A super moon, an overly-ambitious attitude and vicious tide at Shipwreck Bay seem to have spelled disaster for a young German couple - and more so for their Land Rover.

An Ahipara resident who spoke to the Age anonymously said he was approached on Wednesday night by the young couple.

The tourists had run into trouble as they tried to negotiate a thin strip of sand in front of the rocks that separate the north and south ends of Ahipara's Shipwreck Bay, the area in front of the Bowman-Yates property.

The area can be driven on during an extreme low tide, but it seems the pair left their run too late and the wheels of their 1997 V8 Land Rover sank into the sand.


The situation quickly went beyond salvage on the extreme 3.8 metre tide, the biggest of the year, and the wane of the super moon. By the time help arrived at 6pm, the tide was incoming and waves were rushing under the car.

A 4m southwest swell overnight and two more high tides meant the couple were grateful for their insurance cover the following afternoon when the car was hauled out.

The first thing the Ahipara man asked the tourists when he saw the car was whether it was insured.