Playboy Retro: Girls of Australia

By Staff

<p>Playboy scopes out the girls down under. From the September 1969 issue of Playboy Magazine. </p>

From the September 1969 issue of Playboy Magazine comes a photo essay—or rather a photo/essay—on the wonder and beauty of Australia, both the continent and its members of the fairer sex.

Picture a land upside down, where summer is winter, north is south and even the constellations belong to an unknown universe. The countryside is not green but red; rivers flow inland to disappear in the desert; zinc-gray trees keep their leaves but shed their bark in snakelike coils, while impossible creatures, from antediluvian to apocalyptic, lurk in the bush beyond. Centuries before it was discovered, geographers decided it must exist, because without it the globe would be top-heavy. The very name they gave it—terra australis incognita—appropriately cloaked it in mystery.


While no longer the unknown southern continent, Australia today retains the uniquely seductive allure that has drawn northern adventurers since the days of Abel Tasman. Though the languid largo of the didgeridoo is now backed by the insistent rhythms of the electric guitar, the all-too-familiar patina of civilization—with its neon metropolises, sprawling suburbs and transistorized pop addiction—only underscores the strangeness beneath. The fusion of space age and Stone Age, of the commonplace and the extraordinary, is evident not only in the Australian countryside but in the females who populate it. The Australian girl is a delicate amalgam of the familiar and the bizarre; like the sun-warmed island continent that surrounds her, an engagingly beautiful paradox. Her exterior—eye shadow by Helena Rubenstein and small talk courtesy of Time—would blend delightfully with the female scenery between Fifth Avenue and Sunset Boulevard; but beneath her well-tanned complexion breathes a spirit as Australian as Waltzing Matilda…

…Read the rest and see the full pictorial in iPlayboy.


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