Nudism generates big tourist dollars for Narrabri and it could help boost Dubbo’s economy if more people are willing to socialise with their gear off.
That’s the belief of Dubbo Inland Nudist Group members who are pushing for increased awareness of the inland nudist trail, from Melbourne to Brisbane.
About 20 people regularly enjoy getting back to nature in a quiet rural setting 25 kilometres south of Dubbo, not far from Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
“We are frequently joined by nudists from other areas and enjoy barbecues, playing sports or lazing around the property’s dam,’’ Dubbo Inland Nudist Group publicity officer Bill Smith said.
“We’re keen to encourage other people to enjoy the freedom of social nudism. It’s not sleazy, offensive or sexually orientated. Getting your gear off is a great leveller - people aren’t judged by the clothes they wear and everyone interacts happily without preconceived ideas.’’
Mr Smith said local nudists ranged in age from 40 to 65 and represented all professions and walks of life.
They get together once a fortnight during summer and every month in winter. Clothes are worn during cold weather.
Dubbo nudists enjoy frequent trips to Running Bear in the Pilliga forest, 20 kilometres south of Narrabri.
The Narrabri Shire Council visitors’ centre this week confirmed the well-known nudist retreat was a significant attraction for the town, generating a considerable amount of money.
Bill Smith dreams the Dubbo Inland Nudist Group may one day enjoy similar popularity.
“There’s nothing more enjoyable than swimming and socialising in the nude,’’ he said. “My wife and I discovered nudism five years ago during a tour of Australia. We came across a ‘free beach’ at Darwin and decided to give it a go, just for the heck of it. The experience of swimming nude in the ocean was incredibly liberating and we went on to visit other nudist locations and resorts.
“It’s such a relaxed thing to do. You don’t have to worry about buying or packing a holiday wardrobe and there are few clothes to launder during the vacation. Everyone at the resort shares a common interest and the atmosphere is relaxed with strict rules on admittance and behaviour.’’
Mr Smith said nudists soon learned to protect their skin.
They gravitate towards shady areas during summer heat, apply plenty of sunscreen and wear an apron while barbecuing to stop burns from splattering fat.
Mr Smith said statisticians estimated 50 per cent of Australians slept in the nude and between 20 and 30 per cent preferred to be bare skinned while relaxing in the privacy of their own home.
“My wife and I enjoy being nude around the house. A pair of shorts and a sarong are kept handy in case someone comes to the door or we want to go into the garden.’’
One Dubbo Inland Nudist Group member lives alone on a rural property. He does farm work in the nude, including driving the tractor.
Mr Smith said some people were very open about their preference for nudity, others were careful who they told because they didn’t wish to offend work colleagues or elderly relatives.
“Unfortunately a significant proportion of the community tends to get the wrong idea about nudism - they think we are all weirdos, deviants or swingers.
“We don’t perve on each other. In fact, nudists don’t even notice that people have their gear off. We are too busy having a good time and listening to what people have to say.’’
Further information about the Dubbo Inland Nudist Group can be obtained by telephoning 0428 249 386 from 6pm to 8pm or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org