Queensland: The Forbidden Bathtub

Planning travel – especially naturist travel – can be so hit or miss. The things you most need to know about where you’re going you really won’t know until you’ve already been there, which always leads to that moment boarding the plane home, “Next time we come here, we’re going to…” In the case of visiting Queensland in search of naturist Nirvana, there are a few obstacles to be found.

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First is the fact that Queensland has adopted a prudish attitude about nudity that can only be challenged by the likes of the United States and some Muslim countries. (Hard to discern which is more narrow-minded in regards to exposure of the flesh.) Even those beaches that are known as nude beaches in Queensland are still officially against the law. Bizarrely enough, the law reads that you risk being arrested if you expose your genitalia, for which one could – and has – made the case that this is a significant disadvantage for men over women. (Seems only women practicing the most immodest of yoga positions are at risk for being hauled away in handcuffs.)

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But we did find Buchan’s Point near Palm Cove, between Port Douglas and Cairns, where nudity is, in fact, the norm. And despite a clear line of sight from the passing highway, we enjoyed a good part of the day sunning on the beach. But here’s the rub…

The water is absolutely amazing! Shallow and warm for quite a ways out, but yet lurking with danger as it is full of things that can kill you faster than you can “drop your gear.” (That Aussie turn of phrase for getting naked.) We were there in the middle of summer, when the stingers (jellyfish) and crocodiles are most likely to have made their way from the river outlets to the beaches, quietly waiting to ruin your naked picnic on the beach.

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Problem is that it all looks safe and serene enough, but those stingers the size of your thumbnail are among the most toxic creatures on earth. The legend goes that once stung, you have about ten minutes to wish you were dead, until finally… you are. And if you’re lucky enough to avoid the jellyfish, then you find yourself playing the perennial favorite Queensland game, “Rocks or Crocs?” Usually they’re rocks, but if you guess wrong, there’s no two out of three.

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There were a few locals at the beach that day who seemed quite comfortable swimming and splashing about in the remarkably warm water. “Ah… don’t worry. Chances are yuh got nothin’ to worry about.” But ask anybody else in the region and they’ll tell you about the guy they knew who got too comfortable by the water… may he rest in peace.

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There are few options in northern Queensland if you’re looking for clothing-optional accommodations. We chose Mai-Tai Resort, which is not really a naturist place, but they do have a clothing-optional pool, three dogs, and two owners – André and Anthony, who are eager to make your stay memorable in every way. Adorned in Balinese decor and perched on the side of the mountain shrouded in the rain forest, we found Mai Tai to be a wonderful place to spend a tropical Christmas.

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The proprietors told us that advertising that they have a “clothing optional pool” has been something of a conundrum, as potential clients want to know exactly what that means. Anthony explained, “It means that clothing is optional in the pool! That is all!” They said that while they have a few devout nudists who return year after year, most of their other guests do not exercise the option for sans clothing, which was the case during our stay. That said, we felt completely at ease swimming and lounging naked during our stay.

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It seems a shame! Such a beautiful part of the planet where half the year it’s summer, and the other half of the year it’s summer plus! But alas, it may not be the ultimate naturist destination. But we’d go back to Mai Tai Resort in a heartbeat, simply to enjoy the hospitality of the hosts and the serenity of the place. Put it on your bucket list!

 

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