Bohemians and Town Officials Battle Over Byron Bay’s Nudist Culture

For decades, Byron Bay has drawn free-spirited nomads, who congregate on its shores and enjoy the area’s nude beach. Recently, officials have been battling with the alternative crowd after plans to eliminate the nudist culture were revealed.

In 1998 Byron Shire Council assigned part of Tyagarah Beach clothes-optional status. Today the beach, which is controlled by three state agencies, is the target of a movement to have the nude culture eliminated from the area. Officials and area residents cite anti-social behaviour and sexual harassment as adequate cause to revoke the clothes-optional status in the Byron Bay area.

Some claim there is logic to allowing beachgoers to remove their clothes before submerging themselves into the water to swim. On the other hand, many residents who are relatively new to the area are tired of the wayward antics of bohemians living on shoestring budgets and shattering the area’s calm.

Only time will tell how the new and the old will work out the details of peacefully coexisting in the new Byron Bay.