Wellington couple's retirement hobby of collecting shipwrecked treasures pays off

Retirement normally means settling down and enjoying life in the slow lane.

But for one Wellington couple their retirement hobby of collecting shipwrecked treasures has taken off and is attracting visitors from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Meet Robert Baldock, a Kiwi bloke who clocked out of the 9-to-5 grind last year in favour of a quiet retirement with ocean views.

A sailor at heart, he decided to take up the challenge of salvaging shipwrecked items that he could turn into treasures, travelling all over the world to collect them and stocking them in his seaside shop, Shipwreck Trading.

"An opportunity came up when I went to India and went to the shipyards and realised we could buy pieces of boats," he tells Newshub.

But what was meant to be something to keep him occupied in his free time has turned into a full-time gig, attracting visitors and keen collectors from around the country.

"I thought it would be a lovely part-time thing where I could just breeze in and out and do part-time hours but it hasn't, it's absolutely gone the other way, it's very busy," he says.

Any possible item you could think of, Baldock probably has it. He's sold 400-year-old cannonballs and even items from HMS Victory which sailed almost three centuries ago.

Baldock's experience in New Zealand's prop industry has helped him know where to go and who to speak with to source the items, which has taken him to all different pockets of the globe.

"We're always surprised by what we see, it's a treat working here and we love it."

When asked what happened to an easy retirement he says he's not quite sure, but he's loving the new challenge.

"The items that come in are extremely interesting albeit hard to value but no two days are the same and it's amazing," he tells Newshub.

And with no plans to slow down anytime soon, this captain will be collecting forgotten gems for some long time yet.