Weighed down by life – and clothes – in Australia?
Consider taking the rare opportunity to own a nudie business across the ditch: Kati Kati Naturist Park, in the North Island of New Zealand’s sunny Bay of Plenty, is for sale.
The clothing-optional, 5.7-hectare holiday park about two hours’ drive from Auckland has eight units, five onsite caravans, 51 powered sites, 40 tent sites and a three-bedroom house.
The sellers are asking for $NZ380,000 for the 28-year business lease ($360,000). Matt D’Anvers from Coffeys Tourism Properties, who is managing the sale, said: “It’s completely natural all the way through,” with manicured gardens, a secluded bush drop and a river. There is also mini golf, pétanque, careful security, and, as long as they abide by the “compulsory nudity” rule for swimming – a pool, spa and a sauna for guests.
So, what’s it like running naturist accommodation? Tom Carrigan and his wife, Amina, have run the park – the only commercial naturist accommodation on the north island – for two years.
“It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” said Mr Carrigan. “The highlight is the community feeling, the people here. That’s what makes this place, really.” They’ve also had some ripper parties.
“We have our famous nudeoke a couple of times a year.”
Before you get any racy ideas, naturists are simply “people from various backgrounds and demographics who enjoy the freedom and innocence of nude recreation” said naturist magazine The Australian Naturist.
At the Kati Kati park “there are no sexual overtones whatsoever”, said Mr D’Anvers. “There are quite a lot of families that go there.” Guests are “simply people who love to run around with no clothes on”.
So, they’re not sexual, but, in 2018, are nude parks even relevant? Stuart Whelan, publisher and editor of The Australian Naturist, ran Le Chateau Naturiste, a naturist BnB in Nelson Bay in NSW until last year. Naturist parks were “actually very relevant,” he said, and, furthermore, “there is a shortage of quality naturist resorts”.
Mr Whelan said that the “definite” market for naturist parks was made up of a “surprisingly a wide range of ages” who travel from all over the world to experience the naturist experience. “The oldest couple we had were in their late seventies.”
Mr Carrigan told Commercial Real Estate that there were a lot of repeat visitors to Kati Kati. “People choose to come back year after year,” he said. There was also a steady stream of kiwifruit pickers and semipermanent campers in the winter, and about 15 people who lived there permanently.
In 2016, the Australian naturist resort River Island Nature Retreat, a secluded 566-hectare property near Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands, which caters for up to 400 guests, was listed for sale with an asking price of $4.75 million.
Real estate agent Nick Brook, who was handling the sale, told Commercial Real Estate said it did not sell at that time, and he no longer handled the account. Owners Colin and Katina Sell, who established River Island Nature Retreat 35 years ago, said that while it was not officially on the market, “anything is for sale at the right price.”
Indeed, in Australia, “there’s not many of them for sale very often,” said Mr D’Anvers.
Mr Whelan said this was often because, like River Island, families held onto them and ran them for decades.
“I certainly know of some that have changed hands,” he said. But what sometimes also happened was that the parks “decide to go…from nude into a ‘textile (clothing) environment’ ”.
But, future owners, take note: “textile” wearing is frowned upon. Unless you are working with machinery or cleaning or in the kitchen, you should strip, too.
A naturist accommodation “should be run for naturists by naturists”, said Mr Whelan. “The naturist experience should be complete. If you arrive at a naturist park, I would expect to see the reception staff naked.”