Cloudy and 100% Chance of Naked on Samurai Beach

Timing is everything – and ours wasn’t quite right.

We stayed several nights at Le Chateau Naturiste (Blog entry coming soon!) with hopes of figuring out the naturist scene in and around Nelson Bay, or more specifically, the celebrated Samurai Beach.


As many have noted, the first point of business is getting there – and… getting out! Samurai Beach is adjacent to the textile One Mile Beach, separated by an outcropping of rocks that become all but impassable at high-tide. The other way in is on a sandy track from the highway, with a small sign that indicates 4WD is required. Our kind host (Stuart, from Le Chateau) suggested that we leave our car at the parking at One Mile Beach, then he would drive us in to Samurai, which involved a maneuver of letting the air out of the tires so even his 4WD wouldn’t get stuck in the sand. That was the moment I decided, “I will never drive a car – 4WD or otherwise – to Samurai Beach.


This being the week before Christmas, the beach was very quiet. Most people we encountered were nude, but they were far and few between. I had also read complaints about the 4-wheelers that race up and down the beach, along with the gawkers who have ruined many a stay. Neither were an issue for us.


It is perhaps a 15-minute walk from one end of the beach to the other. On the far end, you find an even more treacherous road (says the citified naturist from the US of A) that leads into a small campground with perhaps a dozen or so camping rigs, along with signs about carrying out your rubbish and bringing along your own portable toilet. Stuart tells us that people settle in here for the better part of the summer – up to 6 or 8 weeks at a time. There’s something else that’s not likely to make it onto my bucket list. Only a few miles from all the amenities of civilization, yet almost impossible to get there.


We knew the tide was coming in, and also knew that if we waited too long, scrambling over the rocks would be supplanted with a long walk back out to the highway on the sandy track. Nope! Clothes on and a-scrambling we went. As is typical, we thought the neighboring One Mile Beach to be a lot nicer than the famous nude beach behind us, which always begs the philosophical musings – “What’s the big deal with donning a swimsuit? Is this really necessary?”


Should you put Samurai on your list? Yes.

Should you plan your visit around high and low tide? Yes.

Should you bring a beach umbrella or some such thing to protect yourself from the sun? Absolutely, as there is no natural shade to be found on the beach. For that, we welcomed the cloud cover.

Does Samurai live up to it’s reputation? You bet! Hope to get back there one day.


Chillin’ at Cobbler’s Beach

Beating the wear and tear of jet-lag is always a challenge. For me, it means staying awake all day to begin adjusting to the new time zone. No small feat when traveling from California to Sydney, Australia. So we kept things on the move, meandering our way down the Darling wharf, grabbing a ferry out to the Taronga Zoo, then walking over the hill (from the zoo) to Middle Head Park where we found the path down to Cobbler’s Beach.


Quite stunning that after walking through what must be some of the priciest real estate in all of Australia, past opulent mini-mansions and BMWs, that you suddenly find yourself in what appears to have been a military compound surrounded by strikingly beautiful wilderness area. Just minutes from suburbia, we found the path down to Cobbler’s Beach.


It was late afternoon by the time we arrived as some were already packing up to leave for the day. But Cobbler’s Beach is well situated for late day sun, both on the grassy knoll and the sandy beach that lies below. Seems there were many regulars there on this day, predominantly male, but not in an uncomfortable way. A friend tells us that had we arrived a bit earlier, the coffee boat would have come through – selling beverages to those who queue up in the water. Apparently the coffee boat guy works from beach to beach in the Sydney Harbor. Sorry we missed that.


Our 90-minute stay afforded us enough time for a brief snooze in the afternoon sun before heading back up the hill to catch the 5:21 bus (Number 244) back into downtown Sydney. Seems a whole new “after-work” shift was just arriving in our place; once again, something that seems to be a daily routine of sorts at this pleasant little beach.


As so it goes – our introduction to naturism in Australia. The first of many visits to “nudie beaches” down under. Thanks Cobbler’s Beach. You set a high bar. What more could you ask for from your first day in Sydney?