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Ellis Beach-Buchan's Point Trip Report.


Ellis Beach.

On my last trip to Australia in 2007-2008, I spent most of my time in Noosa Heads, but also journeyed north to tropical North Queensland, stopping in Townsville to access Magnetic Island, which has traditional nude beaches at Rocky Bay, Balding Bay, and other secluded strands. You can read about my Balding Bay trip report here on NetNude as well. Noosa Heads and its clothing-optional Alexandria Bay have their own report. I also have a trip report to Sydney nude beaches from 2005.

Departing Townsville heading north to Cairns is about a 6 hour trip on the coach. It was December and it was already broiling hot with about 80% humidity and summer was just getting started. I stayed in a branch of the backpackers I worked at in Noosa. Cairns is well-endowed with backpacker hostels. It is easy to get around central Cairns on foot. There is a lively night market with numerous Asian food stalls and vendors selling the usual tourist stuff. It is well-air conditioned and provides a haven from the heat, as does the lovely Cairns public library close by.

The traditional nude beach near Cairns is Ellis Beach at Buchan's Point, about a one hour local bus ride north of the city center. Bus IX or 2A are the ones you want. One way fare is $5. but as a day pass on all routes is $10. it makes sense to buy that instead.

The website of Sunbus is In the site choose Cairns as there are other cities they serve. You can phone 4057 7411 locally.

Ellis Beach is north of the Cairns suburbs of Clifton Beach and Palm Cove. Grab a free map titled Cairns Beaches Map by Cool Breeze Promotions available almost everywhere.

If you take the bus ask to be let off on Veivers Road or Cedar Road. Tell the driver you are walking the rest of the way to Ellis Beach. It only took me 20 minutes along the side of the road. If driving take the Cook Highway north of the city past Smithfield, Trinity Beach, Kewarra, Clifton Beach and Palm Cove. North of Palm Cove look for Warren Street on the right. Keep going and pass Buchan Street. You will start to descend a hill and you can see the ocean. A car park is on the right as you reach sea level. Turn here and park. Walk south along the beach (back in the direction of Cairns) until you see a large rock in the water just off the beach. The accepted clothing-optional area is south of that rock. You can see the area in my photo.

December is NOT the best season at this beach. It was very quiet. As with many naturist beaches I have found in Australia, males were predominant, and heavy on the gay vibe. December is TOO hot and marine stingers (jellyfish) were present which made swimming highly risky. High season for the beaches in the northern half of Australia, which includes Cairns and Townsville, is April to October. During this time mostly clear, dry, sunny conditions prevail with lower temperatures. This is the Australian winter when the southern capitals of Sydney and Melbourne can be cold by Australian standards. At that time Ellis Beach would be expected to have much higher numbers of beachgoers and a more mixed gender balance than what I experienced. October, especially November to April in the north is summer, with sticky, humid, hot weather and a better chance of heavy rain. One day when I was at Ellis Beach it reached 39 C!

I went 4 times weekdays and weekend by bus and it was the same each day, very few present, those there were almost all male, and it was bloody hot. If I ever visit again, I will never go in December, but perhaps in June, July, or August.

On the map below: The nude beach is directly below the word Buchan which is at the top of the map.

Ellis Beach Map. Note: The nude beach is directly below the word Buchan which is at the top of the map. Map courtesy of Cool Breeze Promotions.

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