Top 10 Best Nudist Beaches in Australia today
Top 10 Best Nudist Beaches in Australia today

Easygoing Australia has an abundance of choice when it comes to beaches where nudism is legal and accepted. Most of the destinations on this list are nestled away, and home to communities of friendly, like-minded naturists who welcome newcomers. At some, you may be the only person there – just you, the sun, the sand, the surf... and not a stitch of clothing to separate you from your surroundings, according to Lonely Planet.

Surprisingly enough one of the best places to go skinny dipping is in Sydney itself where there are a handful of recognised nude beaches. In fact New South Wales in general is well ahead of the rest of Australia with 20 legal clothing optional beaches.

Slightly disappointing is that some of the best naturist beaches in Australia are not legally recognised. In fact there are no official nude beaches in either Queensland or Tasmania, but with the exception of a few well-known problem spots you are very unlikely to be bothered by the long arm of the law.

How Nude Beaches Came to Be

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Nudism is not a new movement or idea. It's been around for more than 100 years. The first Olympics featured nude athletes. The first nudist colonies were set up back in 1891 in British India. They've been going strong ever since.

The naturism or nudism movement first took off in the early 1900s when Germany's nudist colonies opened in 1903. The Nazis suppressed the movement but it didn't completely stop or disappear and enjoyed a post war resurgence.

In the 1920s, a small number of secluded clubs joined the illegal movement. After World War II ended, more clubs accepted naturism and this paved the way for increased popularity. By the 1960s countries such as France began to embrace nudism too.

In Australia, naturism was introduced to the public in 1968. That's when the Australian Nudist Federation was founded. The group was established not only to support nudism, but also as a means of creating strict rules governing the behaviour and activities of its members. Movies, TV shows, and magazines had started featuring partial and total nudity. Society was becoming desensitised to flesh and nudism was finding greater acceptance.

Early Perceptions of Nudism

Naturalism was considered an extreme taboo. Many saw it as an activity of sexual deviance and pornography. It's little wonder it was outlawed. But like many misunderstood and unsupported practices, the more popularity grew, the more misconceptions shrunk. Society generally became less conservative so perceptions around naked beaches and nudist vacations changed.

Today, nude beaches are often included in travel guides and itineraries and there are several countries that have made these places legal destinations.

Are nude beaches legal?

The legality of individual beaches depends on the state and local council. Queensland is the only Australian state without a legal nude beach. But stick to the recognised clothing-optional beaches listed here and you’re unlikely to experience problems with the law. You’ll find that the general attitude of Australians is live and let live, even if you’re in your birthday suit.

Nude Beach Laws

Australia law around nudism varies from state to state. In most states there are places to go legally nude. But in Queensland, home of the famed Gold Coast and Noosa, at least officially, nudism is forbidden. Unofficial nudist beaches do exist though. There are also clothing optional beaches.

You can't show your map of Tassie in Tasmania either. But still there are at least three "unofficial" nudist spots there.

Clothing Optional Beaches and Family-Friendly Nude Beaches

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Australia has several types of nudist beaches such as the clothing optional ones. These beaches are so-called because visitors can wear clothes. It's not mandatory to be nude or not. The term can be mistaken to mean topless beach even though they are completely different things. Going topless seems to be acceptable -ala European tradition–on most Australian beaches these days.

The land down under also has a family nude beach option. Nude beaches that are family-friendly so mum, dad and the kids can skinny dip.

There are also entire nudist caravan parks, which often come with amenities and activities like walking, table tennis, and golf. Nude camping is also an option for the true naturist.

Top 10 Best Nude Beaches In the U.S Where You Show Body without Being Judged Top 10 Best Nude Beaches In the U.S Where You Show Body without Being Judged

What are the 10 best nudist beaches in Australia?

1. Cable Beach

Photo: Australia's North West
Photo: Australia's North West

Broome's Cable Beach is justifiably world famous for its 22 kilometres of sun-kissed white sand, turquoise water and spectacular Indian Ocean sunsets. But what really gives it a top spot on the must-do list is the experience of taking in all its tropical splendour from the seat of a camel train.

With flights direct from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney all year round and connecting flights from all other Australian capital cities, you can get to Cable Beach in just a short eight-minute drive or bus trip from the township of Broome.

The beach is very much a part of Broome's history, earning its name from the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889, connecting Australia's North West with the world.

Word of this beauty spot has travelled far since then, but it's still possible to find your own secluded slice of paradise.

Stay at one of the resorts near Cable Beach or just visit for the day from Broome. Take a swim, hop on a boat cruise or just sit and drink in one of best ocean sunsets on Earth.

Cable Beach is home to one of Australia's most famous nudist beaches. The clothes-optional area is to the north of the beach access road from the car park and continues to the mouth of Willie Creek, 17 km (11 mi) away.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are permitted north of the rocks. This allows people to explore the beach at low tide to a much greater extent than would be possible on foot.

Camel rides are offered around sunrise and sunset hours on the northern parts of the beach just past a rocky section.

The Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park is located near Cable Beach and was established in 1983 by the late Malcolm Douglas and holds 30 adult crocodiles that have been captured in the wild after threatening humans. The park is home to Fatso, a saltwater crocodile who on 12 July 2010 bit a Melbourne man, Michael Newman, who climbed into his enclosure.

2. Maslin Beach

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

Maslin Beach is a southern coastal suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. It is located in the City of Onkaparinga.

The name refers to the town of Maslin Beach, the beach after which it was named and the suburb which contains both. In this article, the name refers to the suburb, unless stated otherwise.

Red Ochre Cove lies south of Ochre Point, which separates Maslin Beach from Moana Beach to the north.

The most well-known attraction in the suburb is the beach at Maslin Beach. Also known as Maslin's Beach or, simply, Maslin's, the beach is the site of a cliff-lined recreation reserve stretching from Maslin Beach town in the north to Blanche Point in the south.

In 1975, the southern half of the beach was declared Australia's first official nude beach. The beach is almost 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long, so the area reserved for nude bathing is away from other beach users.

The Maslin Beach Nude Olympics are held annually, consisting of informal competitions such as three-legged races and the judging of "best bum". This is now called the Pilwarren Maslin Beach Nude Games.

There are three parks in Maslin Beach. One is at the top of the stairs, one is on Beachway Avenue and one is on Parkway Avenue located next to the town hall.

The development of Maslins Beach and adjacent lands for prospective tourism and recreational facilities has been a subject of controversy. In 2014, the Onkaparinga Council rejected the prospect of rezoning lands for the potential development of a marina following objections from residents. The proponent lobbying for rezoning was Nobletech, represented by John Hunt. The Development Assessment Commission's agenda of 14 November 2013 noted that Nobletech wished to develop "a regional tourism hub to promote the natural environment and greater use of Maslin Beach."

How to get to Maslin Beach

The beauty of Maslin Beach is that it’s only 45km south of Adelaide and accessible by public transport. From the city take a train to Noarlunga Centre. Then take a Maslin Beach bus from the bus depot. Drivers can park at the cliff-top car park from Tuit Road and walk down the stairs. Being an urban beach, there is a kiosk for food and drink, and a 4WD that passes along the beach in summer selling refreshments.

3. Sunnyside Beach


Sunnyside is a lakefront district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It includes a beach and park area along Lake Ontario's Humber Bay, from west of Exhibition Place to the mouth of the Humber River. The area has several recreation uses, including rowing clubs, sports clubs, picnic areas, playgrounds, a nightclub, a bathing pavilion and public pool. The area is a 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long strip along the lakeshore, bounded by the Gardiner Expressway and rail lines, which separate it from the Parkdale, Roncesvalles and Swansea neighbourhoods to the north. The name originates in a local farm owned by John Howard, which was situated just to the north, on the location of the current St. Joseph's Health Centre hospital.

The area is first noted in Toronto history as the location of the landing of an 1813 attack in the War of 1812. As Toronto grew, High Park preserved the open space to the north, while the Sunnyside area along the lake was taken over by new rail lines and a hydro-electric line serving Toronto, although the area remained popular for boating and swimming. By 1900, there were calls to clean up the area and in the 1910s, the area was the site of a massive waterfront reclamation public works project which expanding the land area by 38 hectares (94 acres), provided a breakwater for boating and built several beaches. Its popularity grew as a summertime recreation area and from 1922 to 1955, the reclaimed land was home to the popular Sunnyside Amusement Park which ran every summer. The amusement park was demolished to facilitate the building of the expressway, leaving behind several shoreline recreation uses from the era of the park, including the pool, the beaches and the sports clubs, all of which remain popular and well-used each summer.

First-timers, this may be the place for you. Sunnyside (North) Beach is known for its friendly social atmosphere with a mixed crowd of families, couples and people who come here alone to feel anonymous in their nudity amongst the crowd. The blue water rarely gets rough and the beach is secluded from the clothed side.

However, in late 2021 this nude beach was put on notice: the local council is reviewing its clothing-optional status, a review championed by local Mount Eliza residents. Melbourne's strict Covid-19 lockdowns prevented out-of-towners from travelling to the beach, giving locals the opportunity to swim here without the nudist community who traditionally accessed the stretch of coastline. This isn't the first time locals tried to get the nudist beach closed down. A review in 2006 resulted in the signs remaining despite resident objections.

How to get to Sunnyside Beach

This beach is just north of Frankston and has legal nudity status. Drivers should take the Nepean Highway to 2.5km north of Mount Eliza and park at (the clothed) Sunnyside Beach, then walk from the car park through the bush to Sunnyside North Beach. There are no shops nearby, so pack water and food or stock up in Mount Eliza. The yellow sand can be strewn with pebbles so bring good walking shoes.

4. Lady Jane Beach

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

When you feel the need for a quick nature escape but don’t have the time to get out of town, why not enjoy a weekend getaway in your own city? South of the harbour, between South Head and Camp Cove, this tiny beach packs a mighty punch with spectacular views. Ideal for those who enjoy a quiet swim on a beach, cozzies are optional as this is a designated nude bathing area.

Unroll the beach towel on some sensational real estate, as you gaze out over one of the most scenic harbours in the world, across to Middle Head. Enjoy a refreshing dip before tucking into a delicious picnic lunch.

If you feel like a walk, join South Head Heritage trail for more breathtaking views across to North Head and the South Pacific Ocean. Nearby historic Hornby Lighthouse, with its distinctive markings, is well worth a look. Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch or whale watch.

This short stretch of sand, also known as Little Bay Beach, is one for exhibitionists (mostly male), since tourists on boats often like to gawp as they make their way toward South Head. It's clothing optional, but most patrons are keen to keep it as natural as possible.

5. Obelisk Beach

Photo: Concrete Playground
Photo: Concrete Playground

Obelisk Beach (part of Obelisk Bay) is a nude beach in Mosman, New South Wales, Australia.

The beach is on the southern side of Middle Head in Sydney Harbour and is part of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Prior to European settlement in 1788, the area was inhabited by Indigenous Australians speaking the Guringai language. Aboriginal sites are found in the bushland all around Georges Head. The arrival of smallpox with European colonists meant that by 1795, the Aboriginal population on the northern side of Sydney Harbour had declined by as much as 90%.

In 1815, Governor Lachlan Macquarie dubbed Bungaree "Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe" and presented him with 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land on Georges Head. He was also known by the titles "King of Port Jackson" and "King of the Blacks". Bungaree spent the rest of his life ceremonially welcoming visitors to Australia, educating people about Aboriginal culture (especially boomerang throwing), and soliciting tribute, especially from ships visiting Sydney. Bungaree and his family kept a fishing boat on the beach.

In the early 20th century, the beach was painted by artists such as Herbert Reginald Gallop, as well as being a popular site for picnics.

The beach is attended predominantly by homosexual men, and is considered a 'gay-friendly' beach by some.

Located just off Middle Head, Obelisk is a little nude pocket renowned for its tranquility. It's a decent hike down the stairs to this little salty nudist haven, but it's worth it for the gorgeous views of Camp Cove, Parsley, Watsons Bay and Vaucluse in the distance.

Obelisk Beach is one of Sydney's few legal nude beaches, so if you're feeling the natural vibe, then get to strippin'! You'll need to park up the hill and walk a fair way to get here – it's at the bottom of a long series of steps, and as far as beaches go, she's a small one. But it's worth it for the gorgeous views of Camp Cove and Parsley, Watsons and Vaucluse Bays in the distance.

6. North Swanbourne Beach, Perth

Photo: World Beach Guide
Photo: World Beach Guide

Swanbourne is a coastal suburb of Perth, which is the capital and by far the largest city in Western Australia. The northern end of Swanbourne's beach abuts a military base called Campbell Barracks (lightly shaded in orange), and this part of the beach has a nudity tradition that dates back many decades. While there are a number of nude beaches in the vast state of Western Australia, North Swanbourne is by far the the most popular since it is most accessible to a large concentration of people.

Despite its popularity, as best we can tell North Swanbourne has never been bestowed with an official clothing-optional designation. In 2008, the City of Nedlands (which is the local governing authority of Swanbourne and a number of other nearby suburbs) erected a sign at the southern boundary of the nude area indicating "Clothing Optional Beach Beyond This Point," which certainly hints at official recognition. (However, the sign has been torn down on at least one occasion, so the presence of a sign in uncertain.) So, it seems that North Swanbourne is one of those beaches where the nudity culture is so ingrained that it is often presumed to be a legal nude beach, but the actual legal standing is not clear. Whatever the case, nudity is freely tolerated, and North Swanbourne can draw hundreds of nude bathers on peak days.

Next to the parking lot, there are buildings that house a surf club and a restaurant called The Naked Fig (where public toilets are located). Facing the ocean, walk to the right (north) about 300 meters past the end of these buildings to reach the start of the nude area (where there may or may not be a sign). There have been some complaints in recent years concerning nudity that occurs too close to the parking lot, before the start of the accepted nude area. If you begin to encounter nude bathers immediately, be aware that they are acting irresponsibly and do not follow their lead. Even walking through sand, it only takes a few minutes to walk 300 meters, and walking the full distance helps avoid tensions between nudists and textiles.

While there is a generally agreed-upon start of the nude area, the end of the nude area is less definite. Most nudists you encounter will be gathered along the first several hundred meters of the nude beach, but the military property extends north over 2 kilometers, and all that area is potentially nudist. You will probably tire of walking before you reach the point where clothing is again necessary, but, wherever you are along the beach, do not stray into the dunes. Doing so is strictly prohibited.

7. Alexandria Bay, Sunshine Coast

Photo: World Beach Guide
Photo: World Beach Guide

On the opposite side of Noosa Head’s famous headland, Alexandria Bay is a quieter location for soaking up the tranquility and rays on this golden sandy beach. The only way in is on foot, either from Noosa Heads (3.5km through the Noosa National Park) or 20 minutes on foot from McAnally Drive on Sunshine Beach (1.3km).

Away from the crowds on Noosa Main Beach, its remoteness does attract nudists, albeit unofficially. Known locally as “A-Bay” you can also enjoy a walk all around Noosa National Park taking in Hell’s Gates and the Fairy Pools, one of several popular viewpoints overlooking Tea Tree Bay and the North Shore.

Alexandria Beach faces east and is quite exposed. It is unpatrolled with no amenities so make sure you carry in everything you will need for the day including water. The beach is known for having strong currents so take a quick dip close to shore, but be aware of the potential dangers.

Surfers can enjoy the consistent surf break at the north end of the beach as southeasterly breezes eddy around the headland, but it’s a fair trek in and out carrying a board.

8. Jibbon Beach, Sydney

Photo: Bundeena
Photo: Bundeena

Jibbon Beach (NSW 339) lies 500 m inside Port Hacking Point the southern entrance to the port. The beach is 700 m long and curves to the east to finally face northwest in its eastern corner (Fig. 4.266). Waves average 0.5 m at the western end where they and surge up a steep, cusped reflective beach, decreasing in height to the east. This is a protected north-facing beach and is the southernmost location on the east coast of the tropical beach sand creeper Ipomoea, a leafy vine with a brilliant purple flower, attesting to its sheltered sun-drenched location. The beach is backed by a low well-vegetated single foredune, then Jibbon Lagoon. It can be accessed via Bundeena, with limited street parking at the western end. During summer and on weekends many people come by boat and anchor off the more sheltered eastern end the beach.

Usually a relatively quiet beach with no rips, particularly toward the eastern corner. However the water is deep inshore, hence good for boats. Surging waves can cause problems for young children.

The nudist hotspot of Southern Sydney, and one where many an eager boater from that area has landed ashore only to be confronted by a show of very naked people. It's little Jibbon beach, located just across the Port Hacking from Cronulla, that attracts the bulk of nudists, but be warned, it's neither officially a nude beach nor particularly private.

9. Kings Beach

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Surrounded by Broken Head Nature Reserve, the secluded Kings Beach near world-famous Byron Bay combines nude bathing with decent east coast waves (although we don’t recommend surfing naked!).

The journey here is as special as the location: either take a short walk along a forest track from the nearest carpark, or it’s a lush mile-long tramp around the headland from Broken Head. Bring your own supplies for the day, including plenty of drinking water, as it’s a steep walk with a lot of steps.

In winter and spring, the coastal track at Kings Beach is a great place to watch migrating Humpback and Southern Right whales as they move up and down the coast. It is also a great spot to watch a plethora of birds such as the White-Bellied Sea Eagle as they soar over the ocean and cliffs, gracefully diving for their prey below. The headlands burst into colours at this time of year also as the wildflowers bloom into life, and the Three Sisters Lookout is the perfect place to stop and absorb the amazing views of untouched beaches surrounded by unspoiled trees and forests.

Down on the sand, the crystal clear waters of Kings Beach make it popular with swimmers and surfers. The beach is unpatrolled so take care when entering the water as the shoreline is lined with rocks, boulders and strong rips. If water activities aren't your thing, why not pack up a picnic, grab your fishing rod or just sit under one of the Pandanus Palms and have a lazy day with your favourite book.

How to get to Kings Beach

Head south of Byron Bay towards Ballina. Turn off about 15 mins into the journey towards Broken Head Caravan Park. As you reach the entrance there is a dirt road to the right (Seven Mile Beach Road) with a “No Through Road” sign. Turn right here and head into the forest reserve. The next left from this road takes you to the Kings Beach car park. It’s a few hundred meters from here down to the beach. Alternatively, park at Broken Head and walk the mile-long coastal track around the forested headland.

10. Washaway Beach

Photo: World Beach Guide
Photo: World Beach Guide

Washaway Beach faces east into Sydney Harbour with superb views across to Balmoral and the Manley Ferry coming and going. After a storm, the sand really does get washed away, exposing the rocky slab beneath! At other times it boasts a 200m stretch of sand and waves usually 0.5m or more, depending on the outside swell.

At high tide you may have to sunbathe on the rocks. Not surprisingly, this remote beach does not have any lifeguards or amenities, but that’s part of the attraction. Formerly a nudist beach, some visitors still consider it clothing-optional and good for skinny-dipping - although signs suggest otherwise!

Located on the east side of Grotto Point with its landmark lighthouse, Washaway Beach is accessed from a track off Cutler Road near the Lookout. The walk takes about 5 minutes and passes some Aboriginal rock engravings on the way. The track is part of the 20km Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Trail.

The beach itself is part of Grotto Point Reserve and access requires a steep climb down the 20m sandstone cliffs at the north end of the beach.

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