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!

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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!

 

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!