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April 23, 2021

Will Tyagarah remain a clothes-optional beach?

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Enjoying a bit of fun in the sun are some naturists relaxing at the clothes-optional beach, Tyagarah. Photo Jeff Dawson.
Enjoying a bit of fun in the sun are some naturists relaxing at the clothes-optional beach, Tyagarah. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Getting rid of sex pests and other inappropriate behaviour is the main issue for everyone including residents, councillors, naturists and other beach users at the clothes-optional beach in Tyagarah and the surrounding area including the tea-tree lakes. How to respond to the situation is being debated at the upcoming Byron Shire Council meeting this Thursday, October 26 where councillor Paul Spooners has put forward a notice of motion (NoM) to remove the status of the clothes-optional beach at Tyagarah.

Local Tyagarah resident of 21 years Gwen Gould supported the beach being declared clothes optional in 1998 and continues to today but recognises that there are many issues with the area.

‘I swim down there naked all the time,’ said Gwen.

‘I’m 76 and I love to go down there and swim naked but I have been harassed so many times. So often you have to deal with theses aggressive, offensive people. I’m really conflicted. I love the freedom but I hate the hassle.’

Similar views can be heard from many of the other residents who have become so frustrated with the situation that many are now calling for the clothes-optional status of the beach to be removed.

What needs to be understood is that the nude status has created a vacuum attracting predominantly men attracted to the area with sexual expectations,’ said local resident Raphael Benn.

‘This is due to the fact that websites and blogs for both gay and heterosexual i.e. beat and dogging activities are advertised.’

Resident Fabrizio Calafuri is strongly opposed to the maintaining the clothes-optional beach saying, ’It does not serve the purpose originally intended… it now attracts unsavoury characters who behave inappropriately. Many display extreme forms of inappropriate behaviour.

‘By removing the clothes-optional status it will provide clear demarcation that can be effectively policed and a clamp down on nudity on the beach will deter the unsavoury characters from attending it.

‘Remote locations such as Tyagarah need to be avoided. A more mainstream location, where Surf Life Saving Club can have a presence and where there is better car parking and facilities would be an improvement.’

While local councillor Alan Hunter agrees that the isolation of the site has contributed to the issues he has suggested that perhaps ‘we could find somewhere else and make more clothes optional beaches available and have three or four sprinkled across the shire.’

Grays Lane traffic

High levels of traffic travelling at speed on Grays Lane, that is primarily a gravel road, has also become an issue.

‘We have so many people tearing along that dirt road and there are a couple of corners that are really dangerous,’ pointed out Gwen.

‘Once I was abused by someone because I stopped the traffic to let a snake cross the road.’

This was supported by Fabrizio who pointed out that there has been ‘a visible increase in road kill.

‘Local residents are very sensitive about the natural fauna and have put up signs asking traffic to slow down. Those who use Grays lane as access for naturalist activity often can be seen hurtling along the road at inappropriate speed. Not only are they a danger to the wildlife, but also to local residents using the road.’

No united front

However, the local community is not united in how to respond to the issues around the clothes-optional status of the beach with many residents not wanting the chance to swim naked at their local beach taken away.

Gerd Kuhlmann who has lived at Tyagarah for 31 years said, ‘I still support it even though there are difficulties. I don’t think the solution to remove the nudist beach will make it safer.

‘There should be clear rules about appropriate behaviour on the beach. Nudist should not be allowed in the dunes, in the carpark and not around the tea tree lake.’

If you have an opinion on the whether the status should be removed or remain in place contact your local council members to express your views.

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  1. I can’t use my local beach at Sunrise because of too many naked men exposing themselves to me. I stopped taking my grandkids down there because every time, I said every time I went there I would see someone masturbating in the sand dunes.

    • I agree Jenny. I take my my nieces who are two & four to the beach because it has a couple of great spots for young kids to play in the water where it is safe.

      I am all for a clothes optional beach but unless it is going to be patrolled/policed to keep these people from being inappropriate, then I believe it needs to be changed. Relocate the nudist beach somewhere less populated.

  2. So a few pervs are going to deprive others of their fun…bloody typical! All that will happen is that the pervs will flock to other areas, like shopping centre toilets, parks etc. They tend to annoy me a bit too sometimes, but if you let them see you’re not interested they go away. Don’t disadvantage hundreds of people just to try getting rid of a few. They’re not going to go away anyway, some will still hang around there.

  3. Removing the clothes optional status will not deter those involved in or seeking nefarious behaviour because of the wide spread promotion of the beach and the lake on social media as a goto place for such activity. The concerns of residents will not be allayed in anyway with Police presence still required to remove or discouraging miscreants from attending both sites. Why punish the many clothed and unclothed users of the beach for the actions of the frequent few.

    While the proposal to establish clothes optional beach sections closer to main beaches and population areas is commendable the same or similar problems would follow, as is the case now at many clothed beaches. Add to that the most probable outcry from existing residents and beach users I cannot see such a proposal gaining wings.

    Policing and prosecuting misbehaviour by the Police is by far the best deterrent in the interests of residents and clothes optional beach goers.

  4. I think it woul be a good place to have the end of Brunswick Dogbeach the new nudist beach. If someone does not behave properly ,maybe the dog can have a sausage. Byrons Mainbeach halfway down to the lighthouse also might be a good option. Yes I believe the closer to civilisation the better.

  5. If we have a spate of assaults in Sydney’s Hyde park do we shut down the park? Remove the temptation and the assailants will have no reason to go there. Of course not!

    Our society has developed a code of law and order and does not CEDE to the PERPETRATOR!

    This absurdity should therefore not be used as an argument to close the nude beach.

    There is no debate that unacceptable behaviour has occurred – it is illegal and should be dealt with accordingly. The behaviour continues to happen because there are NO CONSEQUENCES to deter it!

    Simple measures such as signage providing clarity on designated areas and penalties for indecent behaviour, along with appropriate police operations would soon solve this problem.

    Everything is in place for these measures to be implemented immediately. Council approval remains the only barrier.

    Don’t penalise the innocent because our authorities aren’t doing their jobs.

  6. Experience here in the UK is very clear.
    1. Banning Naturism does not fix the problem. The law abiding are driven away but it makes little difference to those who are being allowed to get away with breaking the law.
    2. Prosecution for harassment and sexual activity does work. Once word goes round that effective action is being taken the problem will almost completely end.
    3. Signs providing information are a useful method of encouraging the good and discouraging the bad.
    4. Tackle the websites that facilitate illegal sexual activity and harassment.

  7. We have a couple of clothing optional beaches down near Geelong vic and they have the same issue but one thing they are encouraged to do is if you are approached by someone or you see someone doing the wrong thing take a photo of them and report them to the police or just call the police

  8. I took my girlfriend last year a few times to this beach, we found a lot of happy couples enjoying themselves, a few sick wankers running off into the dunes. But really, that’s what they are. Maybe a public *take a piss of the sick wanker* campaign would be better. Promote the idea, if your a sicko, then you will be looked at and deterred with dark stares and be told to fuck off. I can’t see anything wrong with that. I did it a couple of times. The wankers didn’t come back.

  9. So there’s pervs around a beach. Nothing new.
    The beach is clothes optional. So what?
    The location is advertised as a go to place for sexual activity. Well, removing the nudity status won’t change that. The pervs & the sexually adventurous will still go there.

    If you want to stop the deviant behaviour happening, respond to the deviant behaviour! Police it. Regulate it. Enforce the law!! We have procedures in place to deal with unacceptable behaviour: why aren’t they being followed??


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