When, or if, you ever have the inkling to visit a place where everyone is allowed, even encouraged, to be baring it all, it is preferable to have some idea of the rules, especially the unspoken ones. In the first instance, it is good to know the difference between retreats designated as CO (Clothing Optional) and those advertised as Naturist (Nudist). In a scale of societal and cultural attitudes, we would see the true nudist at one end, the true textiler at the other, and somewhere in between is the CO attitude – do as you please, and likewise for me.
A nudist resort will be for nudist couples only. Usually you will need to be referred by an existing member of the group, or at least do a good sell on yourself. You will be expected to strip off within hours of arrival. If it is your first time, quite often there is some leeway in that time scale. Some resorts have a private cabin for first timers and allow 24 hours for you to get comfortable with being completely textile free. Nevertheless, you will be expected to join the group around the pool, barbeque or community area.
The unspoken rule here is to make sure you are not putting your bare bum on chairs. Always bring a bit of cloth to sit on, whether it is a towel, hand towel or sarong. I think it is safe to say that this type of resort is about making friends with like-minded people. They provide community areas, games nights and other types of entertainment.
Of course, at the other end of the scale is where 90% of us remain – bound by tight, uncomfortable, hot, sweaty micro-plastic textiles. Cover up and you can go anywhere. Take your top off and we are in a whole new world of preconceptions, prejudgments and prejudices. But you, my friend, are not one of those people, or you wouldn’t have made it this far into the blog.
So somewhere in the middle is the clothing optional state of being. A place where people just want to be themselves comfortably without caring what other people think about their bodies. An environment where there is no pressure to take off your clothes and no embarrassment if you do. For example, what if your partner liked the naturist lifestyle, but you had inhibitions, be it from poor body image, cultural differences or past experiences? Or perhaps you are a closet nudist?
There is nothing wrong with being discerning when it comes to baring it all. Going around the house starker’s is not the same as shaking hands with a stranger in your birthday suit. Some people make you feel uncomfortable when you meet them whether you are clothed or not. The discerning naturist carries with him/her a pleasant sarong or long scarf, so that when uncomfortable, covering up is an easy and smooth action.
Clothing Optional places will never make you feel uncomfortable for being clothed around nudists. Alternatively, clothed visitors should not make nudists feel uncomfortable either. Follow the silent rule – do not balk, do not stare, be respectful and keep your eyes on people’s faces, not their bodies. If you can’t do that, this is not the place for you. If you want to stare at nude bodies, go to the beach. Oh yes, another unspoken rule – no sudden moves please. One story is told about a group sitting around a table when a ball rolled under it. A bloke dove under to retrieve it- only to see all the women jump back in alarm. It’s always a clever idea to be aware of yourself when you are bending over too – who is behind you and what are they seeing?
At Bungadoo Breeze, there are a few campsites that are very private as is the cabin for hire. We aim to give the best experience ever for first-timers. For more information, check out https:// gonude.net.au
The easiest way to spot a platypus is to look for ripples without a splash. I am working on the assumption that you know there are platypuses where you intend to view them. The habitat where you may see a platypus would be a healthy freshwater creek or stream with a lot of snags and roots along the banks where they can burrow a home (like a beaver) – one for the adults, one for the kids.
Research tells us that the platypus is a semi-aquatic, solitary, nocturnal monotreme. Monotremes are different from other mammals because they have no teats and lay eggs like birds even though they raise their young like mammals. The platypus is one of only three monotremes. The other two species are Australia's short-beaked echidna (which you can also spot at Bungadoo Breeze) and Papua New Guinea's long-beaked echidna. In my experience, however, I am not so sure about those descriptors of nocturnal, semi-aquatic and solitary. I see families of platypus feeding together during any time of the day. I have never seen them on land. I do know that their burrow is under the river bank amongst a lot of tree roots and snags.
It is highly likely that you will surprise the platypus with your appearance. Have the camera ready before you even get there. Silence is important, move slowly and quietly, speak softly.
These creatures are smooth operators in the water. About the size of a cat, they can swim very fast indeed, a rowing motion with sideways webbed feet. They hunt their prey like dolphins – with their eyes closed, their bill has receptors that detect electrical currents in the water to find their food. When they break the surface of the water, like a whale, you will see a hump – only it will be 3 humps – beak, back and tail – before it dives under, leaving little more than a ripple in its wake. Unlike the turtle or water dragon – who will make a big splash, or the lungfish, making bubbles and a ‘poof’ sound of air exhalation.
Sitting quietly by the riverbank is paramount to spotting that elusive creature. Because they are very shy and wary, they will disappear into the murky water at the first disturbance of their habitat. But after a while, they will see you as part of the habitat, and carry on with their feeding. The photo opportunity is likely to be when there is food to catch on the surface of the water. Because they forage for 12-14 hours of their day, you will most likely see them in the morning when they are feeding on dragonflies and other insects on the surface of the water. They also love yabbies and stuff on the bottom of the river. They can stay underwater for up to ten minutes.
Platypuses are not on the endangered list, even though there are only thousands in existence. They are a protected species though, so you cannot catch one and keep it as a pet.
I had the pleasure of watching 3 young platypuses (or platypups!) playing and foraging on the water’s surface one morning. Naturally, I had forgotten the camera. (as you do!) The next morning, I went back to the same place with my camera on and ready. This time I surprised mum platypus. She must have been right under the bank where I was standing. She shot across the river but stopped half way to get a good look at me. She watched me intently as I clicked the camera and then sunk below the surface effortlessly. I believe that I may been standing on top of her burrow of young – she seemed territorial, and rather cranky at the interruption. (August In Qld is the time they have their young.)
Therefore, success in spotting the platypus is in early morning viewing, looking for large ripples and no splash, and sitting quietly for at least 20 minutes.
I can guarantee that even if you do not see a platypus, you will come away feeling relaxed and ready for the day ahead.
Learn more about the platypus here.
What causes a 70-year-old to go skydiving? Swim with a manta ray? Drink beer at a German Octoberfest? You don’t need a health scare, a life-changing event or retirement to decide on a bucket list.
The older you are, the more priority is placed on the ‘must-do’ list. When young, fit and invincible, some would say that life itself is their list of intentions, especially if they feel in control, in the driver’s seat. As you get on, however, the thought that you may die without having had certain experiences leads one to create this often-difficult list of tasks and commit to working through it before it is too late.
I have been working on my list for years. After each health scare, it comes out. A 4WD trek through the desert. A mountain hike. Whale-watching. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. Visit NZ. Catch a barramundi. When making your bucket list, consider the following – dreams, goals, fears and achievements.
The whole issue with the hit list is that it is designed to give you an adrenaline boost, an increase in pheromones and a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps it is about facing fears. It has been said that every fear hides a wish. It has also been said that a fear reflects a flaw. Whatever the reason, feeling fearful is part of the process that brings about success. Perhaps if we could interpret our fear as a flaw, then the wish to overcome the flaw will be an item on the bucket list.
An example of this is experiencing nudity in the company of other nudists. Facing the fear of body image is huge - for women especially. Such exposure is bound to cause some discomfort, right? Surprisingly, first-timers often recount that they very quickly became comfortable with their own personal nudity and the nudity of others. Because it does feel so natural, it feels unnatural when the clothes come back on!
Intentions should be written down and shared to maximize commitment. There is no limit to your goals, but perhaps it is wise to break it down into achievable chunks for each decade of your life. For example, in your 30’s you may have on your list to seek adventure or try sports activities. In the 40’s, you might want excitement, events or education. The 50’s may see you do volunteer & community work or enjoy nature & wildlife. The 60’s may take aim at travel, family, local experiences or just for fun activities.
It really doesn’t need to be expensive. After all, you only want to try it the once, right? Sure, skydiving, zorbing, white- water rafting or riding an elephant will cost. But it can be financially achievable to learn to surf, sing or belly dance. What about publishing a book or a blog? For even cheaper options, consider giving blood, holding a snake or climbing to the top of a tree.
Or you could do what many are already doing. Go nude at Bungadoo Breeze!
For those who like the bottom line, here it is in as little words as possible:
1. Skinny dipping in the river - nothing like it!
2. Be the envy of all with your all-over tan.
3. Meet like-minded people, make new friends.
4. Pets welcome. Yes, bring your best friend!
5. Reasonable rates - $20 per night per site, or stay 7 & pay for 6.
6. Basic facilities - rubbish bins, unisex toilet, tap & cold shower (river water)
7. Large campsites for your big rig.
8. Wildlife abounds - bird watchers paradise.
9. Singles welcome - we don't discriminate.
10. Friendly hosts - Tony (nudist) & Pauline (shy).
11. Tropical climate for year-round nudity.
12. Telstra phone reception and Wi-fi available.
Between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, and just off the highway, Nude Nomads will find this peaceful clothing optional park is a great place to stay if you just want to relax and explore the local flora and fauna or stay a bit longer and take in a bit more of what the area has to offer. Bundaberg has a rich history and many examples of interesting older architecture. The tropical coast and the famous turtle nesting beach at Mon Repos are just a sample of what the North Burnett Region has to offer, all within easy reach.
The 20-acre park is set on a sandy bend of the Burnett River, where you’ll be able to spot not only platypus but one of Australia’s living fossils, the Lungfish. The large, private level sites will suit camping styles from trailers and vans up to the big rigs, with plenty of choice from shady and sheltered spots to the more open if you prefer, or if you need it for the solar.
There is water for showers and washing, but not for drinking, so make sure you top up and bring a supply. Gin Gin or Bundaberg are both large townships with all the facilities you will need including medical etc and are good spots to gather all the supplies you will need for your stay.
Fires and generators are permitted at the park. Pets by arrangement.
Bushwalking, canoeing, swimming and fishing for bream are all activities you can enjoy at the park, but the quiet, peaceful, natural surroundings lend themselves just as easily to relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere whilst working on your all over tan.
HOW TO GET THERE
From the Bruce highway at Gin Gin take the Bundaberg-Gin Gin Road for 14.1km and turn right into Wallaville Goondoon Road; after 1.1km turn left into Snake Creek Road then after 1.5km turn right and continue 600m to the property. Look for the Blue Flag at the Gate as you are turning off Snake Valley Road.
Head up to reception, which is the house on the Hill, Tony or Pauline will check you in. There is plenty of room for big rig access on the Gravel road.
FEES & BOOKINGS
The fee is $20 per night per site, payable by cash on arrival. Phone 0422416775 to book your spot.
There are basic facilities here - toilet, tap, cold shower, but no power or drinking water. Dump point available in nearby Gin Gin or Bundaberg.
This is a clothing optional facility. Nudity is encouraged, but clothes are fine too.