Seclude! It most certainly is.

Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to make our way from Cairns to Brisbane by Train? There must be a naturist place half way in between to break-up an otherwise 24 hour journey. Turns out there are a couple, but the one that caught our attention is called Seclude. Why, might you ask? Well… it’s secluded!

img_0806

So secluded, in fact, that the options for getting there are actually quite limited, especially if you don’t have a car. Tony and Yvette set up this beautiful little Garden of Eden on nearly 200 acres nestled in the hills between Proserpine and Airlie Beach. So when I saw the train stopped in Proserpine, I thought, “Great. Get off the train. Rent a car. Drive 20 minutes, and drop our gear!”

img_0787

Turns out there’s only one place to rent a car in Proserpine, and that’s at the airport. And essentially, only one time to rent a car at the airport – shortly after the arrival of the afternoon flights. Which coordinates with the train schedule (which doesn’t really run on schedule) not at all! So Tony kindly booked us a car to meet us at the train and drive us up the long dirt road to his idyllic little retreat.

img_0615

Turns out Seclude has three self-contained (and stunningly gorgeous) little chalets, (not that little, actually!) and two distinct identities with corresponding websites; one that markets to naturists (which Tony and Yvette are deeply keen on), and the other marketed to people who simply want to get away from it all, but without exercising the option to get naked. The first unit booked sets the rules for the ensuing days. Never will you find naturist and textiles sharing the property at the same time.

img_7815

Tony designed each of the three chalets; each ultra modern, beautifully designed, and with verandas overlooking the surrounding mangrove and rain forests. Air conditioned and equipped with an extensive movie selection through Apple TV, you could settle in for a month to enjoy the seclusion. What they do not have, however, is an over-abundance of WI-FI, as service comes through a satellite hook-up with a small monthly allotment and a narrow bandwidth. Despite my attempt to adhere to their urging to limit internet usage, I fear I may have left the legacy of burning up their monthly allocation. In any event, achieving full seclusion was not a challenge.

img_0602

As it happened, we booked first for our time period, extending over the New Years Eve week-end, which meant I got to attend my very first Nude Years Eve party. With three couples staying at the resort, and our lovely hosts joining us poolside, only 75% of the crowd made it to the new year. I was there!– and I’m happy to report that it was quiet, but memorable!

img_7816

Should you choose to visit, be sure to ask Tony and Yvette about the development of their bucolic little resort, which began with a shed and an outhouse that were both nearly consumed by unrelenting landslides during one of the rainiest winters on record. You would never know that today, which the charming chalets, carefully manicured lawns, and thoughtful layout of the entire grounds that allow each visitor the seclusion they are yearning for. In fact, Tony tells us that’s the biggest difference between their naturist and textile clientele. The naturists seek to socialize with one another. The textiles, once arrived, become all but invisible.

img_0619

Fortunately for us, Yvette prepares food hampers and BBQ kits upon demand so one really never needs to leave the property to find food. The portions were generous and the ingredients were fresh and creative.I would have regretted missing a single meal there.

img_0584

Would I go back? Absolutely – but maybe spend a week… with a car! Tony and Yvette are wonderful hosts, and deeply passionate about the naturist cause. I would hope that one day they might become a full time naturist establishment, as high quality clothing-optional establishments are hard to come by, in Australia, or anyplace else. Call them up, make the first booking, and drop your gear. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Gourmet Naturism at Twin falls

I’m finally getting back to blogging about our naturist journey down the eastern coast of Australia, which included a day visit to the remote, but beautiful resort known to locals as Twin Falls Nature Retreat. With a bit of trepidation about negotiating the last three kilometers of dirt track with our little rented Hyundai, we were duly rewarded with Ian’s dry humor and Yolanda’s gourmet cooking.

img_7647

Located about an hour inland from Port MacQuarie, I had read several reviews with recurring remarks about two things; the lovely (naturist) walk to the falls – an thus Twin Falls – and the treacherous dirt road that means you gotta want to get there. As our timing coincided with a sustained dry period, it turned out that negotiating the entry road was not so bad. Though in the same breath, when there is no water, there are no falls!

img_7635

We arrived just a few days before Christmas to find only one other guest on the grounds that day – an enjoyable fellow named Martin who has been coming to Twin Falls for years. He, Ian, and Yolanda seemed like family as they chided and cajoled one another fueled by Ian’s quick witted remarks. Soon enough, Yolanda appeared with heaping plates of an Asian chicken chow-mein. A lovely afternoon dining naked on the veranda.

img_7631

While I think this is a popular camping destination, there are two B&B rooms to be had, which looked lovely at a glance. A quiet refuge in the midst of the wilderness and tropical rain forest. And unlike SO many naturist destinations, the WI-FI was fast and efficient due to Ian’s business needs for broadband internet access.

img_7607

After lunch, we made the trek up the forest path, Ian leading the way pointing out various plants (including a couple that could totally ruin your vacation), dragon lizards, and spiders while clipping low-hanging vines in preparation for the busy summer tourist season. It was perhaps a fifteen minute walk up to where the falls might have been; but today, we found a small pond nestled in the rocks. Another trail leads up to the ridge where one must don clothing should he wish to make the entire trek. Not exactly a rigorous exercise circuit, but a wonderful opportunity for a naked walk in the woods.

img_0668

When we arrived, Yolanda was busy at work in the pool area already making preparations for the upcoming New Year’s Eve party – apparently one of the main events of the entire year. So much easier to bring in the “Nude Year” when December 31 falls in the middle of summer instead of the middle of winter.

img_7622

Well worth the effort to get there, next time we’ll make it a point to settle in for a few days and enjoy the serenity and solitude of this beautiful property. Yolanda has an extensive menu, so maybe we’ll have to stay long enough to try everything once.

Thanks for a great day Ian and Yolanda!

A Touch of France in Nelson Bay

It seems simple enough. 25 ℉ at home, or 25 ℃ on sunny Nelson Bay on the east coast of Australia. So we opted for a Blue Christmas in a lovely naturist B&B in the hills above Port Stephens, just under three hours north of Sydney.

img_7595

I had already heard through the grapevine that we were going to love our stay in this upscale naturist inn, and my correspondence with Stuart, the owner and innkeeper, led to the realization that he is also the manager and editor of TAN Magazine, the sole remaining naturist periodical in Australia.

tan63-300x423

This is particularly impressive since Stuart didn’t have his own naturist epiphany until around 2009 when he discovered the joy of a late-day visit to the naturist beaches near Sydney after long, stressful days in the corporate world. Just a few years later, he would take advantage of the early retirement parachute, and that’s when he and his wife Lucia became innkeepers. Naturist… innkeepers.

img_0443

As it happens, (and if I got the story right,) Stuart and Lucia are the third managers of Le Chateau Naturiste, which gained its name, along with bits of French memorabilia, from a previous owner who fancied herself as a naturist and a Francophile. Our room was spacious and tastefully decorated, with a door leading directly onto the veranda, which would become my branch office for the few days before Christmas. While the untimely cloud cover made it a bit chilly for a dip in the pool, it didn’t prevent us from a long walk on the nearby Samurai naturist beach.

img_0611

Lucia was quite literally a bit under the weather during our stay, but Stuart was a wonderful host, tending each day to breakfast, and most interested in our evening debriefings (no pun intended) as we explored the environs of Nelson Bay. His enthusiasm for naturism is infectious, as is his commitment to contributing to the positive mainstream image of the naturist cause. Should you pay a visit, be sure to ask him about his television appearances. Remarkable stories, told by a great story-teller.

img_7590

We are starting to amass a fairly substantial list of naturist destinations that enjoy warmer climes while ice and snow adorn the plants and trees of our home in the eastern US. My hope, each time, is that we might find a place where we can enjoy January in the same naked glory we enjoy July in France, Spain, or Croatia. While not quite as expansive as the sprawling naturist centers of Europe, Le Chateau is most certainly a step in the right direction.

img_7656

I should mention that this is our first stop on our naked odyssey through Oz. You can see the rest of our itinerary here, or simply check back as I muse about our meanderings down the eastern coast of Australia.