Dark Mofo, Hobart, Tasmania © Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford
Dare to go bare in Australia
Let your inhibitions fall away with your clothing at these nude-friendly experiences around Australia.
By Krysia Bonkowski
There’s nothing more liberating than stepping out of your comfort zone. And the surest way to do that is by stepping out of your clothes. Of course, it helps to have some open-minded new friends airing it all with you. Strip off with the best of them at these cheeky places around the country.
Brave a Tasmanian winter in the buff
Where: Long Beach, Sandy Bay, a 10-minute drive south from the centre of Hobart, Tasmania.
By late June, winter has wrapped its icy fingers around Tasmania’s capital. On the shortest day of the year, however, Hobart locals don’t even blink at the sight of a horde of buck-naked people shivering beside the city’s Derwent River at dawn. It’s just part and parcel of Dark Mofo, an irreverent annual arts festival from the folks that brought us MONA (Hobart’s famed Museum of Old and New Art). The Nude Solstice Swim has become one of the event’s most beloved rites of passage – with around 2,000 hardy souls taking the plunge each year. Register for free, quit your comfort zone and join your fellow bathers in the icy water. Just wait for that post-dip buzz to hit you – there’s nothing like icy water to rejuvenate the body and mind.
How to experience it: Register your interest to race in the Nude Solstice Swim via the Dark Mofo website.
Go balls out on your bike in Melbourne
Where: Melbourne, Victoria.
You’ll hear them before you see them. Preceded by the cheerful hum of voices lifted above the traffic noise, dinging bells and the whirring of hundreds of wheels, they’ll appear – lumps, bumps and all. The annual World Naked Bike Ride in Melbourne is a joyful celebration of body positivity and cyclist rights. Each year the ride follows a different route around the inner suburbs of Victoria’s cycle-mad capital, winding up back at the starting point for a clothing-optional picnic. All you need to join is a human-powered vehicle, a helmet and an open mind. The event’s “as bare as you dare” policy means that nearly nude is nude enough, in case you need to build up the courage to go full frontal. Maybe next year…
Camp without your kit on the New South Wales Coast
Where: Samurai Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast, a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney.
If you’re keen for a skinny dip, there are plenty of nudist-friendly beaches around Australia. But at this one you can pitch your tent without a stitch on. Outside Port Stephens in Tomaree National Park, a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney, Samurai Beach is a ruggedly beautiful sweep of sand overlooking the Tasman Sea – perfect for surfing, whale watching, 4WD beach drives and getting your tackle out (and no, we’re not talking about fishing). This clothing-optional beach and its clothing-optional campsite in the dunes is beloved by laid-back naturists, many who gather for the annual Samurai Beach Picnic Day in summer. With no running water or electricity, and 4WD-only access, it’s the perfect place to open your mind and get back to nature – in the truest sense.
How to experience it: Sites at Samurai Beach campground are bookable through the New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service. You’ll find 4WD rental services in Newcastle, less than an hour’s drive south.