26 Jun 2023

New Zealand second most keen on naturism

From Afternoons, 1:25 pm on 26 June 2023

It's official - Kiwis love getting their kit off at the beach.

After analysing Google data, a UK swimwear brand discovered around 67,000 Kiwis search 'nude beach' every year - second only to Australians.

Nudists at The Auckland Outdoor Naturist Club.

Nudists at The Auckland Outdoor Naturist Club. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

Stepping out in the buff is very good for your self-confidence, says NZ Naturist Federation spokesperson Alice de Wet.

"We teach our kids that bodies are natural, and there's nothing to be ashamed of," she tells Jesse Mulligan.

Alice and her husband discovered naturism later in life and in recent years became involved with the Auckland Outdoor Naturist Club and the NZ Naturist Federation.

Most people who enjoy going without clothes outside get a "feeling of total freedom",  Alice says.

"If you completely nude, you're just completely being yourself. And naturism natures are very respectful towards each other. So I think yeah, and what I love about naturism is it's very family-friendly."

Nudity inspires a sense of connection with the natural world, she says.

"A lot of naturist places have great outdoor facilities where you can be outside, get a bit of sunlight… okay, maybe less this time of year. But you still get that sense of being in touch with nature."

Here in Aotearoa, it's only against the law to go nude in a public place if you are doing so with the intent to offend, Alice says.

"There's a fine line but the point is it's not illegal to be nude, in itself, New Zealand in a public place."

Around the country, there are plenty of naturist clubs and nude beaches that welcome newcomers.

She encourages people to try a few places because they can differ a lot.

"I would say give a few places a try and figure out what you like."

It's fine if you need to ease into public nudity, she says, and don something like a sarong when you first attend.

"You can start off topless, whatever. Most places are not judgmental. No one is going to force you to take all your clothes off immediately.

"Some people do prefer to take do it in stages. Other just others just like to do it cold turkey. It's all about your own comfort levels.

"Most people try it at home first, so you might want to do that … Try it in your own garden if you can, and then you can try go to a beach or club. And yeah, just do it in stages. Whatever works for you."


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