Very few places in our little nook of the globe allow you to strip naked and run around aimlessly without copping a massive fine for disturbing the peace. Paris is renowned for them, Spain celebrates birthday suits, and Greece borderline encourages it – even the States, in all its turmoil, has a vast collection of nudie paradises. But what about the land of the long white cloud? Clean, green and baring it all? Well, if thou shall seek then thou shall find, and seek we did, all in the name of those who just want to be young, wild and free, literally.
Yortw via Flickr.
Up for a good time not a long time? This gem lies just below the St Helier's cliff tops. The sheltered cove and stunning city silhouette backdrop makes this one of the most frequented beaches in Auckland and therefore not for naturists who still have their L plates. Despite this being an official nude beach, it is poorly sign posted resulting in many visitors expressing shock at the bodies on display, so don't say we didn't warn you about the occasional raised brow. Also, do note that Ladies Bay comes with an unofficial killer butt-workout compliments of the treacherous stairs. Not fun with a 24 pack of beers, picnic rug and basket – but then again, that's your weekly workout ticked off.
70 Cliff Road, St Heliers
Russell Street via Flickr
ST LEONARDS BAY, TAKAPUNA
Another fairly well known haunt. St Leonards comes with a fair set of nude rules so you best go with your wits about you. At all times you have to stay at least 50-metres from the access steps and you cannot walk in front of passers-by. With that said, feel free to note that there is no statute in New Zealand law which expressly forbids nudity in a public place. Translation: you are fully entitled to get down into your birthday suit, just be sure to avoid causing a scene, be respectful – no cartwheels – and all will be well.
St Leonards Rd, Takapuna
Ian Welsh via Flickr
LITTLE PALM BEACH, WAIHEKE ISLAND
As if we needed another reason to visit Auckland's favourite island getaway – Waiheke comes with a naturist friendly zone. (Yes, you have finally found a Waiheke Island activity that doesn't require you to get out a second mortgage.) Find the beautiful albeit little cove at the western end of Palm Beach, hidden away from the main drag by a rocky outcrop. On a hot summer's day expect to find dozens of bathers, au natural, but be warned, word on the street is they don't take lightly to clothed purveyors, so strip down and strip fast to avoid upsetting the locals.
Access from Palm Rd, Waiheke Island
Russell Street via Flickr
When an international gay travel magazine dubbed Karekare as the second best beach in the world, locals were both chuffed and miffed. Chuffed that their backyard had been recognised in all its glory; miffed because their slice of private paradise had hit the front page. This news was nothing new to the nudies who had been visiting for decades – it merely reaffirmed their good taste. And good taste indeed with velvety black sand, wide open expanse that goes for miles and waves with drama that rivals the Titanic. An absolute treat. Once you're done baking your bits in the sun, take a hike inland and explore the lakes and rivers hiding amongst Karekare's dunes.
2 Karekare Rd, Huia
Bernard Spragg via Flickr
Leave the big smoke behind you for the afternoon by taking a roadie to Uretiti Beach. Be sure not to de-kit until well after you've passed the campsite, once safe, head down the right-hand side of the beach and you're in business. A dreamily desolate vast stretch of golden sand awaits. With the distance between you and responsibility a comfortable two hours away, you can rest easy knowing no unwanted familiar faces are going to disturb you.