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Mapua Camp Site


Mapua Holiday Park.

A report from Mr & Mrs Steve

During our first big trip to new Zealand we had a general tour around both islands although mainly focussing on our outdoors activities.

One of our first stops on south island was the small city of Nelson where we were going to base ourselves to go walking in the North West Nelson Forest Park, by chance we were sitting in a café reading our rough guide when a local overhearing our conversation about finding a campsite suggested Mapua Holiday Park just a few miles further west.    We remember that at the time he grinned and with a “its clothes optional if you are ok with that”—so we gave it a go.


The park is quite a large site with its own swimming pool, sauna etc and both cabins and camping pitches.  It is also right up against the beach (Mapua Inlet) with a narrow channel across to Rabbit island.

Beach pictures are the beach at the site and Mapua Channel with rabbit island beyond,

The site does tend to be very dry, this part of South Island is in a real rain shadow from mountains to the west, this summer they had very little rain at all.

We noticed at the time quite a lot of campers nude around their own sites—the rules being nudity ok at the beach and pool and at own camp but to cover up while moving around the site.

While both of us were used to being nude around each other and stripping off for dips in the bush this was our first experience of social nudity.


Since then the site has been bought by new American owners who it is said disapprove of nudity, wanted to ban it completely and now only allow the clothes optional option during February and March.

We went back there this time in February and camped in a very quiet part of the park all by ourselves—in the nearest zone to us everyone was nude at their own sites and generally thought that the compromise wasn’t really working, indeed just about everyone we saw on site was nude for most of the time and the general consensus was that the site may as well be fully clothes optional during this period.

Mapua holiday park does get totally mad during Christmas week and for quite a bit of January (when nudity is banned anyway) that's just about the only time we wouldn't go there.

We actually like camping at Mapua it's just that the 'not quite clothes optional' doesn't really work there. Especially when everyone we met wanted it to be fully naturist --hey ho.

Mapua is still a place we would go back to as it is on a great piece of coast. The nearby city of Nelson is really nice too.

There is a great little cafe in Mapua called----the Naked Bun !!!! which is kind of nice.




 This site was last updated 25/01/17