A New Zealand-wide organisation, the Free Beach Group was formed in 1975, and registered in 1977 as an Incorporated Society to promote clothes-free recreation at suitable venues - usually beaches. We are an associate member of the New Zealand Naturist Federation Inc; and now called Free Beaches NZ Inc.
Members meet for beach and river outings, camping holidays, tramping and naturist walks during summer months; swim nights, spa and sauna evenings; and other social events during winter months. Our clothes-optional policy is intended to cater for everyone in the family: there is no requirement to be clothes-free.
In New Zealand, no statute law expressly forbids nudity in a public place. Being naked is not illegal unless it is accompanied by intentionally offensive behaviour. The lore on public nudity though, is a mater of prevailing public opinion. So our behaviour is closely governed by the constraints of public acceptance, and must be beyond reproach.
In the early years, the Free Beach Group sought to establish 'legally free' beaches, mainly by writing letters to district councils. With the passing of the Summary Offences Act in 1981, merely being naked in a public place was no longer illegal. It was then clear that official designation of particular places would be prejudicial to our cause.
We publish a booklet which describes places around the country which are usually suitable for clothes-free recreation. In many cases only part of a beach may be recognised as clothes-free - we usually go some distance from the area used by 'textiles' (those who've not yet discovered the joy of not having to wear clothing!).
Newsletters keep members up to date with news and notices of events. In some areas,
outings are arranged by a Regional Committee or Local Organiser.
Towels, polo-shirts, caps, beach flags, car stickers and other items featuring the Fred Bear logo, are available to members. Our annual subscription covers a 'membership unit' that is, a family, couple or single person; and is due in September.
We reserve the right to interview prospective members to establish their sincerity and support for our ideals.
An application form is available for printing here.