33° 50′ 8.142” S – 151° 16′ 45.9156” E
Lady Bay Beach or Lady Jane beach, is a beautiful secluded and serene bay on Sydney Harbour. It is one of Australia’s oldest and most publicised nudist beaches first being granted legal status in 1976.
The beach or bay is at the head of the ‘South head’ peninsula that forms the entrance to Sydney Harbour. The beach itself is small but surrounded by rocky cliff faces and white sand. High tide does reduce the size of the beach further and the beach is popular and it can become very crowded especially on weekends.
The surrounding area is worth a visit with spectacular ocean views and views of the city and the harbour. The area has a lot of historical interest, including Camp Cove, the spot where the First Fleet first landed in Sydney in 1788 and Macquarie Lighthouse, the country’s first lighthouse, built in 1818 and some military emplacements that are no longer used.
At high tide, there is only a very thin strip of sand, so it can get crowded. There are a number of well-maintained walking paths that allow very easy access to explore the area. However, one of these does overlook the beach.
The beach is well frequented by both straight and gay, although its well known within gay circles both locally and internationally, so it can become a bit of ‘boys-club’ with some looking for more than a sun tan, but on the whole is a very welcoming and friendly beach. Although you can expect disapproving looks if you don’t shed your clothes and enjoy the sunshine by the locals. But remember nudity is only legal on the beach itself and not in the surrounding area.
A ferry service runs to Watsons Bay from Circular Quay, where you can have some fantastic harbour views along the way, but don’t miss the last ferry back, otherwise a bus service runs between the city and Watsons Bay.
If you are driving, take the New South Head Road from the city, which runs into Hopetoun Avenue and onto Watsons Bay. Take a left into Military Road and keep driving as far as you can go along to the one way streets of Pacific and Victoria. You can park near Cliff Street, and access to the beach is via a steep pathway at the northern end of Camp Cove behind the Military Reserve.