The three legal beaches in Victoria are Southside and Pt Impossible (down Torquay/Geelong way); and Sunnyside (near Mt Eliza). Over recent years Victoria has experienced attempts by council lobbyists to have the clothing optional status of some beaches revoked, usually near new land or resort developments. Campbells Cove, previously a legal beach, had it’s status revoked effective Sept 2015.
Sunnyside – Legal
From the city take the Nepean Highway (Route 3) south approx 40 km to Frankston. Continue a further 7 to 8 km then look for the sign to turn right to Sunnyside Beach, down Sunnyside Road. Turn right here and drive down this road for about 800 metres to the car park at the end. In summer you may have to park well short of the car park particularly on weekends. Do be careful of driveways and No Parking signs, as the area is regularly patrolled by parking inspectors. The best time to arrive is before 10am on a hot day, which will also give you a chance to pick your spot on the sand.
From the carpark or road, walk on to Sunnyside Beach then proceed north (to the right) around the rocky point to North Sunnyside. The walk is not that long, but it does go over a little bit of rock, a little dune, and mostly sand (depending on the tide). The beach itself is golden sand with some rock – watch out for rocks in the water in some places, otherwise it is a sandy bottom with little seaweed. This is a bay beach so there is not much wave motion (if any!).
The beach itself is quite long, and is bordered by a private property where a fence has been installed. This actually helps the quality of the beach, as there is little cover for hiding undesireables in the dunes like other beaches. There is generally good shelter from the wind, but there is no shelter from the sun so make sure you bring along an umbrella (and some tie-downs if there is a chance of strong wind).
In the warmer months there is a great mix of singles, couples and families, particularly from midday through to sunset. It is a very friendly beach, and you can usually find people from the various forums and social clubs in attendance.
Southside – Legal
Southside is located quite near the previously-legal Pt Addis beach, near Anglesea. Access is gained by turning off the Great Ocean Road west of Torquay into Bells Boulevard or into Jarosite Road to the north east of Anglesea. Southside is just to the east of Point Addis.
It should be noted that there has been quite a bit of confusion about Southside for many years – it was gazetted as official in 1986, but the signage was never installed until recently (end of 2012!) and the old signage at Pt Addis was left in place. So for over 25 years, Pt Addis has actually been used as an unofficial beach, and the actual official beach saw very few nudists!
Given the history of the two beaches, users of Southside have reported occasional “discussions” with surfers or families who are unaware of the official status of the beach. We always advise beach users to remember that in Australia, our beaches are Clothing Optional, and therefore to be used by everyone. If you get challenged about being nude at Southside, remain pleasant and factual – point out the signs (assuming they are still there) and even move further down the beach if that’s what it takes to maintain goodwill. We prefer harmony and the high ground, to support our community and our image.
Here’s a link to the Southside official beach gazetted locations – if you are a Southside patron, it’s a useful map to be familiar with! Check the official gazette links below for more detail
Pt Impossible – Legal
Point Impossible is very typical of much of Victoria’s southern coastline with a very wide expanse of sand sloping up to a backdrop of huge vegetated sand dunes. While the beach itself is an excellent clothing optional location, it can get quite windy on occasions, so get along prepared with a beach shelter or wind break.
To get to Point Impossible from Geelong take the Torquay road from Geelong and turn left into Blackgate Road about 4 km past Mt Duneed (or South Beach Rd, another km or so if you miss Blackgate Rd). Turn right into Horseshoe Bend Rd and keep driving until you hit a roundabout (where Horseshoe Bend Rd and The Esplanade meet). Turn left, and keep driving straight, through another roundabout (where The Esplanade and Sands Bvld meet) and shortly after you should hit a gravel road.
At the very end of the gravel road is a carpark with toilets at the far end. Near the toilets is the path to the beach. The path enters Pt Impossible CO beach almost halfway along, so you can go clothes free both to the left and the right of the path.
Don’t forget that the CO area is from the foot of the dunes out to 100m offshore. At no time are you permitted to be in the dunes (nude or otherwise) as they are a protected environmental area.
Due to problems experienced with inappropriate behaviour in the dunes in the past (unauthorised fires, alcohol and sexual activity), Pt Impossible is now regularly patrolled by authorities and members of the various nudist associations. Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated – if you see any, call the police and report it like you would on any other beach!!
As of January 2012, Police on regular patrols have been handing out $200 on-the-spot fines for anyone found in or seen leaving the dune areas. Thanks goes to the vigilant local nudists who have assisted the local council and police in their efforts to clean the beach up, making it a great family-friendly beach for textiles and nudists alike!
Campbells Cove – CO Status Revoked (Not Legal any more)
Update July 2015: Effective 1 September 2015, Campbells Cove will no longer be a legal beach. Google the news to read the various stories, but the primary cause (according to local council and the responsible minister) is urban growth/sprawl.
Although centrally located for many Melbourne nudists, Campbells Cove does not have the greatest reputation of the legal beaches. To get to Campbell’s Cove Beach from Werribee turn into Duncans Road, then after some distance into Aviation Road. From here it is right into Cunningham Road and then left into Campbell’s Cove Beach Road. Proceed past the fishermen’s huts to the end of the road. From the Melbourne side take the Point Cook turn off, then along Aviation Road, Cunningham Road etc.
Government Gazette Proclamations
Government Gazette Proclamations are the official word on whether a beach is legal or not, since they are proclaimed by the state government and fall under the jurisdiction of the responsible minister, via the Department of Sustainability and Environment. The following links are the known latest versions of those proclamations:
- Victoria Government Gazette Notice – November 30, 1983 – Point Impossible and Point Addis granted
- Victoria Government Gazette Notice – December 12, 1984 – Point Impossible and Point Addis amended
- Victoria Government Gazette Notice – November 5, 1986 – Page 1 – Point Addis revoked
- Victoria Government Gazette Notice – November 5, 1986 – Page 2 – Southside and Sunnyside granted
If anyone has updates to these links, or more recent proclamations that they are aware of, please let us know and we will update this information.