Australia is famous for many things: dangerous animals, Mardi Gras, coffee culture, and it’s plethora of world-class beaches. While Bondi Beach may steal most of the thunder when it comes to the best beaches in Australia, the country is also home to plenty of dedicated gay beaches, where you’ll meet fellow LGBTQ people who are soaking up the Aussie sun. From the best gay beaches in Sydney, to some golden nudist beaches up north in Queensland and beyond, pack your best set of swimmers (or not), and join us as we explore the best gay beaches in Australia.
Sydney is home to Australia’s largest LGBTQ scene, so it makes sense that it also offers the country’s biggest selection of gay beaches to drop towel at. While a visit to Sydney should inevitably include a trip to the city’s iconic Bondi Beach, we also recommend getting acquainted with some of the LGBTQ locals at several - or all - of Sydney’s best gay beaches.
Clovelly Beach has long been regarded as Sydney’s best gay beach - or at least the most popular and well-known one. Unlike the open stretches of sand found at many of Sydney’s beaches, Clovelly Beach is a small cove which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling in a tranquil setting. The beach is located between two rocky ridges, making it almost feel like a swimming pool rather than a beach. As the name would suggest, the beach is located in Clovelly, which sits between the popular suburbs of Bronte and Coogee. If you are looking for a relaxing gay beach in Sydney to spend the day at, Clovelly Beach sure ticks all the boxes.
When you hear the word obelisk, your first thoughts may orient to Paris and its famed Obelisk in Place de la Concorde. Well Australia has its own interpretation of the word in the form of Obelisk Beach, perhaps Sydney’s most popular gay nude beach. When it’s warm, naturists flock to Obelisk Beach to soak up some vitamin D, and mingle with other LGBTQ folk. The 100-meter stretch of sand welcomes loads of nude gay guys, who come to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and scenic views across the bay.
While Obelisk Beach is located on the inner-city North Shore, not far from Mosman, it can be a little complicated to reach. The easiest option is to walk roughly 100 meters down Chowder Bay Road, and look for steps leading down to the beach. While this is a clothing-optional gay beach, visitors won’t be pressured should they wish to remain in their swimmers. As the beach is a little difficult to reach, and there aren’t any cafes or restaurants on the shore, we recommend making all the essential refreshments for a relaxing day at this gay beach in Sydney.
Lady Jane Beach
Curious about some gay cruising in Sydney? Get yourself to the popular Lady Jane Beach, one of Sydney’s best gay cruising beaches. While Oxford Street is the pulse of LGBTQ life in Sydney, Lady Jane Beach has long been one of the city’s pivotal places for gay cruising, and it doesn’t show any sings of slowing down. The open and friendly crowd will make you feel right at home, so be sure to find your patch of sand and settle in for the day. While the beach is not specifically gay, and is sometimes frequented by a straight crowd, you can still enjoy a safe and welcoming atmosphere here any time of day. If you’re after more seclusion, it’s advised to head a little further east from the main section of the beach. Lady Jane Beach is located by the South Head of the harbor, and is a 15-minute walk from Watsons Bay Wharf.
North Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach
While North Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach are not explicitly gay beaches in Sydney, they are known to attract a gay crowd at certain times. In terms of North Bondi Beach, the most likely time you’ll meet fellow LGBTQ beach goers is around mid-afternoon. Locals will stress the “north” part of this beach, as that’s where you’ll find less tourists and more of a LGBTQ crowd. If North Bondi is not your thing, head a little further south to Tamarama Beach. While the gay heyday of Tamarama was arguably during the 80s and 90s, the beach still attracts a gay crowd, who come to enjoy the relaxed, open-minded vibe of the area.
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Queensland often piques the interest of travelers coming to Australia thanks to its famous Great Barrier Reef, Surfers Paradise, and the Daintree Rainforest - all iconic and typical aspects associated with Australia as a whole. While the state is one of Australia’s most conservative in terms of general LGBTQ openess, you’ll still find some gay-friendly beaches here. And with such warm weather throughout the year, it only makes sense that beach culture is a focus here.
Ellis Beach is located in the Cairns Region, and is a relaxing place to drop towel - and your swimmers! This unofficial nude beach welcomes plenty of people who come to soak up some vitamin D and avoid the tan lines by sunbathing au natural. The beach is popular with gay men thanks to its open-minded, relaxed vibe and beautiful waters to bathe in. In terms of gay nude beaches in Queensland, this one is definitely a frontrunner.
If you’re all about location, location, location, make a beeline for Alexandria Bay. With its spectacular bushland backdrop, glistening waters, and pristine golden sand, Alexandria Bay is an Instagramer’s dream. But along with its aesthetic, this is one of the most gay-friendly beaches in Queensland, and many people will come to enjoy the warm sun in the nude. The crowd is slightly older here, and most will be in the nude. After all, this beach is so remote, why wouldn’t you strip down? Alexandria Bay is located by fancy Noosa, so once you’ve had enough nude sunbathing for a day, head to nearby Hastings Street for a beverage or ice-cream, and enjoy Noosa’s chill vibe.
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Melbourne is famous for many things. Great coffee culture, excellent restaurants, and an LGBTQ scene to boot. While the city continues to attract LGBTQ tourists year round, the city is not renowned for its beaches. Set on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne offers an ocean backdrop, however, the beaches are not comparable to those in other parts of the country. That said, there are still some open, welcoming places in and around Melbourne where you can enjoy the sand weather permitting.
St Kilda is lauded as Melbourne’s playground, and for good reason. Not only is this iconic seaside suburb home to Luna Park - an old-fashioned amusement park which opened in 1912 - but also loads of lively bars and al fresco restaurants that keep locals entertained year round. While St Kilda Beach is not an official gay beach, the suburb’s open-minded, relaxed nature makes it a popular beachside location for LGBTQ people to settle and soak up some vitamin D. Once you’ve had enough fun at the beach for one day, why not venture a little further to Prahran and enjoy LGBTQ nightlife at its finest? Just a short tram ride from St Kilda will lead you to Chapel Street and Commercial Road - two of Prahran’s gayest streets.
Sunnyside North Beach
Sunnyside North Beach is a small, secluded gay-friendly beach located on the Mornington Peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination in Victoria, Australia. Sunnyside North Beach is a popular option for LGBTQ+ beachgoers, and it is also naturist-friendly, meaning you can drop more than your towel! Sunnyside North Beach is located between Mount Martha Beach and Safety Beach, about an hour's drive south of Melbourne. It is a narrow, sandy beach with clear blue water, and it is surrounded by rugged cliffs and natural bushland. Once you're done with the beach, be sure to explore the surrounding Mornington Peninsula, which is renowned with excellent food, wine, and produce.
While Melbourne is not famous for its warm, sunny weather, it certainly turns the heat up over the summer from December to March. If the heat is getting to you, and you want to freshen up and strip off (literally) at a gay nude beach in Melbourne, pack the car and head to Point Impossible. Point Impossible has many drawcards, including its long stretch of golden beach, along with towering sand dunes which are the perfect spot for gay cruising. The eastern end of the beach is arguably the gayest part of Point Impossible should you wish to meet fellow LGBTQ beachgoers. As Point Impossible is a little out of Melbourne, we suggest packing a picnic and making an entire day trip out of it.
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Adelaide is South Australia’s capital city, and is most famous for its churches and its wine. That said, Adelaide and its surrounding areas also offer some of the country’s finest beaches and surf. In terms of gay beaches in Adelaide, there is no official place, however, Maslin Beach to the south of the city is arguably your best bet in terms of LGBTQ-friendly nude beaches in Adelaide. The naturist-friendly part of the beach is at the south end, and as nude sunbathing is legal in South Australia, you’ll be able to settle in for the day without any problems. Maslin Beach is 45 kilometres south of Adelaide’s city centre, and is within easy reach of popular McLaren Vale should you wish to do some wine tasting after your day at the beach.
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North Swanbourne Beach
Western Australia has some of Australia’s finest weather and finest beaches! While popular Cottesloe Beach may get most of the fame with tourists who came to enjoy some sun, sand, and surf here, North Swanbourne Beach is the port of call when it comes to gay beaches in Perth. North Swanbourne is a 20-minute drive from Perth, and is the city’s main naturist-friendly beach. It is also popular with an LGBTQ crowd who come to enjoy the sun on the white stretch of sand and mingle with fellow gay beachgoers also in the nude. Although the nude section and the clothed section are separated by a sign, the lines have become somewhat blurred in more recent years, so be sure to gauge the vibe before stripping down. Within easy reach of Perth by car and several public transport options, be sure to pencil in a day at this gay beach when you next visit Western Australia’s capital.
So wherever you may be heading in Australia, be sure to visit some of the country’s finest gay beaches and experience an iconic part of life down under. From nude beaches in Sydney to gay beaches in Queensland, meet LGBTQ locals in Australia and experience your pride on the sand. Are we missing any? Send us an email to email@example.com with your recommendations. We’d love to hear from you.
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Loved this? See our round-up of the best gay nude beaches in the US and bookmark your faves for a future adventure.
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