Thursday, February 6, 2020

Our first hot pool night of 2020


Our first hot pool night of 2020 was held recently and was another great event. This time we were able to welcome some members from the UK, who were visiting us en route to the South Island. They luckily (or was it planned) coincided their visit with our hot pool night at Oropi.
They enjoyed meeting everyone and it was great that the 45 present at the pools made them feel so welcome.
We also welcomed a member from Taupo, who travelled north to join us and another from Auckland, who should just move to the Bay as he spends more time here than in Auckland (mind you I don’t blame him!). The pool was a good temperature for the warm night and the dinner was lovely once again, thanks to Al and Lisa’s good catering skills.

Our annual campout weekend

This fabulous annual event was a full-on weekend of fun, relaxation, life drawing artists, horse racing and great company for the 30 or so members who came along. The weather was also perfect the whole weekend.
Most people arrived on Friday and settled into their camp sites for the weekend. There was a lot of chatter at Happy Hour and then it was dinner time. We made good use of the two donated BBQs, which were kindly donated to BOP Naturists for use at our events.
We got a roaring fire going on Friday evening, which was nice to sit around as the night cooled off.
On Saturday, we had a group of artists come along to do life drawing. We had so many people offer to be models that they ran out of time to sketch everyone. A couple of new members really got into the modelling. Well done to you both. 

We set up the Kubb, but unlike last year, people were happy just to sit around and relax. A few were keen to get some exercise while the rest watched the artists or relaxed with a good book.
After lunch, the BOP Naturists race day was held. A fine array of colourful hats (the women) and ties (the men) lined up for our ‘fashion in the field’ judging, before the race meeting started. Three of the artists agreed to be judges and chose the winning costumes. Then the three colts and three fillies ran in 5 races, which was a lot of fun.

Then it was time for happy hour followed by a potluck dinner. The BBQs were well used again and the huge array of food fed us all admirably. We lit another roaring fire, which was so hot that the marshmallows caught fire but were still crisp on the outside and runny in the middle. YUM!!
The next morning, our ‘Naked Chef’ cooked a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns, baked beans and mushrooms. So no-one went home hungry!
After taking down the gazebo to prevent it getting damp overnight, some took up the opportunity to stay for another night at this idyllic property in Tauranga, so close to town but miles away from the textile world.

December 2019 events

Christmas party
It was a great turnout at our Christmas party at the hot pools when Santa left three boxes of goodies for all those attending. We had a record number of 54 come along. It is a shame that this number don’t come every time. It must be the $5 gifts Santa brought that encouraged the large number to come along! There was almost standing room only in the cafĂ© until someone came to the rescue with another table! The ham that Al baked was delicious as were the salads and berry topped pavlova.

Waihi Beach weekend
Just before Christmas, we went to Waihi Beach. Although it was cold overnight with a cool southerly, we found that protected by the dunes, the weather was perfect both days – sunny and no wind. Although only a dozen came on Saturday, there were over 20 present on Sunday.  The sea was calm and although cool, several people had a swim on Sunday afternoon.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Thailand naturist holiday 2019

Col and I left Barefeet Naturist Resort (see last post) and spent a weekend at NATCON, the Naturist Association of Thailand's (NAT)s annual conference. This was held at the Canal Garden Resort in Phetchburi Province, a 5 hour bus trip from Barefeet. Although not a naturist resort, NAT hired the whole complex so we could be naked all weekend.


After the conference, we travelled to the other side of the Golf of Thailand to Sattahip, near Pattaya,
where we stayed for 6 days at Phuan Naturist Village, spending our time relaxing by and in the pool at this resort in the countryside.


While there we got a taxi to Pattaya and visited Chan Naturist Resort where we had been twice before. It was nice to reminisce.



We then flew to Phuket. Our first stop was at Peace Blue Naturist Naiharn Beach. This is a high-end luxury naturist resort with wonderful owners and staff who were always smiling. No wonder Thailand is called the 'Land of Smiles'. Col went out in a speedboat with some other guests which was organised by the resort owners.

Our last stop was at the nearby Lemon Tree Naturist Resort. This peaceful resort was only a couple of kilometres walk from the local main road with lots of shops and cafes. Next door was a French restaurant with a huge menu of both French and Thai food.
We didn't visit Oriental Village near Chiang Mai this visit as we had been there twice before. Just after we left the owners opened another naturist resort in the north of Phuket Island called Oriental Village Phuket.
Take a look at the websites for all the naturist resorts in Thailand on www.thailandnaturist.com.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Thailand 2019 - Barefeet Naturist Resort, Bangkok

Col and I arrived in Bangkok on Monday evening after a 12 hour direct flight from Auckland. This 3 1/2 week holiday has been planned so we can attend NATCON8, the Naturist Association on Thailand's annual conference. Exiting from the plane at 8.30pm was like entering a sauna!

We stayed the first night in a hotel near the airport called 'At Residence' (photo above) which served us well although I didn't get much sleep. It was tolerable overnight with the aircon on.
Next morning we went by taxi to Barefeet Naturist Resort, to the north-east of Bangkok city centre. The driver understandably hadn't heard of it, but a quick entry of the address into Google maps on his phone and we were on our way.
Well we thought we were until a few km out we got stuck in traffic. The 25km (40 minute drive) took us 1 3/4 hours! We did make it eventually and were greeted by our hosts Gregers and Dao who showed us to our room. At last we could get our gear off thank goodness.
Barefeet has been developed from two properties which are linked by a walkway behind a separate property between them. Our room was upstairs in the older section, which also housed a large kitchen where breakfast is served. There is also a small plunge pool in this area. Our room was upstairs with a wide breezeway outside the room.
The newer section on the other property has a larger pool, bar and dining area and sunloungers around the pool as well as a sauna, hot tub and gym.
We spent the day trying to stay cool - first in the main pool, but it was more like a bath. The smaller pool was shaded by trees so was not as warm but way more refreshing in the heat. The air temperature today reached 38 degrees with 30% humidity but in the cooler pool it was tolerable - just!!
We are staying here until Friday when we go by bus to the resort hosting the conference. Although not a naturist resort, Gregers said the owners are keen to host the event. I will report back from the conference once we get there.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Northland Safari

A group of up to 16 motorhomes took part in our recent naturist camping safari to the tip of the North Island of New Zealand. The weather for the whole safari was perfect, with only a couple of showery afternoons during the whole month. All weekend activities were designed to be at naturist venues.
The first weekend was at Opoutere Beach, a recognised naturist beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. The members going on the safari were joined by several other campers, who could only stay for the one weekend - a total of 30 camping for the weekend.


We swam, fished (some caught some small kahawai), walked along the beach and enjoyed a beautiful hot sunny weekend at this idyllic spot. Some members were even seen naked in water up to their bums in the estuary spotting stingrays.
















We had the usual happy hour and shared a communal meal on the Saturday night.
On Monday, we left Opoutere and spent a night at Ray's Rest, a popular free camping spot on the Firth of Thames, which is a well known wading-bird area.
Then it was the trip through Auckland - something nobody enjoys due to the heavy traffic, but we all negotiated it without incident and found our campsite for the next few nights at Wenderholm Regional Park, just north of Orewa. Here some of us cycled around the park while others climbed up and over a steep bluff with great views over the Puhoi River.

On the way to our next stop at Port Albert on the Kaipara Harbour, a visit to the historic Puhoi Pub, museum and cheese factory was an interesting side trip. At Port Albert, some of the group tried fishing off the old wharf with limited success (although one member did catch a small shark) while others bought fish and chips for dinner from the local shop at the top of the hill and got wet for their efforts as a heavy shower passed over just as happy hour ended.
Already one week had passed so it was another naturist venue for the weekend - Uretiti Beach DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite. This is adjacent to a recognised naturist beach - textiles to the left, naturists to the right! At this campsite, we were joined by a small contingent of Northland Naturists and up to 30 of us gathered for happy hour over the weekend.
One local member put out his long line and caught 3 good sized snapper which he cooked on the BBQ for everyone to sample - yum! We played Kubb and petanque on the beach which was a different experience as the balls and sticks wouldn't bounce on the soft sand!
Heading further north to Otamure Bay at Whananaki North, we stayed in the DOC camp. A 5-minute stepped walk up and over a bluff led to the secluded Tauwhara Bay. What a gem! Several of us enjoyed the peaceful scenic little bay and some had a swim.

Although some tried to catch a fish for dinner, none took the bait. Some of us also walked along the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere to the other side of the estuary at Whananaki South.



































Then on to historic Russell in the Bay of Islands. We stayed in the Russell Top 10 camp ground - a bit of luxury here, like electricity and washing machines! While some caught up with their laundry, others went sightseeing on the beautiful Bay of Islands, others walked down the hill to the covenant-protected naturist beach at Waitata (Donkey) Bay. We spent a peaceful day at this small secluded bay lapping up the sun and swimming in the calm, warm water.




The next day, seven of us cycled part of the coast to coast cycleway from Opua to Kawakawa and back - about 25 km in total.









Our next weekend was to include a naturist boat trip to some secluded bays in the Bay of Islands, but unfortunately, our skipper wasn't well so we couldn't go. Although a disappointment, our hosts were great and allowed us to camp in a secluded paddock on their farm where we based ourselves for three nights. This gave us ample time to go sightseeing and cycle around the Kerikeri region. Others tested their skill at Kubb and petanque on a different surface - long, springy kikuya grass! This was challenging, especially after the sand at Uretiti.


The next stop was at the DOC camp at Maitai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula. Here there were two beaches separated by a small headland. As there were few people around at this time of the year, we almost had both beaches to ourselves, and some of the more adventurous walked to the far end of each bay. The water was inviting and calm so several of us went for a swim here as well.





Then to the destination for this trip - the northernmost camp site of the North Island of New Zealand - Spirits Bay. What an amazing place this was. A long curved bay stretched out before us with pink sand made up of small shell fragments. At the end where the DOC camp was, there were a couple of sheltered coves where some of us spent the day, swimming and trying for those elusive fish. A neighbour took pity on us and gave us a large kahawai which we cooked on the BBQ and shared for happy hour. I got a bee sting on my foot, which curtailed my walks along the beach a little, but others walked to the next bay, far away in the distance, while others explore the small historic cemetery and cannon mounted high on a hill nearby. Before visiting Spirits Bay, some of the group visited Cape Reinga lighthouse, which we could just see in the distance from Spirits Bay.
It was finally time to head south again. An overnight stop at Rarawa DOC camp where one member tried to catch a fish with toast, while others walked to the beach to try their luck, which wasn't successful unfortunately.









Another highlight of the trip was the weekend visit to a naturist homestay and emu farm at Waiharara with great hosts. Some cycled to the beach, some played petanque, some swam in the estuary. We learnt about motorbikes, emus, emu oil and met the tame emu, Carol. A small craft stall run by he hosts' daughter allowed us to purchase several home made craft items and some exclusive emu oil.
This visit was topped off with a communal happy hour and meal, with the meat being cooked on a parilla over hot coals.

Reluctantly it was time to leave here and head to Kaikohe, where we visited the nearby coloured, healing Ngawha natural springs. The pools ranged from cool to super hot! Most of us chose the  42 degree C pool, with black particles in the water.

Our final night together was at the lovely Kai Iwi Lakes on the west coast. On the way here, we passed through some historic towns and amazing scenery. Two couples visited the Wairere Boulders and completed a walk to these unusual geological formations.
We stopped off to see the largest kauri tree in NZ, Tane Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest, which is threatened with kauri die-back disease. We could see many remnants of dead kauri in the forest and just hope that the quarantine measures in place before entry to this magnificent tree will save it and others from this devastating disease.

So ended a fantastic month-long safari up one coast and back down the other of New Zealand's far north. The tour was very successful and everyone certainly enjoyed it. We all made new friendships and everyone will, I am sure, remember this experience for many years to come.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Beach day

We had a great day at the beach over the weekend. The weather was hot (31 deg C) and sunny, with a cooling breeze, and the water was warm. The surf had luckily calmed down a bit from the wild swells of the past week to be perfect for swimming and boogie boarding.


Everyone had more than one swim. Someone tried for a fish without success, others boogie boarded between relaxing on the beach. Having two families come along was great and the kids certainly enjoyed a day at the beach with us.
Apart from a few passersby, we had the beach to ourselves and all present indicated that they would like to have other outings to the beach in future. Watch this space...