Four of Melbourne's beaches attract a "special class" of bather, says Luke Buckmaster in the West Australian. Sunnyside North, Campbell's Cove, Point Impossible and Southside are all official nude—or "clothing optional"—beaches. Here, the bold and liberated (and anyone who doesn't want strap marks) can legally sunbake au naturel. The beaches tend to be hard to find, set in "awkward locations and as far from civilization as possible". First-timers might find it strange, even confronting, "but the atmosphere is relaxed" and no one will bother you. Just remember to put sunscreen everywhere, or you might burn in some unexpected places.

Sunnyside North, Mount Eliza: Head north-east on foot from the car park and follow the sand as it curves to the right. There are no signs, so just look for anyone"letting it all hang out".

Point Impossible, Torquay: This beach is easy to find. Turn off the Esplanade, head 1.5km down a gravel road, then take the path over the dunes. A kilometer of coastline awaits, marked by signs at both ends.

Southside, Torquay: Accessible from Bells Beach car park, this beach is situated in a cove, which gives good shelter on gusty days. Paragliders often "careen through the air, soaking in lofty views of the coast and the bare-skinned beachgoers below."

Campbell's Cove Beach, Werribee: Follow Campbell's Cove Beach Road past the fishermen's huts to the end. Labelled "crap" by seasoned nudists, this beach attracts few people "because nobody likes sunbathing on the grass and swimming in seaweed"

Arguably Australia's "best nudist beach" is North Swanbourne, WA, about 20 minutes from Perth. Every year it hosts an in-the-buff- sports carnival. Samurai Beach at Port Stephens, NSW, also hosts an annual Nude Olympics and has Australia's only legal nude campsite. Maslin Beach in Adelaide is Australia's oldest official nude beach.