New Zealand is currently a popular destination for naturists to have a ‘nakation’, attracting increasing numbers of German, Dutch, and French nudists, along with those from unlikely countries such as Egypt, Israel and even Iran. Last year, for the first time in its 70-year history, New Zealand hosted the International Congress of Naturism with guests from 23 countries.

“New Zealand is really into bringing the ‘naked’ out in people,” Casey Reagan from California said after enjoying a recent ‘nakation’ in New Zealand.


Created by former All Black Marc Ellis, New Zealand National Nude Day has been adopted by other countries and is now called International Nude day. It is a celebration of the skin with much fun attached. Nude Day is one day a year when NZ celebrates nakedness by as many people as possible running free in their birthday suits. It’s a day everyone can participate in – fat, skinny, big, small, firm, soft and flabby can all get involved. Mark declared on the first Nude Day, “Our bodies are the only things we own, be proud of them no matter what shape or size you are.”


Society dictates we must be clothed in public, but many people like trying new things and experimenting as much as possible. Being naked in public activities is one way to push the envelope and discover how it feels.

When a friend told me about a nude golf tournament held at Blenheim, I thought it would be a good subject for a blog. When I began to research the event, I was amazed at the number of nude activities available in New Zealand. I had no idea there were so many naked opportunities out there. Apart from the golf, there are nudist parks, 24 nude beaches (known as free beaches), 14 accommodations that accept nudity and 17 nudist clubs – all in a country with a population of just 4.5 million people! There are nude bar-b-ques, nude fish and chip nights, nude potluck dinners, nude indoor bowls, nude table tennis, nude hikes and bike rides, a nude wine trail – even nude rugby! (I’ve previously written a blog on Dunedin’s ‘Nude Blacks’)  In Tauranga, a chef from Sweden has opened a cafe where people can enjoy her home baking naked.

Being New Zealand with its reputation for extreme activities, you can also do a nude bungee jump!!


I spoke to a young guy who did a nude bungee jump. He told me he found the experience erotically charged knowing his manhood was on display as the updraft did its work as he plummeted to the river below. He was also encouraged by the onlookers who cheered and clapped as he was retrieved after the jump. The company was offering a free jump to anyone who was prepared to do it nude. Apparently, nude bungee is popular with both males and females although the harness required for the jump provides some modesty to females. Guys are more exposed in the harness. Usually, the nude jumpers agree to it after too many drinks the previous night. They are also exhibitionists who enjoy showing off but this is not the case with regular nudists who do it for the freedom they feel, not to show off.


There are two private naturist holiday resorts in New Zealand and 17 naturist clubs. The Katikati Naturist Park in the Bay of Plenty is dotted with thousands of native trees to provide protection from public gazing. The resort has 948 members and can accommodate 200 nudists. 74 per cent are couples and 26 per cent single. 60 per cent are men. This camp is famous for the nude karaoke held every New Year’s Eve. Nudists say their lack of clothing promotes self esteem as well as mental and physical health. They strongly reject any suggestion that they are perverts or sex addicted swingers. It’s the feeling of liberation and camaraderie that comes from being with other unclothed people that draw these folk to their naked lifestyles. In fact, 20 people live full time at the Katikati camp so they can enjoy their nudity all year round.


The Wai-natur Naturist Park near Blenheim in Marlborough, one of the country’s warmest provinces, is the largest nudist camp in the South Island. It provides 5 acres of parkland for guests to wander around in the raw all day long.  Close to the camp, the Wairau Valley Golf Club makes its course available to the Nude Golf International event. Last year, 20 golfers from the UK, Canada as well as locals, took part. Players interviewed said they were totally comfortable playing in the raw. Wandering from green to green under the sun with like minded people is a unique experience that has drawn many of the players back each year.


Historically, nudists attending these sporting events have been over 40 but in the past few years, younger people have shown interest in nude sporting events, especially nude cycling which has attracted large numbers of naked boys and girls in various events in a number of European cities, as well as New Zealand towns.


The World Naked Bike Ride has been attracting riders since the first one was held in Vancouver in 2004. The event is hailed the “biggest naked protest in the world.”  It is now held in 74 cities in 17 countries. The global event is aimed at raising awareness of cycling as an important alternative to vehicles and the need to reduce oil dependency and traffic pollution all around the world. The nude ride also highlights the vulnerability cyclists face on vehicle congested roads.

New Zealand’s version of the World Naked Bike Ride takes place every March  in Golden Bay at the top of the South Island and covers a 2 kilometre route. Last year’s event attracted over 100 nude cyclists as well as a number of nude roller skaters.

The world renowned Otago Central Rail Trail has also been available to nude cyclists on World Naked Bike Ride day for the past five years. Last year, many dozens of people rode raw along the famous trail. A couple from Florida, interviewed by the local paper said “We just can’t do this back home.

New Zealand has a reputation for being open minded and despite the geographic isolation, or maybe because of it, Kiwis are willing to ‘give it a go’. Embracing the unusual and quirky is in the Kiwi’s DNA. In 2002 and 2003, New Zealand held National Penis Day to draw attention to AIDS awareness. As far as I know, apart from Japan, no other country has had such an unusual event where men in various cities legally exposed themselves in public.

A nudist told me “The perception needs to change that it is weird or disgusting being nude in public. It is not perverted. It’s just natural. Everyone is born naked. We are the only creatures who wear clothes. It shouldn’t be weird to be your natural self.” I guess that neatly explains why nudists are attracted to their lifestyle so for your next holiday, why not take a ‘nakation’ in New Zealand. There certainly are plenty of opportunities to ditch your clothes and enjoy this beautiful little country in the raw.

Ceidrik Heward

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