possibly because of a character from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. Who said that nudists lacked class?
On Middle Head, Cobblers Beach juts out into Sydney Harbour. Like most nude beaches, nudity is permitted on the beach itself but not in the carpark or on the track down. If you were hoping to spend a nude day out, you're better off driving to a deserted smaller beach, but if you're just in it for the casual nudity, Cobblers is a fun choice. It's become more family-friendly recently, as well.
The rather disturbingly named Obelisk Beach is like Cobblers Beach's little brother. Very close by on Middle Head, Obelisk Beach is frequented mainly by locals looking for a quiet, respectful area for nude bathing. It's only a hundred metres or so in length, but it's rarely crowded. Obelisk Beach is also a fairly popular gay cruising spot - whether that makes you more or less likely to pay it a visit, it's useful information.
The general attitude towards nudism (or naturism) in Australia is wildly inconsistent: the surprisingly strong nudist lobby often butts heads with the religious lobbyists and others looking to shut down nudist areas. As a general rule, don't go nude on a non-nude beach, and even on a nudist beach make sure there's a sign somewhere allowing it. The rules can change from month to month, so be prepared: you don't want to get caught with your pants down.
When I lived in Sydney last, I used to explore the harbour walks etc and there was a spot I think you may call it Cobblers Beach, where a group of middle aged men with pot bellies seemed to congregate with what appeared to be similar to the suit in an Emperors new clothes.