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Byron Bay nudist beach looks set to close in controversial move

A nudist beach in Byron Bay is likely to be shut down from next month after a surprise move by the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.

Tyagarah Beach has been operating as a nudist bathing spot for decades and is one of few remaining legal nudist beaches in the state.

However, nude visitors may no longer be allowed on the beach from April 8.

NSW Parks and Wildlife said the nudist beach was not in line with its values.
NSW Parks and Wildlife said the nudist beach was not in line with its values. (Queensland Naturist Association)

Byron Bay Shire Council officially declared part of Tyagarah Beach as a “clothing optional” zone in 1998 after a campaign from locals, assuming it had jurisdiction over what was believed to be Crown land.

However, a land survey conducted in 2023 has revealed NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) is in fact the managing authority of the 800m stretch of beach.

In a letter addressed to Byron Bay Shire Council in December last year, the NWPS wrote the nudist beach was “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under”.

“For example, people are accessing not only the beach but also the dune and hind-dune which is creating environmental issues. The continuation of a clothes optional area in Tyagarah Nature Reserve is not supported by NPWS,” the letter stated.

Given the council has no jurisdiction over the land, staff have recommended it revoke its 1998 decision to make the Tyagarah Beach clothes optional.

The recommendation will be voted on by councillors at a public meeting next Thursday.

The recommendation also suggests the council remove “clothing optional” signage at the beach and update its social media information by April 8.


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