Ok, so back in July, I did a blog post about my best friend and I venturing to the boutique naturist retreat, boBRENE (you can check it out here). Whilst I have done my fair share of interviews in the past few months, it’s my turn to get back to being the interviewer.
Well FINALLY.. I present to you part 2… the interview with the owners of boBRENE, Bob and Rene!!! Bob and Rene were gracious enough to host me at their nudist paradise so that I could ask them some candid questions about the nudist lifestyle and their personal journey with it all.
boBRENE (pronounced boe-brene) is a boutique, naturist retreat located on the foothills of the lush Tamborine Mountain, halfway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane in the sunny state of Queensland, Australia. Backing onto the Tamborine State Forest, the picturesque retreat is nestled amongst 6.125 hectares of pristinely landscaped garden, which part-owner, Bob, tends to in nothing but some minimal safety gear to ‘protect the crowned jewels’.
It is a couples-only retreat with various accommodation options for nude-goers. From a cosy cottage, to a quirky chalet, to a room in the homestead, or the option to stay on a powered campsite, there are plenty of options for those looking for an overnight stay or two (or more!). There is also the option for a day visit if you’re just wanting to hang out by the pool, chill in the jacuzzi or play some nude tennis or petanque. You’re sure to catch a glimpse of some Australian wildlife too!
I’ve now been to boBRENE numerous times, and I absolutely love it!
boBRENE is an intimate and low-key naturist resort for adults only. Owned by Bob and Rene who have been married now for 35 years, it is ideal for those who are wanting a nice little getaway in a paradise where you can bare it all. Nothing short of tranquil and serene, Bob and Rene are the warm and welcoming hosts of boBRENE and the nudies behind the meticulously thought-out piece of paradise.
Ok, so let’s catch up briefly on the last fifty years…
Bob, originally from Victoria, was travelling around Australia (Melbourne to Perth) with three friends when he first met Rene in 1968. Rene was a 17 year-old bartender at the time. Bob and Rene ‘buddied up’ on Christmas eve that year, and saw each other every day for the next three weeks, when Bob then decided to invite Rene back to Melbourne with him. Much to the horror of Bob’s parents, Rene agreed and put in her notice at work. Rene’s parents had no idea at the time as she was living with her sister. The following day, Rene had her bags packed, ready to go. Bob told the boys Rene was coming with them, much to their surprise. A 17-year old virgin driving across the Nullarbor with 4 boys in two cars…and the rest is history.
So here we are in 2017, and Bob, 67, and Rene, 65, have been married for 45 years and have been practicing nudists for over 34 years. They have two daughters who were brought up through the nudist movement. boBRENE, the tranquil boutique naturist retreat, is the result of their dream turned reality.
In its eighth year of operation, the retreats boasts lush surroundings with it’s location nestled amongst the foothills of Tamborine Mountain and backing onto the state forest.
So how did they start off in the nudist lifestyle?
Rewind 34 years… It was a hot day and Bob and Rene were at a party where they decided to make use of the pool and went “chunky-dunking” as Rene now refers to it. Yes, I was initially confused by the term too, but it is the equivalent of ‘skinny-dipping’. “I used to call it skinny-dipping when I had a body like yours, and now it’s called ‘chunky-dunking'”, Rene laughingly states. Following on from the party, Bob’s friend, who he used to play squash with, thought they might like this nudist place, previously called ‘River Valley’, and invited them to check it out. Describing their first time as a bit “shocking”, they arrived at the gate with their two kids and were greeted by a completely naked man. Rene said to Bob, “Oh my god, he’s really in the nude”, and Bob replied with, “Yes, we’re at a nudist place”. Rene admits that, “the first time you go nude in public, it is very *slight pause*….in your face, and shocking”. So, after undressing the children and themselves, they ventured out to the trampoline and started bouncing around with the kids, “and we’ve been nudists ever since”, states Rene.
The beginnings of boBRENE
In my interview with the married nudies, Rene reveals that when they started boBRENE, the conditions were that the kids had to be off of their hands and they had to be retired. They needed to be free. They searched every nook and cranny, looking as far as Gimpie and Rathdowney. They wanted to also be within a 100km radius of the CBD and accessible to the children. They searched for a property for four and a half years, nearly giving up in the end…before they discovered the now nudie-sanctuary boBRENE.
They took every weekend, every holiday and every sick day to look for the perfect property. Privacy was a must! Rene stated to the real estate agent, “I want to hang my washing in the nude, I want to walk around in the nude. We want a nude retreat so that people can come here and be in the nude”.
Jessa: What does naturism mean to you?
Rene: “Not wearing any clothes. I hate clothes. I hate shopping for clothes. I hate wearing clothes. And that’s all it is for me. I just hate clothes”.
Bob: “Freedom and openness. What you see is what you get. People are far more friendly. No barriers. I like the sense of freedom, especially when I’m swimming. I still like to wear clothes when I’m working around the property because I’d like to keep the ‘crowned jewels'” *laughs*
Jessa: How much of your time would you say you spend nude?
Rene: “100%, except for when I’m shopping. Obviously when I leave here, I have to wear clothes”.
Rene will wait until she’s at her gate at the end of the property before she puts her clothing on. Rene adamantly states, “I absolutely hate wearing clothes. I hate it”.
The couple reveled that they wore clothes for an entire 4 months when they holidayed last year.
Jessa: If you had to choose a favourite item of clothing, what would it be?
Rene: “A dress or a sarong”.
Bob: “A red bow tie I wore at my wedding 45 years ago”.
Following this question, and being the character he is, Bob ducked out of the room to fetch his red bow tie from the garage and walked back into the room wearing nothing but the bow tie!
Jessa: What do your family and friends think of your lifestyle?
Bob: “I think my sister is a good example of that. My sister and I are like chalk and cheese”.
Bob revealed that, originally, she couldn’t believe that Bob and Rene would take their children to ‘places like that’ (nudist places), but now she’s one of their biggest advocates. She doesn’t practice nudism, but constantly brags about boBRENE.
Rene: “Our kids were brought up through the nudist movement. They know what we do. They’re ok with it. Their partners were not so much. So when they come here, we unfortunately have to get dressed”.
The couple share that whilst their friends don’t necessarily practice nudism, they are accepting.
Bob: “They are very intrigued by the lifestyle and always ask questions. It’s put it into a different perspective for them because they see that boBRENE is a successful business and provides them with a ‘nice lifestyle'”.
Jessa: What’s your most memorable naked moment?
Bob: “Probably our first NYE at River Valley”.
Rene: “Mine too”.
The couple stated that it was the “best party” they’d ever been too, as they absolutely loved the sense of freedom, describing it as “exhilarating”.
Jessa: What’s your favourite nude activity:
Rene: “Mine woiuld have to be wine o’clock in the spa”.
Bob: “I love playing tennis. Petanque. Water volleyball”.
Bob describes the activities as “good icebreakers”.
Jessa: Have you ever encountered a hostile situation at boBRENE?
Jessa: “May I ask what that was”?
Rene: “I can’t give you the details but we asked them to leave”.
Jessa: Do you have any new ventures for boBRENE on the horizon?
Rene: “Maintenance. We don’t plan on expanding. We’re a boutique naturist retreat and if anything, we would downsize. We don’t have any staff, and we want to keep it that way. Small and simple”.
Jessa: May I ask, why ‘couples only’?
Rene: “We have had singles in the past. We could have ten guys here every Sunday of the week, but that makes me feel uncomfortable. We accept singles from interstate or overseas, but not locals. Other clients don’t like it”.
Rene reveals that feedback has allowed them to gage that one of the reasons why clients go there is because it’s an ‘adults-only’ environment.
When asked if they feel that they may be potentially losing out by being ‘couples only’, they admitted that they feel that they actually gain business because of the whole aspect of not having children around. I see their point, as I personally prefer the quiet atmosphere. It would be a completely different atmosphere if there were kids around. Rene states, “we gain more than we lose”.
The couple are very specific about the parameters at boBRENE, “we don’t want a club atmosphere”, Bob states. When they’ve experimented with singles and couples, they feel that the balance gets upset, although they are happy for couples to bring along a friend.
“We are definitely not a swingers place” Rene emphasises. Whilst they do get asked this a lot (I mean, even I wondered this initially because of the ‘couples-only’ policy), Rene is adamant they are not a swingers place and do not advocate that sort of lifestyle choice.
Jessa: What’s your most awkward moment?
Rene: “When nudists (not even necessarily first-timers, but even regulars who know the etiquette) go to sit on their furniture nude, without a towel. These rules are in the guidelines”.
Rene finds it awkward to have to remind or tell them in case they feel embarrassed.
Bob: “When I have to rescue people. Like when another client makes an embarrassing comment”.
Bob also noted that it can be a little awkward when females have their period. “It’s not awkward for women but it can be for men”.
Jessa: What’s a strange request you’ve received?
Rene: “Three people wanting to share the one bed. I think that’s strange”!
They revealed that a group of people wanted to hire the whole place out one time. They were all about ‘sharing the love’. Rene referred to it as a “mass orgy”. They declined the request. Bob also referred to it as an “unusual request”.
Jessa: Difference between a nudist and a naturist?
Bob: “Nudists don’t have a good reputation. Naturist sounds more ‘soft’. I enjoy nature in the nude. I think it’s just political correctness.”
Rene: “I think it’s just a play on words”.
Rene thinks that people confuse naturists for ‘greenies’, or people with ‘green thumbs’. She states that, “often people don’t realise naturists are in the nude”. They have had situations where people turn up and don’t expect them to be in the nude, as they confuse them for ‘naturalists’.
Bob originally didn’t want to put the word ‘nudists’ on the website, so Rene ensured the word ‘nude’ was all over the website, clearly exclaiming, ‘We are nudists. We do not wear clothes!’
Bob says that you may be able to bend it by saying that ‘naturists like to be nude in nature, whereas nudists go to big resorts etc’.
Jessa: What challenges do you face as naturists?
Bob: “Community acceptance. I suppose, we don’t like being accused of being swingers. People assume we’re swingers. I don’t like people branding us as that”.
Rene: “There’s a big challenge coming up in that we have two daughters with grandchildren. They (their daughters) were brought up in the nudist movement. Their partners were not”.
Bob and Rene work hard to provide a peaceful environment, so that when those gates open, there is an instant feeling of tranquility. I think it’s working.
Bob and Rene do not provide a membership, as they feel that it would be an extra administrative burden they don’t need. They do have a loyalty program where they give a 10% discount. They try to keep their systems as simple as they can.
Bob and Rene also expressed that when you have memberships, members want to have meetings etc and tell you how to run the place, and that’s not what they’re looking for in their own home. Rene exclaims, “there’s only one boss and that’s me”. “Never a truer word said!” Bob laughingly retorts.
…and that’s a wrap for the interview!! So glad I could finally get this to you guys! I hope you enjoyed it! For more information on this nudie sanctuary, you can visit www.bobrene.com
It provides for the perfect environment for first-timers. If the thought of being on a beach for your first public nude experience freaks you out, these types of boutique and non-sexual environments are perfect for it! If you have a partner who is considering trying out nudism with you, this is the perfect place to start.
So if you’re ever passing through the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and are looking for a naked getaway, head into the peace and quiet of the lush Gold Coast Hinterland where this gem of a nudie haven can be found. Bob and Rene are such gracious hosts and the environment provides for a non-intimidating experience. If anything, I’m sure you’ll be wanting to take it all off and get the most from the experience. I guarantee you won’t want to leave, and when you finally do, you probably won’t want to be putting your clothes back on! A place like this will have you hooked on the lifestyle and see it in the way all of us nudies already do!
The Nude Blogger