Rotorua nudists hope for a space of their own

By Kristin Macfarlane of the Daily Post -
Photo / Stephen Parker
Photo / Stephen Parker

A Rotorua nudist is calling for a campground in the city where like-minded naturists can hang out together.

Andrew Valk runs Rotorua Naturally - a group that regularly gets together, strips off and enjoys each others' company.

The group gathers at his house - a place where like-minded people enjoy the freedom of being naked while doing everyday activities such as watching movies, sunbathing, playing games, reading books, enjoying pot-luck dinners and having cups of tea.

While he doesn't mind that people from Rotorua and outside the region come to his home and spend time - sometimes spending the night if they are from out of town - he said it would be nice if there was a place where people could come from anywhere and stay in campervans, tents or cabins and have the space to do activities.

"We get people from all over," Mr Valk said.

"We need a camping ground."

Mr Valk said there was a demand for a nudist-type retreat or campground in Rotorua, especially given the city was a tourist city.

"I'd like to see something where we can accommodate motorhomes, caravans, one or two cottages, chalets ... my first goal is to find somebody that's prepared to give us land with a dwelling on it, somewhere near a lake or hot spring would be ideal."

He would also like nudity to become more acceptable, which he was already noticing, he said.

When the Rotorua Naturally members went for naked bushwalks, people who weren't members and came across them also stripped off and walked with them, he said.

"It's amazing how many people join in."

He said his home in Pukehangi was by no means private but his neighbours didn't mind that he, his wife and the group preferred to spend their days naked.

He said they provided a relaxed venue for the weekly gatherings. "It's not about sex and it's not about swinging parties. It's just a social group that we have here, we open our home and veg out.

"It's just about being free."

The family-oriented group was set up about 18 months ago because there wasn't a place for naturists to get together in the city.

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