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Coast, Poona in race for Qld's first official nude beach

Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd CEO Simon Ambrose.
Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd CEO Simon Ambrose. Contributed

A TOURISM chief says it would be a loss to the Sunshine Coast if Poona got Queensland's first "official" nude beach status.

Sunshine Coast Destination CEO Simon Ambrose said there was a place in "democratic society" for a nude beach.

"If local laws allow it, it is not a bad thing to do," he said.

"It would be a loss to the region if it were to go somewhere else.

"I'm not sure how many tourists it attracts, but anything that provides spice and diversity to an offering is a good thing."

Alexandria Bay at Noosa has been the Sunshine Coast's unofficial nude beach for decades and is even rated on Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 clothing-optional beaches in the country.

There have been calls over the years to have it given official status because there is no official nude beach in Queensland.

But a Poona resident has made headlines by petitioning the State Government to make a stretch of beach on the Fraser Coast accessible for nudists.

Residents have been outraged at the suggestion for fear it may attract the wrong crowd.

Poona Community Progress Association president Peter Heit said it would be a joke around the area.

"Because most people here are 60-plus ... so I don't think it would be a pretty sight," he said.

Do you support a clothing-optional beach for the Sunshine Coast?

This poll ended on 23 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes, it's a great tourism opportunity. The Coast should cater for all types.

81%

Maybe, it's a good for tourism but I'd probably avoid that beach.

6%

Um, no thanks.

12%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Australian Naturist Federation's Stuart Whelan said he would prefer sections of popular tourist beaches were cordoned off for skinny dipping.

"Queensland and Tasmania are the only states that don't have one. I strongly believe there should be one in Queensland," he said.

"It is such an attractive climate and tourist destination.

"The beach should be easily accessible and safe, if not patrolled. It should also have basic facilities such as toilets and showers.

"A-Bay (in Noosa) is not ideal, but has been traditionally used.

"In an ideal world, sections on every beach would have clothing-optional bathing permitted and shared usage, as they do in Europe.

"Sometimes people need to climb half a mountain to get to the designated beach.

"It also limits access to people with physical disabilities."

Mr Ambrose could not see the Sunshine Coast tourist beaches opening up to clothing-optional sections any time soon.

"I think our coastline wouldn't be conducive to that. Most have heavily-populated areas using it," he said.

"If we were more of a free and liberal society, maybe so."

Topics:  beach nudist tourism


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