Fun weekend in the nude
It was sheer naked fun for a group of Marlborough naturists who cruised the Opawa River in Blenheim before their annual nude golf tournament in the Wairau Valley this weekend.
Organiser Kay Hannam said she and partner Brian Williams had been putting on the naturist weekend ever year since they moved to Marlborough from Wanaka six years ago. A group of 27 people took part in the pre-tournament nude cruise on the River Queen on Saturday and 20 people played the golf tournament on Sunday.
The groups used to go on a cruise in the Marlborough Sounds, where they sometimes got up to 50 people taking part, she said. However, numbers dropped last year and they decided to do something new this year with a trip and buffet meal on the River Queen.
Mr Williams said the cruise showed the naturism movement was not hiding and was open about what they do without being offensive. Going naked made sense in the hot weather on Saturday, he said. While the weather was colder on Sunday, Ms Hannam said the Wairau course was well sheltered and the biggest obstacle on the day was lack of practice.
The weekend was just about having fun, she said.
"On Saturday there was a barge of people [who] went past us and they all had colourful wigs on and they were obviously having a great time, and I thought, that pretty much sums it up for us as well, we're like-minded people having a bit of fun. A lot of us are more comfortable without clothes on than with clothes on."
Naturism was a way of life which people were getting more used to and the weekend's events had been well received, she said.
"During the cruise there were a number of people on the bank giving us a big cheer and a wave and there was a naked kayaker out on the river. I think he would have liked to have joined us."
The Marlborough Express