There'll be more than one full moon out tonight as hordes of skinny-dippers strip off for a swim at beaches around the country.

The annual Skinny-dipping Down a Moonbeam event is on this evening, with people being encouraged to head to their local beach or river for an evening dip in the nude.

An east-facing body of water is best for people wanting to bathe in the moonlight, said Free Beaches New Zealand president Wendy Lowe.

"The moon rises in the east, just like the sun. It's much better on an east-facing beach because you get the moon on the far side of the water, and you get that moonbeam across the water," she said.


The full moon will rise at 8.16pm, meaning it won't quite be dark for those getting their kit off on the shores.

"The moon is coming out quite early at the moment. We've got to kind of work it out to find a full moon that fits with the evening, obviously, and the weather isn't too cold."

Lowe is hoping to see plenty of newcomers at the event, which has been running for about 10 years.

There are gatherings organised in Auckland, Kapiti Coast and Wellington, but some nudist groups will be holding their own gatherings too. People can also go to any nearby beach to get in on the action.

"It feels good and it's something different, and it takes you out of your comfort zone," Lowe said.

"Ordinarily when it's dark no one can actually see you, so it's a good way to get used to being naked in front of other people."

The events were a good way for people to socialise, she said.

"One thing that you learn very quickly as a new naturist is that people talk to your face a lot more than when you're wearing clothes.

"Men have no problem when you're wearing a tight T-shirt in talking to your T-shirt, but when you're not wearing clothes they feel more embarrassed about that, so they're more inclined to actually talk to your face."

Lowe wanted to remind people it was perfectly legal to be naked in public in New Zealand.

"You can actually be naked anywhere in New Zealand."

Details about some of the official gathering locations can be found on the Free Beaches website.