One day Dodgy Perth will tell the story of the building of Naval Base. It was basically one terrible government decision after another, wasting thousands and thousands of tax payers’ hard-earned money.
Wait. That is the story. So let’s move on to how a much better use for the disaster was found in the early 1930s.
By 1933, it had become the most fashionable spot on the coast for nude bathing parties.
Nude parties had long been popular along the Swan and at beaches closer to town, but the police started taking a more proactive line and few people wanted to spend the night in the slammer.
So those who sought to shed civilisation along with their clothes and frolic free with only the waves to envelop them had to find new locations.
So Coogee it was, and particularly around the Naval Base. There nude parties became nightly events. Regular readers of Dodgy Perth will not be surprised to find the media shocked to discover that it was not just the working-classes attending these parties, but perfectly respectable types too.
And more than one party of girls—and fairly high-class girls at that—have taken the opportunity to bathe in the moonlight at Naval Base.
If these were only single-sex parties, it seems hard to find anything wicked in them. But some young types had—we shudder—gone to Naval Base with the intention of having mixed events.
Take for example, the tragic case of five Fremantle girls, all from quite well-to-do families. They drove out to Naval Base for a “quick nude” at the beach one night.
They stripped off in the car park, and walked down to the sand. But imagine their consternation when they saw several young couples already playing on the water’s edge, every one in their birthday suits.
And as they turned to retrace their steps to seek a quieter spot two more car loads of nude bathers raced down the beach, and plunged in.
Having blushed their way back to the car they donned their clothes and made off for home. But on the way they were noted many other nude parties—mostly mixed—at Coogee and the Smelters.
This may not be the ideal time of year for a quick nude by Kwinana Power Station. But if you are going, do drop the Dodgy Perth team an invite.