NZ Travel Log 0305 – Shipwreck Bay and Wallyworld

wiggs-paddleboarding-long-beach-nzRemember the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” with Chevy Chase?  They drove days and days to get to the famed Wallyworld for their big yearly vacation.   They traveled through bad weather, survived car trouble and even Aunt Edna’s death, only to find that Wallyworld was closed – and a big disappointment.

Here is our NZ equivalent of Wallyworld:  Wiggs was so excited to go to the well advertised Hot Spring Pools and Waterslides.  The brochure pictures kids having fun on water bumper cars and big slides.

We drove hours in pitch blackness through country roads, all night long.  Drew wanted Wiggs to wake up to this wonderland of fun, so we free-camped in a turnout across the road with a plan that when the gates opened, we’d be ready.  And when the sun came up – well, we found

False Advertising!

False Advertising!

WALLYWORLD!  It looked nothing like the brochure!  An old inn-

The real deal!

The real deal!

keeper that has worked one too many years grumpily took our money.  We pulled into a run-down, abandoned theme park with about 6 people present, all over the age of 80.  The wind was howling and it was cold, which added to the ominous feeling.


Not easily daunted, and in typical Brophy fashion, we put on our swimsuits and jumped in.  Wiggs didn’t know the difference – to him, it was the most fun he’d had all month!

shipwreck-sand-point-roadSHIPWRECK BAY:  Prior to our Wallyworld pilgrimage, we were in the Northland at Shipwreck Bay.  Famed for its long left hand waves that wrap around the point, its beauty was stunning.

The coolest thing about Shipwreck Bay is that you can actually drive around the point, if you dare.  There is no road, just a beautiful, rocky point that wraps around and leads to uncharted lands on the other side.  We drove a short distance on the point, until we hit a large rocky outcrop, and decided to stop there because: A) We were almost out of fuel and B) it looked like we needed a 4-wheel drive.  It would suck getting stuck out there……

Shipwreck Bay has great waves, so we hear (it was flat for us).  There were more pigs on the beach than there were waves. 

Pigs on beach at Shipwreck Bay

Pigs on beach at Shipwreck Bay

With lack of waves, we did some paddle boarding in the warm, crystal clear water.  Wigg’s even tried a little paddle boarding, too.


We are now heading back to Raglan, where we know there are waves.  And maybe we should have stayed there all along, but hey, then we wouldn’t have seen all that we’ve seen, eh?  At this point, we feel we know the North Island like the back of our hands.

And we hope that this is the end of the Dummy Run.

Thanks for all your surf prayers – A huge swell is expected – just in time for Drew’s Birthday (March 8th).  Let’s hope it delivers!

Wiggs found a piece of shipwreck!

Wiggs found a piece of shipwreck!

Kauri Coast Lookout

Kauri Coast Lookout

Life is Good – Spunk and Drew & Wiggss xxoo

Paddleboarding in flat spells.....

Paddleboarding in flat spells.....

 PS:  Follow Spunk on Twitter for more updates

PPS:  Read Post titled “Don’t hate me because I’m American”.

Leave comments, please, let us know if you enjoy these posts!

About Maria Brophy

During the last decade, acting as agent and brand manager, Maria has successfully built Drew Brophy’s lifestyle artist brand through licensing and special projects.

Maria writes a blog that helps other creative people to design the life of their dreams, too. Hop on over to Maria's blog at


  1. this area has been claimed back now

  2. Therese says:

    Happy Birthday Drew. I see you guys are having a great
    adventure. Hope by now you have enjoyed some big waves. Love, Therese

  3. The Wood Family says:

    Hey Drew, Maria and Wiggs- just want to let you know we are thinking about you on this special day!! You guys look like your having such a great time- loved the Wally World analogy. Tried to call you but not sure if you all have service right now. Mom and Dad will be at our house around 6ish so if you call tonight, call later or call our house. Happy Birthday! We love you! Andrea, Jackie, Jack and Patrick!

  4. Michael G says:

    Sorry…have to reply to the “I hate Americans Post”…I think a lot of non Americans hate the “system” that is America.It’s foreign policy and protectionism….Lets hope Obama can change that…. I meet a lot of Americans in my job (Computing) and they are all nice, friendly, laid back people…the West Coast culture seems to be very similar to ours here in Oz East Coast…Most dont agree with previous Gov policies..but someone had to vote that idiot Bush in (or did they? ..conspiracy theories abound)…dont worry…we seem to get the same dumb, redneck politicians here in Oz…Lets hope Obama can change foreign policy and keep out of other peoples problems and then Americans can relax a bit more…We tend to see the worst of America on TV…but racism and stupidity etc exist everywhere.

  5. Michael Griffiths says:

    Drew, Love your work…I actually have an MR board hanging up that has a small portion of your work…one day when you get back to Oz I would love to commission you to paint a guitar. (more in the hippy surfy style than the death metal though)


    Michael G

  6. hi drew, maria, dylan,

    get back to civilazation and leave that hell hole. nice place to spent your birthday though. have a happy one.

  7. mother & andrea says:

    maria, i for one love all the pictures and especially the comments. i check up on you all every day. i think your comparison with wollyworld is really funny. hope the waves pickup. love moms