Nudist beach in Australia threatened with closure: ‘Not consistent with values’

Nudist beach in Australia threatened with closure: ‘Not consistent with values’

Cover up when you go Down Under.

Nudists may soon be prohibited from going au natural at a popular clothing-optional Australian beach — despite them staunchly defending naked recreation as a “legitimate way of life.”

The NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is considering enacting the ban at Tyagarah Beach, one of the few remaining nudist spots in New South Wales, according to 9 News.

Nudity is “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under,” the NPWS wrote in a December letter to the local government.

Sign permitting nudity at Tyagarah Beach.

Tyagarah Beach in Australia may soon lose its status as a “clothing optional” spot. NSW Parks and Wildlife Service

“For example, people are accessing not only the beach but also the dune and hind-dune which is creating environmental issues. The continuation of a clothes-optional area in Tyagarah Nature Reserve is not supported by NPWS,” the letter stated. 

The move comes after the state government realized that the 875-yard stretch of waterfront actually falls under its jurisdiction, not the Byron Bay Shire Council’s as previously assumed.

Tyagarah Beach had been a “clothing optional” zone since 1998, a policy NPWS ruled was no longer applicable under the authority handover.

But nudist enthusiasts are pushing back against the rule change, arguing that the beach has been a safe spot for naked and clothed beach-goers alike well before the council made it an official clothing-optional spot 25 years ago.

“I’ve been nude bathing on Byron Shire beaches since I was a child in the 70s and 80s,” Bradley Benham, from Byron Naturists, told 9 News.

“With my family at that time, you could go to sections of New Brighton Beach or South Golden Beach that were deserted,” he continued, adding that he wants his children to “have the same opportunity to be raised having good confidence in their body.”

Sign permitting nudity at Tyagarah Beach.

Nudity is “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under,” the NPWS said. Instagram

“Those times have passed. We now have a much greater population. We have a lot more beach users and we need a legal designated area where we can bathe nude.” 

Benham — who said he was “pretty upset” with the abrupt policy change — started an online petition last week addressed to the NSW Minister for Environment Penny Sharpe begging to save the beach from closure.

The petition was just short of its 1,500 signature goal on Wednesday, just four days after it was launched.

“Nude recreation is a legitimate way of life, and the local community, interstate and international visitors have the right to some public space where this freedom can be expressed,” Benham wrote.

Screenshot of the petition to maintain nudity at the beach.

Nudist enthusiast Bradley Benham argued that “nude recreation is a legitimate way of life.”

“Closing the beach on such short notice and without public consultation or the offer of an alternate location is unfair.”

The naked beach has not been without its problems in the last few decades, with local police receiving complaints of lewd behavior and sex pests in the area.

The Byron Bay Shire Council in 2018 rejected a recommendation to close down the nude beach, instead opting to install CCTV cameras as extra security, 9 News reported.

The newest NSWP recommendation would suggest all “clothing optional” signs be removed from the beach and from its social media information by April 8.

An NPWS spokesperson confirmed to The Post that the clothing-optional policy for Tyagarah Beach remains open and that a final decision on overturning the rule has not been made.

The agency would work with “relevant stakeholders” to find an alternative location for nudity to be allowed, the spokesperson said.


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