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Top Ten Tips for Nudist Beach Etiquette

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Inspired by an article I read recently, ‘the top 10 places to go skinny dipping’ (here), and the fact that nudist beaches are becoming ever more popular throughout Australia and New Zealand, I felt that it was high time to address the issue of appropriate nudist beach behaviour. What not to do on a nudist beach is valuable information!!.

Backpackers are constantly trying to find the new cool thing or place to visit and so far a trip to a nudist beach doesn’t appear high on the list of places to go on the usual backpacker trail. But if you want to be a pioneer in the backpacker world and start a new craze of visiting the worlds nudist beaches this article is one you really should read and remember.

If we are frank about this, if you are going to a nudist beach for the first time and are a little bit self-conscious it would be most mortifying if you did something that really wasn’t cool. Picture one of those situations when you are in public and something really embarrassing happens and you just want to die. Now imagine that situation and being naked at the same time.

nudist beach etiquette, naked sunbathing, nudist beach rules
By Cataloni (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Click at your own risk, original image has not been censored!
Remember some people have been visiting nudist beaches for years, there is a certain etiquette to uphold, so for all you budding backpacker nudists out there here are a few tips on what not to do on a nude beach to make sure you know some unspoken nudist beach rules.

Good Nudist Beach Etiquette

1. Ensure the beach you are at is definitely a nudist beach

You will soon be made aware if you have made this mistake. (see below for a list of the most popular nudist beaches New Zealand)

2. Everyone in your group should be nude

If you are going with friends make sure that you are all in agreement that you will all be nude. If you are unsure, do not be the first person to take off all your clothes so that your ‘friends’ can run away with them.

3. Sunburn

Remember some areas of the body get more day to day sunlight than others and also remember that the sun in Australia and New Zealand is particularly hot. Always use sunblock or a high factor sunscreen when in this part of the world.

4. Keep your eyes to yourself

Everyone has seen it all before, there is no need to stare.

5. Trim Down

This one can vary depending on which country you are getting nude in. Some places are more accepting than others. For those in Australia and New Zealand I would recommend keeping it tidy. You’re naked, you want to look as good as possible.

6. Don’t forget about Insects

There are creatures in the water, in the sand and in the air, all just waiting to feast on your blood. Spray before you strip off otherwise these tiny creatures can get into the most tiny of places.

7. Take something to do

Always have a book to read, or cards to play or something to keep you busy. You really don’t want your hands to get absent-minded.

8. Guys – never go with someone you’re attracted to

Do I need to say any more?

9. Leave your camera at home

Do you really need to take pictures of naked people? Even if you’re just carrying your camera you’re going to make others feel uncomfortable.

10. Remember it’s a nudist beach, not a hotel room

People are there to relax on the beach, not watch you and your partner get to know each other. If you really need some ‘alone time’ with your other half wait until you get back to the hostel… there are lots of places for some private shenanigans if you know where to look.

Most commonly asked questions about this topic?

Q. “Can you have sex on nudist beaches?”
A. – technically? Yes! But…
Q. “Is it legal to have sex on nude beaches?”
A. – extremely unlikely although if you’re on a private, very secluded beach then maybe.

But seriously… you really have to ask? If this is your main concern then maybe you shouldn’t be visiting them! Consider yourself told off.

Where Can I Find Nudist Beaches in New Zealand?

There are a surprising number of NZ nudist beaches. As well as the popular ones located near our hostels listed below there are a number of more secluded ones around too.

  • Ladies Bay – St Heliers
  • O’Neill Beach – reached on foot from Bethells Beach, West Coast
  • Orpheus Bay – Manukau Harbour
  • Little Palm Beach – Waiheke Island
  • St Leonards Beach – Takapuna

Nudist Beach in Wellington – Nomads Capital

  • Breaker Bay – south east coast of Wellington city.

For a full list of naked friendly beaches in New Zealand click here.

The Good and the Bad of Naked Sunbathing…

GOOD. An amazing sense of ‘back to nature’. Getting your kit off and basking in the sunshine is very natural. Not a man made thing about… just you and mother nature. Love it!

BAD. A painful sense of ‘back to nature’. Sandfly bites on your delicious, white, exposed, tender bits.

GOOD. The lovely ‘warm feeling’ you don’t normally get on the white bits, soaking up the vitamin D. This was my favourite part, kind of like releasing a caged animal back into the light of day who hasn’t seen the sun since Christmas day on the beach in ’03, (not counted as I don’t remenber it). Not a great mental picture there but that’s just how I see it.

BAD. The little too warm feeling. Burning your bits has major drawbacks such as, 1. too painful to wear undies. 2. sex is definitely out. 3. The after sunburn peel, not attractive.

GOOD. Money saved on a Bikini. Can’t argue with that.

BAD. Lack of options. Not too many beaches can you swan about in your birthday suit. Fortunately in Australia there are plenty of quieter beaches you can visit happily in the buff.

In conclusion, despite all of the bad stuff I thought sunbathing naked was awesome! Take a little care with some suncream and get out there. I highly recommend getting your gear off and running around in the sand.

If you adhere to all of these points for nudist beach etiquette, and you bear in mind that there a few things you really shouldn’t do on a nudist beach, I am fairly certain you will have an uneventful but liberating experience on one of the many nudist beaches that can be found around not only Australia and New Zealand but all over the world.

9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tips for Nudist Beach Etiquette

        1. Croatia (Porec) has nude beaches where 100,000 Germans come for the summer. They come as families ages 2-82 usually with 2-3-4 generations camping together. Restaurants, stores, all businesses cater to the nudists. Servers can be nude too.

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