Nudists shed clothes and dollars
QUEENSLAND'S lack of legal nude beaches may be bad news for northern nudists, but it's proving a boon for Byron Bay business, one of Australia's leading nudist advocates says.
Kingscliff-based publisher of Australian Naturist Magazine, Dr Les Rootsey, says because Byron has the closest legal beach to the Gold Coast, the lucrative nude tourist dollar is travelling south.
"A lot of people make the trip down (to Byron) rather than take their chances on the Gold Coast," he said.
"It's a lot easier and a lot safer."
Among the visitors to the beach near Tyagarah are the Queensland chapter of Free Beaches Australia Inc, whose annual nude Anzac Day cricket match attracts hundreds of participants from all over Australia.
The association also holds monthly nude sporting events such as nude volley ball, bringing groups of up to 100.
Dr Rootsey said the tourists did not just use the beach, but travelled to nearby towns and spent money.
International naturists were also being funnelled to Byron Bay via Queensland's restrictions, he said.
Through his magazine, Dr Rootsey fields regular enquiries from international tourists, and says although Queensland has the ideal climate for nude beaches, he directs them to Byron Bay because of the rules.
Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sevegne Newton said she had no idea how much money nude tourism brought to Byron Bay, but said she had no problem with the practice.
"I don't think the chamber has a position one way or another, but I certainly respect people's rights to do it," she said.
Nude tourism is a big money spinner is some parts of the world - resorts in the US attract tens of thousands of people, and Le Cap d'Agde in Southern France is an entire town dedicated to nudism.
Nude Beach Etiquette:
- Respect others property - "if your bum is bare cover the chair".
- Respect the privacy of others - allow others to have space - don't stare.
- No overt sexual activity - be nude not lewd.
Source: Free Beaches Australia Inc.