10 best nude beaches New Zealand has on offer – Clothes optional

There’s something incredibly freeing about taking your clothes off, lying back on a balmy beach, and letting the sun’s rays wash over you.

You can certainly spend your time getting an enviable tan, but there’s more to many New Zealand nude beaches than first meets the eye.

Boasting wildlife-spotting opportunities, impressive natural wonders, and several nearby trails, you’re bound to find somewhere on this list that tickles your fancy.

Interestingly, most New Zealand nude beaches aren’t officially labelled that way. Instead, they are largely created by local people with authorities turning a blind eye. Hey, whatever works, right?

So, if you’re on the hunt for New Zealand nude beaches that are judgment-free zones, then read ahead for our top picks.

Covering hidden gems like the Kapiti Coast and major cities like Auckland and Wellington, any traveller should be able to pin down a suitable stretch of coastline that allows them to embrace their birthday suit!

A placard sign at the entrance of a nude beach that says, "ATTENTION: Beyond this point, you may encounter nude bathers."
Photo credit: Mike Goad.

Incredible New Zealand Nude Beaches to Visit This Summer

In order of North to South, these are our favourite nudist beaches and bays.

Uretiti Beach, Northland

Its name may inspire a few unsavoury puns, but Uretiti Beach in Northland remains one of our favourite New Zealand nude beaches.

Stretching an impressive 5km across the coast, this beach is almost always warm (well, during the summer months at least!) and encourages its visitors to bare all.

Boasting rolling dunes and a decent surf scene, this is an excellent spot for thrillseekers and nature-lovers.

Pro Tip: We get that you’re going to want to wander through the local area, but make sure you throw on some clothes before heading to the nearby campsite. Nudity is a strict no-no in that area, and we wouldn’t want you to get caught out.

A sandy trail leading to the magnificent waters of Uretiti Beach.
Photo credit: Shellie Evans.

Karekare Beach, Auckland

With its super-soft sands, expansive shoreline, and ridiculously picturesque waters, it’s unsurprising that this little slice of heaven is considered one of Auckland’s finest beaches

Throw in the soaring cliffs, impressive waterfalls, and dunes, and Karekare Beach could rightfully be considered one of the most picturesque nudist areas in the country.

There’s very little haughtiness when it comes to stripping off here, as it’s uber-private and far away from the prying eyes of locals. So, if you’re feeling shy or are new to nudism, this should be at the top of your list of New Zealand nude beaches to add to your itinerary.

2 Karekare Road, Huia, Karekare 0772

A small protruding rocky island of Karekare Beach.
Photo credit: Russell Street.

St Leonards Bay, Takapuna, Auckland

If you’re heading to Auckland for your next vacation, we recommend checking out St Leonards Bay in Takapuna.

It’s one of the stricter New Zealand nude beaches, so we strongly advise reading the rules and regulations before laying down your beach towel – just to ensure you (and those around you) have an enjoyable day at the beach.

The main rules require you to stay 50 metres from any access steps and not to walk in front of passers-by. Basically, just don’t make a scene and be discreet when you whip your clothes off!

You won’t necessarily face any consequences if you break these rules, but you won’t exactly be the most popular nudist in town.

Saint Leonards Road, Hauraki, Auckland 0622

Little Palm Beach, Waiheke Island, Auckland

Although New Zealand nude beaches are technically clothing-optional by custom rather than written into law, Little Palm Beach has become accepted the go-to nudist spot on charming Waiheke Island.

You’ll probably spend most of your time in this area exploring the stunning vineyards and olive groves on a day trip or weekend getaway from downtown Auckland, but there’s plenty to love about the beaches in the Hauraki Gulf.

Though this is one of the smallest New Zealand nude beaches, it offers plenty of privacy in the form of rocky outcrops and hidden alcoves – perfect if you’re feeling shy.

We suggest you have a towel to hand for any emergencies, but you should be safe to whip off your gear while you’re enjoying a sunny day at this location.

Miro Road, Auckland 1081

The almost hidden white shores of Little Palm Beach surrounded by a few islands.

Ladies Bay, St. Heliers, Auckland

If you happen to be looking for New Zealand nude beaches in the Auckland area, consider the search over with Ladies Bay. Located in stunning St Heliers, this beach is a beautiful spot that’s just 10km east of the city centre.

Although you may think that this beach is reserved for ladies, it’s an inclusive beach that’s suitable for all. However, it’s worth noting that (coincidence or not!), the Gentleman’s Bay area is more commonly frequented by gay men who view the place as a haven for self-expression and relaxation.

Ladies Bay is tucked below the towering cliffs of St Heliers, providing decent shelter from the prying eyes of residents.

Just be aware that there’s a government-built viewing platform for the beach that directly overlooks the nudist section of the beach. So, though it is an iconic spot, if you’re feeling particularly shy, this may be one of the New Zealand nude beaches to avoid.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you get a couple of shocked looks while you’re there. Despite Ladies Bay being one of the few official New Zealand nude beaches, this fact isn’t clearly signposted.

Trust us though, you’re fine to bare all!

Soft waves along the coast of Ladies Bay.
Photo credit: Yortw.

Opoutere Beach, Coromandel

Situated between Pauanui and Onemana, Opoutere Beach is the perfect place to begin your sans-clothing adventure.

Though it used to be known mostly among the surfing community, it has grown in popularity as a safe and welcoming nudist beach.

It is not officially a naturist beach, so those with clothing are more than welcome too, but it’s not uncommon to see people relaxing without any clothing.

This is thanks to its relative isolation. From the car park or campground, follow the track to the beach, turn left and walk for 200 to 300 m. From there, right up to the northern tip of the beach, you’ll be welcome to strip off.

Known as a great beach for first-time nudists, this is the place to check out.

Papamoa Beach, Bay of Plenty

Ah, the Bay of Plenty.  Home to a stunning 260km coastline, unique marine life, and several geothermal gems (hello spurting geysers and tons of volcanic activity!), there’s a reason this place is considered one of New Zealand’s most fascinating spots.

If you’re looking for a break from the coastal walks, Māori culture, and fascinating street art, why not check out Papamoa Beach?

Home to white sands, warm turquoise waters, and plenty of free-spirited individuals, this is the place to embrace what you were born with.

As one of the most established New Zealand nude beaches, you won’t have to worry about second-guessing when you’re stripping off.

Just get down to business and enjoy that perfect tan!

Waves breaking along the sandy shores of Papamoa Beach.

Peka Peka Beach, Kapiti Coast

Tucked away on the Kapiti Coast you’ll find Peka Peka Beach. Considered one of the top New Zealand nude beaches on the North Island, this is a safe place to bare all.

Although it’s not as warm as beaches in Auckland, it’s slightly quieter than alternative beaches near Wellington.

This beach is home to sprawling sands and impressive azure waters, but, more excitingly, the eagle-eyed amongst you may spot a couple of emperor penguins strutting across the balmy beach!

If you fancy throwing your clothes on, head to the nearby Ōtaki River for a picnic, explore the area on horseback or stretch your legs on the local trails.

The sandy shorelines of Peka Peka Beach during a low tide.
Photo credit: James Barwell.

Breaker Bay, Wellington

When visiting Wellington, you’ll want to allocate time to its incredible food scene, museums, and impressive historical landmarks. 

However, you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore its many unique beaches. Although the likes of Lyall Bay, Island Bay, and Makara Beach are great picks for first-time visitors (that like to wear their togs), anyone who enjoys feeling easy and breezy while exploring Wellington’s beaches will appreciate everything that Breaker Bay has to offer.

As well as being well-sheltered from the city’s sometimes-powerful northerly winds, thanks to a stunning stretch of vegetation that lines the beach, the coastline gets plenty of sunshine. This means you don’t need to worry about missing out on an envy-inducing tan during your NZ adventure – this is one of the New Zealand nude beaches that’s got your back.

Just remember to pop your clothes back on if you take a wander. Only certain sections of the beach are allocated to nudists, and you won’t want to alarm your fellow beachgoers!

Seatoun, Wellington 6022

A rocky point with waves breaking along the shorelines of Breaker Bay.
Photo credit: C. K. Hartman.

Allans Beach, Dunedin, Otago Peninsula

Those on the hunt for slightly lesser-known New Zealand nude beaches should visit Allans Beach near the bottom of the South Island.

Tucked away just out of Dunedin, on the Otago Peninsula, this gorgeous beach is set against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush vegetation that makes the entire area seriously Instagrammable.

Allans Beach is on the smaller side as it only stretches for a kilometre, but it’s a panacea for wildlife lovers. Not only will you be able to spot adorable, yellow-eyed penguins mingling with visitors, but there’s a resident sea lion colony that calls this area home.

Although you may not want to whip your kit off during the winter months (as it gets very chilly), the South Pacific swells from the Southern Ocean are a total boon for surfing fans.

Whether you’d like to get a wonderful glow for the summer or simply want to free the nipple, there’s plenty to love about Allans Beach.

Allans Beach Road, Portobello, Dunedin 9077

A long beach expanding through the white coast that leads through the Pacific.
Mount Charles, Allans Beach and Cape Saunders.

We hope this list of the best New Zealand nude beaches has inspired you to step up and strip off.

Do you know of any incredible nude beaches in New Zealand that we haven’t mentioned? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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