The Nude Beaches of Auckland

New Zealand has no official nude beaches. Okay, now that we have the bad news out of the way, here’s the good news: New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that don’t have specific laws against non-sexual public nudity, making every beach a potential legal nude beach.


Of course, this comes with a side note: You are allowed to be naked anywhere as long as your nudity doesn’t offend anyone. In other words, the fewer clothed people around you, the smaller your chance of running into problems. This is why those who prefer not to wear bathing suits often seek out beaches where few others go or flock together at beaches that are known for nude use. New Zealand has quite a few of those, in the surroundings of Auckland alone we identified no less than 8.



Ladies Bay: Proximity and Community

Ladies Bay definitely wasn’t the most beautiful beach we visited, but its proximity to the city centre does make it one of the more popular nude beaches near Auckland. It’s definitely not an ugly beach either, the black sand and yellow cliffs give it something dramatic, but this is New Zealand, a country known for its spectacular landscapes, so just “nice” won’t do the trick here.


The Auckland skyline in the distance is a constant reminder that you’re so close to the city and this is something we can appreciate much. It makes the beach very accessible. We kinda expected a diverse crowd, as is common at nude beaches near big cities, but instead, we found a very predominantly male presence. Something we would see at most nude beaches in this list, except for the ones at Waiheke Island.


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Pohutukawa Bay: Natural Beauty and Serenity

Off to probably one of the most beautiful nude beaches we’ve ever seen in the world. Pohutukawa Bay Beach can only be accessed via a hiking trail that passes by several similar beaches. From the parking lot, you’re looking at about a 30-minute hike to Pohutukawa Bay Beach. Most people who don’t have the intention to visit this specific beach, just stop at Long Bay Beach or Grannies Bay Beach along the way. This makes Pohutukawa Bay Beach a pretty much exclusive nude beach.


Don’t let the hike scare you, the trail goes over rolling hills that are not too steep and the views along the way are totally worth it. They provide a glimpse of the typical New Zealand landscapes and before you know it you’re standing under a Pohutukawa tree, which the beach is named after, taking off your clothes.

The Nude Beaches of Auckland

Saint Leonards Beach: Urban Charm and Relaxed Atmosphere

As we mentioned to Kiwi naturists that we were going to visit Saint Leonards Beach, some of them had never heard that this beach was a potential nude beach. When we arrived at the beach, we understood why. There were a lot of people, but none were wearing less than a bathing suit.


We decided to go for a walk and on the far east side, the sand changed into rock. If you have searched for nude beaches before, you probably know that rocks are a pretty good indicator. As the beach takes a slight turn, you get out of eyesight and there we did find a naked person. The rocks aren’t very comfortable, but they’re a good alternative if you don’t like sand.


O’Neill’s Beach and Beyond: Natural Wonders and Hidden Gems

Over at the west coast lies O’Neill’s Beach, accessible via the Te Henga Walkway or via Bethells Beach. When we visited O’Neill’s, the Te Henga Walkway was closed due to landslides, so the Bethells beach route (which includes quite a long hike and crossing a river) was the only option. As so often in New Zealand, the reward of a long hike always makes it worth it. O’Neill’s is just spectacular and because it’s so large and so remote, we can’t think that it ever gets too crowded to get naked somewhere.


We’ve heard rumours that more beaches in this area are great to visit in the nude. One that’s also supposed to be popular is Karekare Beach, but this one wasn’t accessible when we were there.

The Nude Beaches of Auckland

Orpheus Bay: The Best of East and West

Further down south is Orpheus Bay, where you’ll find characteristics of both coasts. Technically, it’s located on the West Coast but because it’s in an actual bay, the ocean is quite flat, as you would rather find at East Coast beaches. When we visited Orpheus Bay, we found that every other person on the beach was naked, but we later heard that this is the kind of beach where the first visitor determines the dress code.


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Tawitokino Beach: Secluded Paradise

Back to the east coast, about an hour south of the city, Tawitokino Beach offers lots of solitude and serenity. Similar to Pohutukawa Bay Beach, you’re looking at quite a hike taking you past several other beaches. So typically only those in search of a quiet spot make the effort to hike further. That’s where you’ll find what’s probably the largest quiet spot you’ve ever seen.


The views of Tawitokino Beach, when you start descending from the trail, are spectacular. When we visited this beach, there was only one other couple on a stretch of probably several kilometres. We honestly can’t tell you whether they were naked or not, they were too far away.

The Nude Beaches of Auckland

Little Palm Beach: A Diverse Community and Vibrant Atmosphere

Almost everyone we talked to about our visits to the nude beaches around Auckland told us that we should go to Little Palm Beach on Waiheke Island. Yes, we would need to take a ferry and a bus to get there, but it would be totally worth it. And it was… If you had asked us before our trip to Waiheke what nude beaches are like in New Zealand, we would have said “Beautiful, but very, VERY, male dominant”.


Little Palm Beach, on the other hand, could hardly be more different. There were couples, families, and groups of friends, all of different genders, skin colours, and ages. Until today, we don’t know how it’s possible to create such a vibe on an island but not on the mainland. Maybe the islanders gave the example? Or maybe Kiwis on holiday are just more likely to get naked? We honestly can’t tell.


Little Onetangi Beach: Our little secret

We like beaches with a good vibe, but they tend to get crowded from time to time. We don’t doubt that this is also the case for Little Palm Beach. So if you happen to be on Waiheke Island and are looking for something less busy, here’s an insider tip: Little Onetangi Beach, just a couple of kilometres from Little Palm Beach.


Just like at Little Palm Beach, you need to take a left on the main beach and just keep walking until you cross some rocks and there’s the nude section. Except that at Onetangi, you can’t really see it from the main beach. You just need to know.



(Y)our perfect nude beach in Auckland

People had told us that we were wasting our time visiting all those beaches in Auckland and that we should head straight to Little Palm Beach. But we wouldn’t listen. They would tell us that the ferry is indeed expensive, but that it’s totally worth it. But we wouldn’t listen. Only when we started travelling around the north island and in the most remote corners people would be recommending Little Palm Beach, we realised that if we didn’t go, we might regret it for the rest of our lives.


Of course, everyone had been right. Little Palm Beach quickly became our favourite nude beach around Auckland. But we don’t regret our stubbornness because now we’ve seen so many other wonderful beaches, we spent days in a row driving from one beach to the other and just stood in awe so many times. And today, we have all this knowledge to share with you. You’re welcome!

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