Baring All at South Australia’s Maslin Beach Nude Games
By Marie Kimber
Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, with a population of 1.7 million, is Australia’s 5th largest city.
In general, overseas visitors heading ‘Down Under’ tend to incorporate Sydney, Melbourne, and the Eastern States as their preferred destinations.
However, Adelaide, with forty-five miles of stunning coastline, is blessed with a bevy of dazzling beaches, wide-open spaces, world-class wineries, and a leafy mountain range on its doorstep.
Laid Back Beachside Culture
Just 20 minutes west of the city, seaside suburbs offer white sand, pristine ocean waters, a laidback vibe, eclectic cafes, and restaurants.
Families dining on fish and chips, couples walking their dogs, and joggers on the beach, making the most of Daylight Saving Time, are a common sight from October through to March.
Head further south to adjoining Christie’s Beach, Port Noarlunga, and Moana, and you soon understand why swimming, paddling, fishing, snorkeling, and surfing are a way of life here.
Temperate seas and low swells make it perfect for families. The protected waters inside the reef at Port Noarlunga are ideal for snorkelers and scuba diving students.
Australia’s First Official Nudist Beach
Maslin Beach, just 50 minutes south of the city, however, is something else. In 1975, the Southern end of the beach was proclaimed Australia’s First Official Unclad Beach and eight years later saw the first Maslin Beach Nude Olympics held there.
Organizers of this fun event were shocked when, 20 years later, the Australian Olympic Committee stripped them naked of their use of “Olympics” in the title. This almost comical setback gave the event more exposure in the media, and today it remains well patronized.
This usually lowly inhabited stretch of coastline is today littered with every imaginable configuration of the human form, with flesh bare to the midday sun.
The regulars to this nude beach are a standout – parading like rhinos with their sun-hardened, mochaccino-colored leathery skin, mingling with the more coy, crystal pink, first-time revelers.
Light-Hearted Competition in the Nude Beach Games
While gold medals aren’t up for grabs, contestants proudly swap their swimwear for a sense of fun and fellowship as they laugh their way through the day’s events.
Contestants line up for the ever-popular Sack Race — bodies sun-kissed to varying degrees resembling ebony and ivory, and all shades in between, bounce toward the finish line with pieces of anatomy jiggling like never before.
A squeal rings out as one pasty pale woman bumps into another, causing them both to stumble headfirst into the soft ivory sand where they stay laughing uncontrollably.
Amused onlookers wearing nothing but broad-brimmed hats join in with the boisterous laughter. Others reclined in deck chairs look out from under their brightly colored, striped beach umbrellas before reaching for another cold beer from their portable ice chests.
The Body is Just a Taxi for the Soul
I stand at a distance to watch the Raw Egg Throwing Competition and meet buxom Debbie, fresh from the Sack Race.
“The body is just a taxi for the soul, after all,” she reminds me, brushing sand off her tanned backside. “And these people are my kinda souls, they care nothing about body image,” she pants, catching her breath.
“The Nude Games brings likeminded people together; everyone is so friendly, there is nothing sinister, they’re just looking for a day of fun.” she continues.
A Nude Nurse
Debbie is a nurse who lives in Adelaide. She visits this beach most weeks on her day off during the Australian Summer and has done so for three years. She tells me she finds the liberation of being unclad as her most satisfying way to relax and recharge.
“I come here on my own,” she adds. “I never feel intimidated, even though men often dominate the area. It’s a beautiful place to swim. The water is safe and crystal clear, and I can purge my brain of all my worries and stress from work.”
Step Up for the Three-Legged Race
The day’s events continue and include the Donut Eating Competition, where competitors attempt to devour donuts suspended on a wire with their hands behind their backs, The Frisbee Throwing Competition, and the ever-popular Three-Legged Race.
A stand out for me, however, is the Doubles Balloon Race. What better way to get to know someone than clutching your sweaty, naked bodies together while walking with a squelchy balloon wedged between you, I ask?
If you are more of a twerker, then the Tissue Box Competition might be your style. One person tries to land a ping-pong ball into an empty tissue box strapped to their partner’s back while they wriggle their butt to align the target, again amid shrieks of amusement.
Put Away Hang-Ups
It doesn’t take long to acknowledge this is a non-judgemental environment. Anyone can join in the games, and while nudity is encouraged, some people prefer elements of clothing for sun protection during the hottest part of the day.
No one takes much notice of anyone else, with age, size, shape, color, scars, and blemishes overlooked. The focus here is the person on the inside. Their attitude, carefree nature, and how much fun and frivolity they can bring to the day is what matters.
There has been no lead-up training; there are no ‘personal bests’ on the line and no sponsors to appease. These vocal revelers have disrobed their hang-ups and insecurities along with their clothes. They are playing like happy-go-lucky children.
Visit “Massies,” as the locals call it, on any other day of the year, and you’re likely to share it with less than 20 people. Walk the water’s edge during Summer, and the ebb and flow of gentle waves provide a soothing coolness to liberated, bare feet.
Enamelled grains of coarse, caramel-colored sand exfoliate the toes, as shorebirds dine on unsuspecting crabs caught up in the receding waves.
Pick up Wine in McLaren Vale on your Way
An easy 50-minute drive from Adelaide via Main South Road gets you to Maslin Beach. If you allow time in your day, take a short tour inland to the vine-covered undulating hills of the McLaren Vale wine region.
The area is home to sustainable grape growing, world-class wines, and culinary experiences, along with pristine natural attractions and unparalleled tourism offerings.
Primarily known for Shiraz, the region’s Mediterranean climate continues to influence the wine style and food culture with varieties including Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Vermentino, and Fiano, also flourishing.
With many of the 80 cellar-door retail outlets offering local produce as part of their tasting experience, there is a food and wine combination suitable to everyone. Staff will suggest the perfect wine to pair with your food, whether it be at a top-rated restaurant or with a casual grazing platter eaten on a blanket on the ground.
The proximity to the sea means the wine region experiences fewer frosts and diseases. It also means locals to the area can grab a bottle of wine, pack a picnic and be at the coast in minutes to relax after work, have a swim and watch as the sun sets over the Gulf of St Vincent.
Accessing the Beach for the Games
The carpark at the Northern end of Maslin Beach provides easy access to the clothed bathing end — a timber walkway and steps have been constructed to protect the dunes and plants.
The coastal plants need to become hardened to challenging growing conditions, and many of them are gems with attractive flowers, fruit, and or foliage. The common everlasting is a low-clumping plant with often gray to silver foliage.
The root system spreads out, holds the sand close, like a toddler protecting candy, and prevents erosion from prevailing winds. Look out for their minion yellow flowers, which are produced in clusters and put on a bright display against the golden sand.
A sign partway down the beach delineates the clad from the unclad zones. At either end, you’re going to find soft white sand and a sea that beckons you in. Wade out into the turquoise gulf water, and you’ll note the smooth sand underfoot and the gradually deepening water.
Dive under and the visibility will astound you. These are clean, pure, pristine waters.
The Games at the Naked Southern End
Access to the unclad, southern end of the beach, is more challenging. A concrete path with almost 200 formed steps winds its way between windswept bare bluffs to the stunning beach below.
There are public toilets and an outdoor shower to wash sand and salt off, located halfway along the path to the water. While it is a gentle stroll down, be prepared for a severe leg and butt workout on the steep, return climb. Fear not, as a visit to this beach will definitely be worth every burnt calorie.
40 Million Years of Fossil Deposits
South Australia is the driest state on the driest continent, and during Summer, the sloping bluffs heading up from the sea at Maslin Beach are barren and harsh. Brilliant violet flowers blooming on unforgiving, spiky thistle plants do their best to soften the landscape.
Striated cliffs resembling honeycomb and brandy snaps bound the beach. These lines of limestone and sandstone date back more than 40 million years and contain dense fossil deposits of sponges, mollusks, and sea urchins.
The area has always attracted geology and paleontology students, with many invertebrate fossil species uncovered here.
The Next Nude Beach Games
To find out about the next Nude Games details visit www.pilwarren.com.
For more information regarding the McLaren Vale Wine Region, cellar doors, tours and accommodation, check out: www.mclarenvale.info
Marie Kimber lives on the beach adjacent to Australia’s premier wine region of McLaren Vale in South Australia. An avid writer, photographer, public speaker, and tour host, she is passionate about sharing her destinations and love of food, wine and people with the world.