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November 29, 2021

Fifteen arrested in nude beach crackdown

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Police sign warning of penalties for going naked in the Tyagarah Nature Reserve outside the clothing optional area. Photo: Byron Bay Naturist Group Facebook page

Fifteen people have been arrested for being naked outside the signposted clothing-optional area at Tyagarah in under a fortnight, with just one couple allegedly exhibiting the ‘lewd behaviour’ that attracted police attention to the area in the first place.

Police have been making daily patrols ‘to enforce the clothes-optional beach area at Tyagarah Beach,’ according to Tweed-Byron chief inspector Luke Arthurs.

The move is part of their ‘zero tolerance’ policy of nudists outside the 800-metre stretch of council-approved clothing-optional beach at Tyagarah.

Police also allegedly caught two people having sex on the beach.

The fine is for each offence is $500.

Tea tree lakes targeted

At least five people are known to Echonetdaily to have been arrested at the tea tree lakes area in the last week, allegedly for being nude.

One local couple, who prefer to remain anonymous, said they were wearing underwear in the water but were fined anyway.

They said the police told the man he was ‘wearing his underwear backwards’.

Another local man said he was ‘just getting changed in the bushes’ when sprung by the police.

The defaced ‘no nudity’ sign appears to show it is allowed. Photo Byron Naturists

A local woman, who admits to swimming naked in the lake, told Echonetdaily she planned to fight the charge and that owing to having been off work due to illness she was unable to pay the fine.

Another person said that owing to the way the sign had been defaced, it now appeared nude bathing was allowed at the lake.

Despite the infringements the group Byron Naturists, which was formed to fight for the retention of the beach, say they have seen a great improvement in public behavior on the beach, with ‘couples and families returning in considerable numbers,’ according to a spokesperson.

Police said in a media statement that the following criminal infringement notices (CIN) have been issued in the area over the past two weeks.

  • At 4.15pm 26/1/18 a 40-year-old Palm Beach Qld man was issued with a CIN for being nude outside the signposted area.
  • At 4.00pm 26/1/18 a 55-year-old male from Camperdown was issued a CIN for being nude outside the signposted area.
  • At 12.15pm 21/1/18 a 59-year-old female from Redland Bay and a 41-year-old male were issued CINs for being naked and performing sexual acts.
  • At 12.05pm 21/1/18 a 51-year-old female from Byron Bay was issued with a CIN for being nude outside the signposted area.
  • At 12.40pm 20/1/18 a 27-year-old male from Toormina was issued with a CIN for being nude outside the signposted area.
  • At 12.50pm 20/1/18 a 27-year-old female and 37-year-old male both from Auchenflower were issued with CINs for being naked outside the signposted area.
  • At 9.35am 20/1/18 a 45-year-old male from Maryborough and 35-year-old female from Uki were issued with CINs for being naked outside the signposted area.
  • At 12.52pm 20/1/18 a 55-year-old female and 40-year-old male both from Cleveland were issued with CINs for being naked outside the signposted area.
  • At 1.13pm 20/1/18 a 55-year-old female from Byron Bay was issued with a CIN for being nude outside the signposted area.
  • At 7.50pm 20/1/18 a 62-year-old male and 54-year-old female were issued with CINs for being naked outside the signposted area.


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  1. The police need to make the distinction between predatory sexual behaviour and a simple nude swim on byron beaches. Its not rocket science. Some one who is masturbating or engaging is sexual activity in public or intimidating someone else with their sexual energy or nakedness should be addresses by the police. Most people have a phone with them, they can take a photo, if they truly find someones behaviour offensive then there is the option to ring the Byron police station on (02) 6685 9499 or 000. Then let the courts work out if it really was offensive behaviour. Zero tolerance on nudity potentially effects half the local population is clearly not the answer and police are not offended just following orders to fine naked people anywhere whether or not their behaviour is offensive. Another abuse of power and a corruption of the law.
    Police its time to work with the community and not use your normal sledhammer approach to resolving issues. In fact this problem was originally enflamed by the police when they kept fining and arresting people for swimming nude at Belongil 20 years ago. So we stood up for our rights and brought 600 naked people onto the beach at Belongil for a Nude ain’t Rude rally which along with the media this generated put byron on the map as the nude capital of the world which also attracted all sorts of weirdos. I mean we could do it all again police but lets think this through. Is this really going to resolve the issue of predatory sexual behaviour on our beaches whether or not it is in a declared nude beach area. I have set up a page called “Stop police harassment of naked sun worshippers” Anyone who want s to contribute to this discussion or has been fined and is looking for support and information or write down your experience with police join and comment. I encourage people to fight any fine in court and I’m happy to support and represent anyone on the issue as well. People have even offered to pay any court costs. The police have to prove they were offended and most reasonable magistrates will see it for what it is and dismiss the case. When we do this a few times and waste even more police recourses than they already are the police will have to change their offensive behaviour. We never even asked for a nude beach, police just need to react responsibly and listen to the community they are supposed to represent and address the real criminals. In responce to the intimidation, harassment and fining of people swimming naked in isolated beach areas by local Byron Police I have set up a Face Book group called “Stop police harassment of naked sun worshippers” https://www.facebook.com/groups/160820774557111/

  2. The Police are only responding to the all to regular reports of assaults and predatory behaviour of a few. This a an attempt to respond and protect.

  3. If people need to have sex on a nudie beach, let them go to it. I know that I’d hate that personally, with sand getting into my privates. But, hey, we’re all different, that may be a turn-on for some.

  4. I think we are doing this the wrong way round – ALL beaches should be clothing optional and a only few beaches should be limited to clothing only for the uptight. This would take away the ‘special’ nature of nude bathing and, except for a few who might have a clothing fetish, would remove the attraction for the perverts.
    This fear of the naked needs to be challenged. Children get distorted views of the human body and all the variety that exists.

  5. Whatever’s happened to people in the Byron area?

    Why isn’t this ridiculous action triggering widespread protests and demonstrations?

  6. What do you expect from a police state. The country is fucked.
    And Australians are too lazy to get off their couches and protest about anything.
    So we get what we deserve in the end.


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