Review: Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

It’s fair to say that naturism in New Zealand has surprised us. Not just the possibilities, the abundance of unofficial nude beaches and the more than 20 naturist clubs spread around the country. But also the variation in what’s on offer. Some clubs are located in suburbia while others are in the middle of nature. Some are on quite large domains, while others are cosy with just some handsful of campsites. Like the Bay of Plenty Sun Camp, for example.

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

How to get to Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp is located on the northern coast of New Zealand’s north island. If you’re an international visitor, you will probably arrive at Auckland airport. To get to BOPSC, you take SH1 south and connect to the SH2 east in Pokeno. Keep following the SH2 until Matata, where you take Manawahe Road to the club. This trip takes about 3,5 to 4 hours.

 

Visitors from the south island or the southern parts of the northern island are better off flying to Rotorua, which is just an hour away on Highway 30. Follow the highway to Rotoma where you switch to Braemar Road and then to Caverhill Road. BOPSC can’t be reached by public transport, if you prefer not to drive, it’s best to make your way to Rotorua and catch a taxi from there. Having your own transportation is recommended to visit the surroundings and get groceries.

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

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Where to stay at Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

BOPSC is the smallest club we visited in New Zealand. The domain is actually quite large, but most of it is covered by forest. On the 0.8 hectares of lawn, are 14 powered and 2 unpowered campsites. If you prefer to rent accommodation, you have the choice between a caravan (sleeps 3) and a cabin (sleeps 2).

 

We stayed in the cabin, which just fits a bed and a table. There are some kitchen utensils available like cups, cutlery and a water cooker. Enough for a coffee and a sandwich in the morning, but if you really want to cook, there’s the shared kitchen in the main building.

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

What to do at Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

Being such a small club, you can’t expect an abundance of facilities, yet there’s enough to keep you busy for a while. On sunny days, there’s the swimming pool or just sunbathing on the lawn. Or you can go for a naked walk in the forest on one of the trails. If the weather is not really in your favour, there’s an indoor area with games, a TV room, and a billiard.

 

Around five pm, most of the guests gather at the terrace with bottles of wine or beer and nibbles. Here we quickly noticed the advantage of a club this size: You literally get the chance to meet everybody and you easily get dragged into the conversation. Or become the conversation if you happen to be from a faraway place like Belgium.

 

After dinner, when the sun starts to set and the temperatures go down, the hot tub becomes popular. Meanwhile, the owners might be lighting up the fire pit for more conversations. BOPSC is a very social place, that much is certain.

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

Around Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

The Bay of Plenty unfolds like a masterpiece of Mother Nature’s artistry, inviting you to explore its cosy villages, cascading waterfalls, and endless pristine beaches. Here, the pace of life syncs with the rhythmic melody of waves crashing on the shores.

 

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In New Zealand, the freedom to bare it all is a right on every beach provided one respects fellow beachgoers who may not be expecting to see your naked butt. Papamoa Beach is particularly popular for skinny dipping and offers ample space away from the crowds. For surf enthusiasts, this coastal haven serves as an idyllic playground to catch some waves.

 

For the more adventurous, Rotorua is just around the corner. Here, the essence of Maori culture intertwines seamlessly with the region’s geothermal wonders. At impressive geothermal parks like Te Puia and Wai-O-Tapu, you’ll find erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and colourful mineral terraces showcase the Earth’s raw power. Along the way, you can immerse yourself in Maori traditions through cultural performances and guided tours at places like Tamaki Maori Village.

 

The geothermal characteristics of Rotorua provide a lot of hot springs that are free to visit. Some are very popular, but often if you walk a bit further down the trail you can find a spot to skinny dip. We did so in Kerosene Creek, for example.

 

Staff & Guests of Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

We found a very interesting mix of guests at BOPSC, some of them were obviously regulars spending most (if not all) of their weekends at the club and probably a bunch of weekdays as well. Others, like ourselves, were just passing by and looking for a spot to spend some time in the nude while exploring the area.

 

The glue between all these different guests is the owners of the club, who were always around for a chat or to organise a last-minute communal dinner. All of these people combined dictate the atmosphere: A place where everyone can be themselves in one naked community.

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp in New Zealand

 

Book at Bay of Plenty Sun Camp

The best ways to book at Bay of Plenty Sun Camp are:

Website: https://bopsun.gonatural.co.nz
Phone: +64 27 440 5157

 

Summary

Bay of Plenty Sun Camp was the smallest naturist club we would visit in New Zealand, but probably also the cosiest one. This is a place where the atmosphere is everything and where the guests seem like a big family rather than like people we had just met.

 
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