I am a amateur freelance writer from Sydney. My passion is Aboriginal history, Australia and its unusual places. My aim is to share my knowledge to better your experience. Thank you
Published April 19th 2013
Where can you have 4 kilometres of unspoilt river frontage with pebbly sandy beaches, where you are free to roam over 2000 acres of native Australia and view birds, kangaroos and platypuses in their natural habitat?
At River Island Naturist Retreat, experience the love of nature and the freedom in which to enjoy it - naturally!
River Island Naturist Retreat on the Wombeyan Caves Road, Mittagong; 39 kilometres from the town of Mittagong.
Beware the treacherous road, that unfortunately is known for quite a few accidents and deaths, The road winds like a snake around the hills. Just take it easy and look out for oncoming cars. I suggest driving with headlights on and toot the horn if unsure. It is a dirt road and only experienced drivers should use it. Locals use this everyday.
The first 15 kilometres of road is bitumen and is then followed by a further 19 kilometres of dirt road. The road is quite safe and suitable for all vehicles, so you don't need a 4WD.
Pass through the Wombeyan Tunnel built in 1899.
Tunnel built in 1899
Two kilometres past the Wollondilly Tea House is the entrance to River Island. On the left side of the road you will see the orange posts on either side of the driveway and a large blue River Island Naturist Retreat sign. Turn into the driveway and continue for another three kilometres.
Welcome to heaven, you will notice this is 'granite country', The amazing structure of the rocks and boulders scatter across the hills is astounding. Prime cattle sheep country. As you are driving, see the rolling hills and the lushness of this area.
Colin (Col), the owner and creator of this hidden wonderland has brought the valley's beauty to your doorstep. Since the 80's four-wheel drivers have attended functions at River Island, (The Nissan Club Trials, The Son of Trials, 4wd Club Christmas Parties) and paid for Learn How to 4WD courses on the western side of the hill from this beautiful resort.
The famous bog hole and numerous 4WD hills are becoming eroded – so only do your level of 4WD. (See River Island for further information and river crossings. Unfortunately like all groups and associations, people ruin things for others, tracks and property have been damaged through misuse, please respect River Island. If you play up, Col will ask you to leave, this is not a pickup place, its more family and social. All ages are welcome here.
River Island Naturist Retreat offers accommodation ranging from luxury, fully equipped cedar cabins overlooking the valley, quality caravans or you may camp.
Whether you are a nudist or not, this is a different world of acceptance. No judgement is passed and everyone is equal.
River Island offers a relaxing social environment, the friendliness of the people, combined with the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of the Australian countryside. It is the perfect place to spend your holidays or just unwind from a busy week.
River Island has a shop, laundry, spas, pools, BBQ and amenities block.
Don't be surprised to find Col, driving his tractor, grader or another one of his large toys around the grounds.
For those who haven't been to a nudist colony – yes, NUDE. Bushwalkers wear shoes/socks and carry a water bottle and they are the nicest of people.
Over the years Col has rescued injured wildlife, diamond pythons, wallabies, wombats,so you may see them roaming around. The one trick River Island has over other Nudist retreats is the tranquillity and size of River Island, you can be in a group socialising or you can feel that you are totally the only person in existence.
Hi Anne, thanks for the notes. I was searching for reviews of this place but couldn't really find much. My main question... is River Island a safe environment, ie free of the ubiquitous voyeur crowd too prevalent these days? I'm looking for a couple of days rest and 'freedom' on a road trip out of Sydney - reading, bushwalking - and on the face of it River Island looks good. Thanks, Brad