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 August 2nd 2012
Wine, golf, and nude bathing
Spring in Brisbane
It's been a chilly few months. That's always the worst time of year, even in sunny Brisbane. The beaches are too cold for any but the most dedicated (or well-equipped) surfers, and no matter how many blankets you pile on, you still can't shake that last bit of chill from your legs.
Much to everybody's relief, winter doesn't last forever. When the rain outside is the size of golf balls, it might be hard to imagine relaxing on a sunny beach, but summer's coming anyway. Before then, however, is spring: the silly season, where it's warm enough to leave your gloves at home but not quite warm enough yet for everybody to start sweating all the time. It's hard to get back into the swing of things, so here are some activities to bridge the gap between winter and summer.
Balding Bay Nude Beach
Surprisingly, spring is the perfect time for nude bathing. The same cold weather that makes it uncomfortable to swim also drives away most people from the beaches, creating the perfect secluded atmosphere. Even proper nude beaches like Buchans Point or Alexandria Bay are good to visit in spring: you'll only find die-hard naturists, not the oglers and perverts that flock to nude beaches in summer.
Balding Bay Beach, on Magnetic Island, is one of Australia's best nudist beaches, thanks in no small part to its beautiful scenery. You can hike up to it (a short hike, only an hour) or sail across the bay, and there's a campground if you're looking to stay a while. One warning, though: nude bathing is technically illegal in Queensland. On the other hand, the chance of a policeman hiking all the way to Balding Bay so he can fine a few naturists is slim to none.
Brookwater Golf Club
Golf is the perfect spring sport: not quite energetic enough to keep you warm on a cold winter's day, but, if you don't cheat and use a golf cart, it's easy to overheat during summer. Brisbane's got some amazing courses, too – in fact, just over half of the top twenty-five resort golf courses in Australia are in Queensland. Like the Brookwater Golf Club, rated the state's best course twelve times in the last six years, or the Gainsborough Greens, which is also home to a family of grey kangaroos.
They're not much more grey than regular kangaroos.
No matter your skill level, it's always fun to get a few friends together and play. Not great at fine control? Hire a club and whack some balls Happy-Gilmore-style at a driving range. Too feeble for that? There's always the putting green, which is much harder to humiliate yourself on. A little friendly competition – perhaps assisted by a handicap – is an excellent way to ring in the changing of the seasons.
Ocean View Estates Winery
Only 45 minutes' drive north of Brisbane, Ocean View Estates can make you enjoy spring like a rich person. Shell out $140 and they'll take you on a horseback tour of the countryside before finishing at the winery for lunch and expensive drinks. Spring is the best time of year to visit a vineyard – everything is green, the weather is usually fine, and it's warm enough so you can wander around the rows without losing sensation in your extremities.