Auckland's Best Nude Beaches

KareKare Beach, West Auckland

Robin Bush / Getty Images

Auckland is surrounded by beaches and as the largest population center in New Zealand, it is inevitable that there are many people who enjoy naturism. As in the rest of the country, there are no official nude beaches. However, the following are popular nudist spots, although some are more established than others.

Remember to use common sense when stripping off at a beach. Only select secluded areas where there are either other naked people or no one at all. These are some of the best places where you may discreetly sunbathe sans clothing and some that you might want to avoid listed just for information.

Central Auckland City

  • Herne Bay - Close to central Auckland, in the heart of a residential area. Nudism is tolerated here, but be discreet. The area is located about 3 kilometers from Ponsonby.
  • Ladies Bay - At the end of St Heliers Bay on Tamaki Drive, this beach has unfortunately developed a rather unsavory reputation of late and is no longer recommended. This is a shame, considering it is the closest nude beach to the Auckland CBD.

West Auckland

The beaches on the west coast are so wild and remote that there are many places to be on your own and nude. The following are the better-known spots where you may encounter other nudists. All of the west coast beaches have black sand and can be extremely hot, particularly on windless days. Take footwear, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. Also, take extreme care when swimming in the ocean as there can be large rips and strong undercurrents.

  • Bethells Beach (Te Henga) - A popular surf beach, but there are few people away from the area near the lifeguard building.
  • Karekare Beach - A particularly large and dramatic west coast beach which you are likely to have all to yourself.
  • North Piha Beach - This is Auckland's most popular west-coast beach so discretion is required. The northern end is furthest away from the crowds and therefore the spot favored for skinny dipping.
  • O'Neills Beach - At the northern end of Bethell's Beach.
  • Orpheus Bay, Huia - In contrast to the other beaches in west Auckland, this is a small sandy bay that is sheltered and secluded. It's within the Manukau Harbor so it doesn't have the black sand and strong winds and currents of the ocean beaches.
  • Whatipu - Rugged, wild, and isolated; you can walk for miles without meeting another soul.
  • White's Beach - This is a short walk from the northern end of Piha Beach.

North Shore

  • Pohutukawa Bay - Probably Auckland's nicest nude beach, at the northern end of the Long Bay reserve. It's a twenty-minute walk around the coast or over the hills, but well worth it.
  • St. Leonard's Beach, Takapuna - A small and rocky beach with a varied reputation.

East and South Auckland

  • Musick Point, Bucklands Beach - Situated in a highly populated part of Auckland, this is an unofficial spot so exercise care.
  • Tawhitokino, near Clevedon - Forty-five minutes from Auckland, this beach is only accessible from the adjacent Kawakawa Bay and only at more than an hour each side of high tide. This beach is gaining in popularity.

Islands of the Hauraki Gulf

  • Little Palm Beach, Waiheke Island - This is a very popular nude beach, especially amongst families.
  • Medland's Beach, Great Barrier Island - Auckland's most remote nude beach, but worth it when you get there.

Being home to a third of New Zealand's population, it's perhaps not surprising that Auckland offers so many nude bathing beach options. From the above list, the most popular, established, and nicest are Pohutukawa Bay and Little Palm Beach. On a summer day, particularly on the weekends, they are invariably crowded with beachgoers enjoying the Auckland summer weather.