Before the onset of chilly fall and winter weather, naturist clubs and nudist accommodations operate throughout the summer on the South Island of New Zealand. The South Island often gets hotter than the North Island, making it the ideal summer destination for a "natural" holiday.
If a visit to a naturist club or nudist resort makes your list of must-dos for a trip to the South Island, call ahead as seasonal closures could deter your plans. Most of the properties operate as membership clubs but do welcome non-member visitors for a higher daily fee. Keep in mind that winter comes to the Southern Hemisphere in June, July, August, and September, so if you plan a trip around an American or Northern Hemisphere summer, you must be prepared for significantly colder weather.
Nudist retreats and naturalists clubs and destinations all share the same rules of etiquette: nudity is expected and it's in extremely bad taste to gawk, overt sexual activity is expressly forbidden in public spaces, and photography is not allowed unless you acquire explicit consent from the subjects of the picture. Also be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen as some parts of your body may be less accustomed to UV rays than others.
Established in 1969, the Nelson Sun Club - Sunrise offers a clubhouse, solar-heated swimming pool and spa, and au naturel golfing to visitors in the warmer months. You might be able to secure accommodations in one of three guest rooms in the clubhouse if you plan ahead; otherwise, you can find plenty of space for your RV or tent on the expansive grounds. While some members of the club live there year-round, others come and go; like-minded guests and visitors are warmly welcomed.
The Wai-natur Naturist Park in Wairau Valley near Blenheim spans a 5-acre garden with a heated swimming pool, spa facilities, a campground, and a bed-and-breakfast inn. The owner-operated naturist park "provides a safe and secure environment for you and your family to feel truly comfortable and enjoy a holiday without the hassle of clothes."
Pineglades Naturist Club in Rolleston, located about 20 minutes south of Christchurch, is open throughout the year with varied sporting and social activities on the calendar. On the 18 landscaped acres, you will find a solar-heated swimming pool, spa and sauna facilities, a clubhouse with a lounge bar, a children's area with playground equipment, and several sports courts.
South Canterbury Sun Club in Geraldine welcomes families with a children's play area that includes a treehouse and a trampoline. The expansive grounds on the historic Tripp Settlement Reserve include six powered spots for campers and lots of room for tents. On the property, you can enjoy a seasonal swimming pool, a clubhouse for social events and meetings with a kitchen for use by guests, and full-size tennis courts. Nearby you will find trout and salmon fishing, skiing, and boutique wineries.
Orchard Sun Club in Middlemarch offers overnight accommodations on a reservation basis in a fully furnished five-bedroom house. Campers can park RVs in powered spots or pitch a tent in one of several designated locations on the 7-acre grounds. Guests can use the kitchen to prepare meals. Though the club does not maintain a swimming pool, guests can skinny dip in the nearby river. Themed dinners and group activities occur throughout the year.
Southern Naturally in Invercargill claims the distinction of being the southernmost naturist club in the world. An old schoolhouse converted into a clubhouse contains a kitchen. There is also a two-room cabin for overnight guests, plus room for tents and RVs.