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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blogger in the Buff in Australia - Kings Beach, NSW

Looking for a secluded beach surrounded by a tropical rainforest where you can swim and sunbathe sans clothing? Look no further. Kings Beach, which is part of the Broken Head Nature Reserve offers breathtaking natural scenery with a hint of aboriginal history too.

Where is Kings Beach and how do I get there?
Kings Beach is in northern New South Wales, Australia just south of the touristy beach town of Byron Bay. Byron Bay is the easternmost point in Australia and is known for its protected bay and resort town amenities with a small town feel. Popular with teen backpackers and families Byron Bay is a great hopping off point to visit many fine beaches, including a few nudist beaches.

From Byron Bay head south on Pacific Highway just past the small town of Suffolk Park. Turn left at the easy to miss turnoff for the Broken Head Caravan (RV) Park. Just before entering the Caravan Park there will be a road to the right directing you towards the Nature Reserve and Seven Mile Beach. Take the road, which is paved for about a second and then turns to gravel and dirt for about the next mile. At the end of the road is a small car park, no charge and no security. There are no amenities at the car park or the beach so be prepared with sunscreen and water. But keep your items to a minimum, the path to the beach is about a half mile of steep steps, which you will have to climb on the return trip.

Along the path a few benches are provided to rest or take in the natural beauty of the rainforest and the beach beyond. Set the locals at ease by saying a passing "Hello" or "G'day." Enjoy the sounds of the birds singing and the lizards chirping as you descend down the well maintained steps of dirt and wooden planks in anticipation of the refreshing salt water that calls to you from below.

As you step onto the beach, look at the rock outcrops known as the Two Sisters which spawned the legend of the Bundjalung people. Where two sisters went swimming in the strong surf of the bay. One was caught in the current and the other sister was also swept away while attempting to rescue her beloved sister. Let this be a warning to all that the swimming may be refreshing, but the surf is strong and can be dangerous.

Now enjoy the crescent cove of Kings Beach, flanked by rocks and fringed with the trees of the rainforest.

Kings Beach is well known as a gay nude beach, however single men, gay couples, and straight couples can all be found happily coexisting in this stunning setting. Most of the beach goers tend to keep to themselves, either scattered about the beach on towels or shaded beneath the trees at the edge of the beach. Gay websites will reveal that there are trails in the bush (forest) where cruising takes place, so be aware that it does exist, however if this lone social activity occurred during our visit, it went unnoticed by us.

Enjoy the scenery, play in the water, sit on the rocks, then end the day with the return climb back through the rainforest and the short drive back to civilization.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Blogger in the Buff goes to Australia

Ah yes, the land down under where kangaroos and koalas can be found as well as some white sand - clothes free beaches. If one could spend spring and summer in the United States and fall and winter in Australia, life would be wonderful. I didn't get to spend the entire winter in Australia, but I did get to visit a few spots for a few weeks in Eastern Australia this winter, (Australia's summer). I will share in my next few posts some details and pictures of the places I visited with my husband. Of course, we didn't get to spend a lot of time at each spot nor did we get to visit a lot of places, but hopefully we can introduce you to the places we went and give you our perspective based on the time we were there. So get ready to read a few tidbits about Kings Beach, North Belongil Beach, Ti-Tree Lake, and Alexandria Bay.

Someone asked awhile back if people were friendly or disengaged when encountered on the path to a clothing optional beach? In Australia, we found that few people will initiate a greeting on the path, but when greeted all were smiling and friendly. Once on the beach, nudists and textiles alike may share the same stretch of beach, with the textiles understanding that they may encounter naked beach goers. Nudists tended to keep to themselves by hanging out under the shade of trees that fringed the beaches. Again, most people would not initiate a conversation, but were friendly and responsive if you took the first step.

From the beaches we visited, we can determine that generally in this part of the country the sand is soft and fine, shells are few, the water is quickly comfortable but can be rough, and shade is found in the treelined edges of the beaches. Each beach or location has something different to offer. Couples are not as plentiful as single men, but the creep factor while it does exist does not seem to be a major problem.

Australia enjoys some legal nude beaches and some unofficial nude beaches. Australians are generally more open minded about nudity than Americans, but conservatism still exists and is a concern for the local nudist associations, such as the Australian Naturist Federation.