Gay Nudes Down Under
By Mike Boisvert.
Australia has the biggest rock (Ayers), the tastiest meat pies, and the largest patch of land in the free world without a legal free beach. It' s called Queensland. Instead of "The sunshine state," Queensland's numberplate slogan should be "Still Waiting." Even the explorer James Cook must have been missing his skinny-dipping, and having a rotten time when he sailed up this coastline.
The Northern Territory is the red heart of their land. "The Territory" has the biggest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet, and its nudists all remain hidden from view, enjoying the privacy of their backyard pools. This leaves one lonely gay beach, Casuarina Beach, north of Darwin, and to the few local gay Territorians who are still waiting for their pool at home to get finished. Part of this beach has been officially designated as clothing optional since 1976. Starting from central Darwin, head northeast toward the airport on Stuart Highway. Turn left onto Bagot Road. Continue several kilometers. Watch for the turnoff toward the airport entrance at McMillans Road. After one kilometer past the airport turnoff, bear right onto Trower Road. Follow Trower several kilometers. Trower will lead into Casuarina Coastal Preserve. Close to the end of Trower as it approaches the beach turn right onto Daribah Road (at the Dripstone picnic area) and go north along the beach about one kilometer to a parking lot. From here walk take a right on the beach about 500 meters to reach the start of the nude area. You should see a sign. The nude area extends about one kilometer, where you'll find most gay men at the farther end. Maps in the reserve point out the location of the nude area so you should have no trouble finding it. The beach is sandy and backed by trees to provide shade. On weekdays, most bathers are single men. Straight folks also visit the nude beach on weekends but its large enough so that it never feels crowded.
There are several good nudist beaches in around the arms of Sydney Harbor. However most are difficult to get to, and you either have to own a boat, be a marathon swimmer, or a disciple of orienteering to reach them. Needless to say, most beach-going Syneysiders prefer the easy access which Bondi provides. Some wry observer suggested that the true icons of Sydney's beaches are the Bondi Beach lifeguards. Apparently that stern distant look they seem to adopt is not because they are looking for Grey Nurse sharks surfing in on the first line of breakers; it is because they pull their lightweight synthetic swimming trunks so far up their derrieres that it seperates the left and right side of their brains. It is easily reached on Bus Route 380, or by train from Circular Quay. With its wide golden sands, ragged sandstone headlands and reliably fine rollers, Bondi is at its best, not surprisingly in summer. Activity kicks off at dawn, with joggers on the promenade, muscled bodies by the shore and die-hard surfers catching a few waves before work. You can also take a train from Kings Road Cross Station to Bondi Junction and take a five-minute bus or taxi ride from there. A paved walkway offers beautiful views during the ten-minute walk from the fairly gay southern end to Tamarama Beach, nicknamed "Glamorama," as the buffed and beautiful (known as "Barbies" by the locals) come here to see and be seen.
Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. Its main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving in summer, like the other states, because if the workforce got up an hour earlier all the men would get their morning erections on the bus on the way to work. There is further evidence of this cavalier attitude when authorities allocated Swanbourne Beach as a clothes-optional stretch of sand. The nude area of the beach is west---and slightly south---of downtown Perth. North Swanbourne very popular. It may draw up to 1,000 bathers on summer weekends, and quite a few bathers also visit during the week. Everyone is naked, and the crowd has lots of gay men. The beach has freindly, social atmosphere with volleyball games being played. From downtown Perth, head southwest on Stirling Highway Route 5 for about 9 or 10 kilometers. Then turn right on Eric Street, which leads about 1.5 kilometers to the coast. Turn right onto Marine Parade that is near the Swanbourne/Nedlands Surf Club. On the beach walk to the right when facing the ocean and just 300 meters from the parking lot you'll reach the start of the nude area. Keep walking to reach the gay area. Nude use ends when you reach the Campbell Barracks army rifle range.
South Australia's capital is Adelaide. Known as the city of churches and arts, Adelaide is said to be closed on Sundays; however, they welcome tourists, but are wary of newcomers. Adelaide's nudists drive the 28 miles south to Maslin's Beach, the first officially designated clothes-optional beach in Australia. Maslin Beach is scenic with its multi-colored cliffs behind the beach of red and brown. Something you expect to see in the canyons of Arizona and Utah but with the added bonus of having an ocean in front of it. Maslin Beach stretches 3 kilometers and has both has mixed crown of clothed and nude bathers. The north end is where the clothed bathers hang out, while the southern end is where you'll find the nude bathers. Maslin has large crowds including lots of gay men. From central Adelaide, go south on Main South Road. After about 30 kilometers, watch for where the Victor Harbour Road veers off to the left of Noarlunga. It's 10 more 10 kilometers from here to Maslin Beach where you'll see a large Maslin Beach sign. If you turn here, you'll go through Maslin Beach and arrive at a beachfront parking lot that provides direct access to the clothing section of the beach; and you'll have to walk south over a kilometer to reach the nude area. Or if you can handle a long flight of stairs, you can go to another parking lot directly above the nude beach. Continue south on Main South Road a few kilometers past the Maslin Beach sign, then turn right onto Thomas Road. Go about one kilometer, then turn left onto Old Coach Road. After a few hundred meters turn right onto Tuit Road. Follow Tuit to its end where you'll reach a parking lot. A long flight of stairs will lead you to the nude beach. Gay men tend to gather farther left when facing the water.
That leaves Victoria, which gets more sunshine and on average higher temperatures than Sydney. Beachable weather (with temps in the mid-20s Celsius) starts in Spring (mid-September) and continues to late April. Melbourne's most popular nudist beach is Point Impossible. This is a popular beach and parking may be difficult to find on weekends. It's a surf beach on the eastern outskirts of Torquay, about 30 minutes drive from Geelong. Its broad uninterrupted white sand beach stretches in both directions from the carpark, bordered by large dunes covered by grasses and shrubs. Heading south from Melbourne or Geelong along the Surfcoast Highway, turn left before Torquay onto Blackgate Rd or South Beach Rd, then right at Horseshoe Bend Rd. Turn left at the end onto The Esplanade. There is a carpark at the end of the gravel section of The Esplanade, with access to the middle of the legal nude beach. A gravelled car park is located behind the beach. There are toilets available but no shower facilities. We are not sure exactly where the gay section is, but like any gay section, it's usually on the outskirts.
If you find these gay nude beaches not to your liking, you have a binary choice. You can do what many tourists do and make your own nude beach where you find it, or the tanned traveler can visit one of the many gay nudist resorts found in each state.
If you have updated information on these areas, contact us so we can share with everyone.
This story was researched with the help of Michael Boyd's book, Naked Places, A Guide for Gay Men to Nude Recreation and Travel, which may be purchased at Amazon.com, by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/096560893X/gayoutdoorsco-20