Review: Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand

It’s interesting how naturist clubs around the world have a lot of similarities. Obviously, you’ll find naked people in all of them, but there will also be a central building (often called the clubhouse), there will be some sports facilities, there will be events and social gatherings and most often there will be lots of greenery as well.


Yet, every naturist club is different. Some are very tranquil places where peace and quietness are the greatest value. Others have more of a party vibe with live music and dancing throughout the weekends. Some are located in suburbia while others are in the middle of nowhere. And some… are just unlike any other naturist club you’ve ever seen. Like Rotota Naturist Club.


How to get to Rotota Naturist Club

Rotota Naturist Club is located pretty much right in between Rotorua and Taupo, on New Zealand’s north island. Both cities have a national airport, so if you’re arriving from within New Zealand, flying to Rotorua or Taupo will be the most obvious choice. If you’re arriving from outside of the country, the nearest international airport will be the one in Auckland.


The club is a true “in the middle of nowhere” kinda place, so there’s no bus or train stopping in front of the gate. Having your own transportation is necessary if you want to explore the surroundings, but if you’re planning to spend most of your time inside the domain, you can get a taxi from Taupo or Rotorua. Just don’t let them drop you off at the gate because it’s another 2-kilometer walk to the club.


Coming from Auckland, the fastest way is Highway 1 south, take a left just before you reach Oruanui on Tutukau Road. Once you reach Mihi, take another left and just keep driving. The road will turn into a dirt road and several kilometres further you’ll get to the gate of Rotota Naturist Club. Be careful if you use Google Maps because it might tell you to go left in Ohakuri. Don’t do this, you’ll end up on the wrong side of the river. The correct left in is Mihi.

Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand

Where to stay at Rotota Naturist Club

The club is mostly campground, and the obvious accommodation choice is to bring your own. Even though the last part of the road is a dirt track, it’s very well maintained and all types of vehicles can easily make it to the club.


If you don’t want to bring a tent, RV or camper, there are a handful of rental options. Close to the clubhouse are three rental caravans that can accommodate 2 to 4 guests. Up the hill near the lake is Sally’s Alley Bach which fits 4 to 5 guests and two cabins that each fit a couple. Sally’s Alley Bach is the only one with private kitchen facilities, but there’s always a camp kitchen nearby with a shared stove and fridge.


If you’re planning to stay in one of the cabins like we did, here’s an insider tip: Although both cabins are located next to each other, and look very similar, only the Tui cabin has direct lake view. So if you like to watch spectacular scenery and the occasional landing seaplane while having breakfast or dinner, this is the one you like to book.

Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand

What to do at Rotota Naturist Club

This is the part that differentiates Rotota Naturist Club from all other naturist clubs in New Zealand and even in the world. If we tell you that the domain has lake access, river access, and several naked hiking trails, we’re probably not blowing your mind. The fact that they have a waterfall might make it a bit more special, but what will really do the trick is that the temperature of the waterfall is over 35 degrees Celsius.


The same for the water of the river by the way, and the naked hiking trails can take you up to a mountain full of smoking holes or into the woods towards a boiling mud lake. You probably guessed it by now, the grounds of Rotota Naturist Club are full of geothermal activity and exploring this unique type of nature is an adventure on its own.


After a day of soaking in hot springs, looking at magnificent views and maybe cooking your food in a fumarole (aka a hot smoking hole in the ground), one of the best activities happens after dark. There’s always a club member who can take you on a naked hike through the river and past the “squeeze”, into the cave to watch thousands of little lights created by thousands of little glow worms.


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If spectacular nature is not your thing, Rotota is probably not the best naturist club for you. Although you could just spend your time reading a book next to the lake, soaking in the natural hot tub or playing games in the clubhouse.

Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand

Around Rotota Naturist Club

Rotota Naturist Club is located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, so most of the surrounding attractions have something to do with geothermical activity. There’s the Orakei Korako Hidden Valley where you can do pretty much the same things as in the club but with clothes on. There are also rivers and lakes and plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails.


Of course, there are quite a lot of hot springs in the area. Some are very fancy and cost an arm and a leg to enjoy. Others are free or very cheap. We went to Kerosene River, a free one. There’s a nice walking trail next to a warm river that leads to a small warm waterfall. The place was pretty crowded with bathing suits, but when we walked less than fifteen minutes further down the trail, we had a whole hot spring for ourselves that we could enjoy naked.


The Rotorua and Taupo area in New Zealand is also rich with Maori cultural attractions that offer visitors a glimpse into the heritage and traditions of the indigenous people. In Rotorua, Te Puia stands as a cultural hub, featuring the iconic Pohutu Geyser and traditional Maori architecture. We personally found the “monkey-watching factor” of these villages and their shows a little too high, but nevertheless, it’s a good way to get to know this very unique culture.

Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand

Staff & Guests of Rotota Naturist Club

In naturist clubs, it’s always a bit difficult to talk about “staff”, because many are volunteer organisations where everyone helps a hand. At Rotota, your main points of contact will likely be Paul & Beth, the caretakers, who went out of their way to make our stay memorable and to help us with making a fun video. Paul volunteered for most of the day to take us to places where we could bathe in mud and risked burning half of his body because we wanted to have our food cooked in a fumarole.


Other members would later volunteer to take us into the squeeze at night to watch the glow worms. Just in general, the members were always up for a chat or to show us around. They are well aware of how unique their piece of paradise is and they take a lot of pleasure in seeing the overwhelmed faces of first-timers.


To tourists in New Zealand or Kiwis visiting the area, we can only say that this place is A MUST. You can experience geothermal things in many places in New Zealand and many more around the world, but this is probably the only place where you can do all of this naked. If that’s not a major bucket list item, we don’t know what is.


Book at Rotota Naturist Club

The best ways to book at Rotota Naturist Club are:

E-mail: [email protected]



Rotota Naturist Club is one of the most unique places we ever visited. The geothermal features of the club can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and the combination with a great community makes this place a must-visit destination on your New Zealand itinerary.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Rotota Naturist Club in Waikato, New Zealand”

  1. When you said ‘unique’, you definitely used the right word. You two really went for adventure in this video. What a strange place.

  2. Hi guys, what a great review of our little piece of paradise. Thank you for such positive comments. Just a quick note the club is only open to visitors in the summer from the end of October until Easter each year. Bookings are essential via the website. It is not possible to just arrive unannounced. The road gate is always locked and you need to be given a code to get in.


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