Nude Beaches Sydney

Tourists have a choice of four nude beaches Sydney.

Beaches where nudity rules are Lady Bay, Cobblers, Obelisk and Werrong.

These are known as legal "clothing optional" beaches.

There’s also one beach in Sydney Australia that's borderline (not technically sanctioned for nudity, but many beachgoers defy the “prohibited” signs). More about this unofficial "unclad" beach at the bottom of this page ...

The way down to Lady Bay, one of the frequently visited nude beaches Sydney. Note the local council advice on the sign ... "Nudity permitted on beach only".

Take in a little history

At Watsons Bay get your kit off at Lady Bay Beach – sometimes called Lady Jane - perhaps Australia's oldest nudist beach. It was used by nudists for a long time before gaining official nude status  in 1976.

The beach is very popular - especially with gay males. It's clothing optional here, but nudity is expected. Leave the gear on and you'll cop some disapproving looks from the regulars.

The beautiful beach is in Sydney Harbour at wonderfully scenic South Head. Get there by ferry to Watsons Bay from No.4 Wharf at Circular Quay. It takes only 15 minutes and the ferry gives grand views of the harbour and Sydney Opera House

Take in a little history when you go to Lady Bay Beach. In colonial days Watsons Bay was Australia's first fishing village – founded in 1788.

You walk to Lady Bay from Camp Cove Beach, Cliff Street, at Watsons Bay. You’ll pass by historic cannon emplacements. First climb the north steps. It’s only 200 metres to Lady Bay.

Lady Bay/Lady Jane Beach can become quite crowded. It's a pretty thin strip of sand at high tide.

Tourists will sometimes strip off, but some just use the lookout here to observe all the bare flesh. Unlike most other nude beaches Sydney, nudist regulars here complain that cameras are used without permission.

The area has some wonderful scenic walks - to the Lighthouse and to The Gap and Signal Station. The viewing platform at the top of the beach affords fine views of the harbour.

(Make sure the kit's back on for all off-beach activities!)

Don't forget to find out when the last ferry heads back to Circular Quay from Watsons Bay! You don't want to miss it.

Popular with families

At Middle Harbour near Mosman on Sydney’s north side is Cobblers Beach (pictured above). Of the four official nude beaches Sydney this is the most popular with family groups.

It can get crowded here on weekends in summer, but nudists say that's a great time to join in if you're new to it. You'll blend in to the crowd. No need to feel self conscious.

Cobblers is where The Sydney Skinny is held. That's an annual nude swim - first launched in 2013 with 670 nude participants. When the third Skinny was held in March 2015 a record-breaking 1040 took the plunge.

It's always a fun time, as this cheeky photo below, courtesy of Sydney Nudist Information, shows. The Sydney Skinny is a 900m or 300m ocean swim (not a race) where everyone's a winner!

It's creator, Nigel Marsh, says many people use the Skinny to throw aside concerns of body image, to connect with nature and to celebrate living with more courage and kindness.

The skinny dip organisers actually keep nudity to a minimum. Swimmers aren't allowed to get their gear off until they're on the Cobblers Beach sand. And when they've completed their swim and they step out of the water, a cover-up sarong is immediately given them.

Don't think you might go along as a spectator - that's not allowed. Oh, and did I mention ... taking part will cost you $40! (It's for a great cause though - to rejuvenate the Middle Head area of Sydney Harbour National Park). 

Want to know more about this fundraiser, and to see a video of the event? - go to the Skinny website. (There are strict rules governing the Sydney Skinny ... including that you must be 18 years or over. If you want to join in the 2017 event, check out their website).

Has Cobblers got you intrigued? Whet your appetite for the beach with this first-timer's description.

Cobblers Beach is on the left side at the end of Middle Head Road, Mosman, while Obelisk Beach (pictured below) is on the right side of the road. Obelisk is popular with gay nudists - mainly male.

Look for the tracks

To reach Cobblers just walk past the cricket oval and you'll come across tracks leading to the beach.

Buses go hourly every day to Cobblers and Obelisk Beach. If you want to reach these nude beaches Sydney, take the Route 244 bus from Stand A in Carrington St, Wynyard (Sydney City).

It takes 25 minutes to reach HMAS Penguin Naval Base. Get off the bus there before walking the five minutes to either beach.

Warning: If you drive to Cobblers Beach or Obelisk Beach be sure to park legally. Local council officers strictly enforce the parking rules.

Steep trek to seclusion

The fourth spot where it’s legally okay to go nude is Werrong Beach (pictured). Werrong (also known as Hell Hole Beach) is the most difficult of nude beaches Sydney to access.

It's 40km south of Sydney near Stanwell Park in the Royal National Park and is quite isolated. Swimming here can be dangerous due to many rip currents and rocks.

Beachsafe describes Werrong as "three isolated rip and rock dominated beaches unsuitable for swimming". It's surrounded by cliffs with a grassed area behind the beach. The beach is frequented mainly by the gay community.

If you decide you really want to experience it you'll be in for a long steep downhill trek before the walking track gets you to the seclusion and beauty of Werrong Beach (and that's after maybe a 60-minute drive from Sydney).

Take the Princes Highway south from Sydney to the F6 Freeway, and follow signs to Stanwell Park until you turn left to Otford Lookout.

Pass by the Royal National Park sign and park beyond the shop. Then walk up what's a good path to the Werrong Beach and Burning Palms Clifftop Walk. It's here the path drops steeply to Werrong Beach.

Take water, a first aid kit and plenty of food. You'll need the energy! The track's a total two-hour walk - there and back. If you're elderly or wheelchair bound give it a miss.

Best features are the magnificent coastal scenery, the likely solitude, and the wildlife. Plenty of seagulls here - and the occasional sea eagle.

Not really Nude Beaches Sydney

La Perouse had unofficial nude bathing for 40 years at the idylic Little Congwong Beach (pictured above) in Botany Bay National Park, but this is now officially prohibited by Randwick City Council.

In true Aussie spirit many people defy the council ban. The beach attracts a mix of men and women - gay, straight, young and old. Among the unclad are some who wear their cozzies and are not put off by others' nudity.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore backs the popular move to allow nude bathing at Little Congwong Beach. That's her in the cartoon at the height of the controversy.

Although you might well have our Clover on your side, if you want a day at Nude Beaches Sydney untroubled by officialdom it’s best to pick one of the nudist beaches mentioned earlier.

Little Congwong is a beautiful secluded beach and a good place to go with the family. There's no surf. It's mostly quiet mid-week, but busy on warm weekends.

To get to Little Congwong Beach take the 391 bus from Circular Quay or Central and stay aboard till the very last stop.

If you've going by car, head for La Perouse on Botany Bay and the car park just to the north of Bare Island. Take the steps down to Congwong Beach, then left across rocks to Little Congwong (it's the second bay).

This is the best serviced of our Nude Beaches Sydney, even if unofficial. It is an easy walk to the cafes and restaurants and on weekends there's even a boat which delivers ice cream and cold drinks.

(Special thanks to cartoonist Buddy Ross for allowing me to use his cartoon of Clover at Little Congi).

Best to go with a friend

The Sydney Nudist Information website includes this advice:

"Visiting clothing optional beaches can be fun, but personal safety needs to be considered as these beaches are often isolated and unfortunately the wrong type can also be attracted to these places.

"Best to go with a friend, especially if you are female, and sit close to larger groups. Established nudist clubs can offer a safe environment amongst like minded people."

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2016 Sydney Skinny

This great nude event has now been held for four years in a row! Scores of swimmers got their gear off for the latest Skinny on Sunday, February 28. Sure hope some of you timed your Sydney visit so you could join in the fun!

The Sydney Skinny is always held at Cobblers Beach, Middle Harbour (in the Sydney Harbour National Park).

As an untimed event (not a race) it's swum over two distances - 900m, or 300m. (The shorter one is dubbed the "nudie novice").

See Cobblers Beach on this page for more on the Skinny, and go to the Sydney Skinny website for rules governing the event if you want to take part in "the swim that makes you feel free" in 2017.

Nude Etiquette

When you're on a beach where nudism is allowed, take care to give people their personal space - in fact, they may want it more. Best to ask first before sitting close to another nudist.

And don’t make people feel uncomfortable by staring. A glance is fine - just like you would make at bathing-suit beaches.

Wild storm about to hit Sydney. Find out about the Mother of all Hail Storms ...

What to do on an awful beach day? ...

See the Bone Ranger!

Bones are fun at the Australian Museum

The Sydney weather's lousy ... no good for the beach. Do yourself a big favour - visit the Australian Museum. You'll see the skeletal bloke pictured above there. (Some call him the "Bone Ranger"). Lots of other fun stuff there too. Kids love this place.

No fun in Sunburn

Don't ruin your holiday with too much sun at the beach. Tips on how to handle a Sydney sizzler in our Sun Safety page.

What to do in a rip?