They came, they had a blast, then the tide came in "mini-tsunami-style" and it was all over. Till next year that is.
Beach lovers flocked to the annual January Sand Bank Party out from McLeod Bay on Saturday. The party, which could only be accessed by boat, began before low tide, around 1pm, and attracted people of all ages from teenagers, families with small children to grandparents.
Sun umbrellas, chilly bins and deck chairs were carried ashore as the sand bank emerged off the beach and children frolicked in the water while adults relaxed to the sounds of local band Stone Blue playing on the front of a launch.
This was the event's fourth year and organisers provided a barbecue, including scallops, and even anchored a floating portable toilet, with the help of sponsors.
"As the tide began coming in the island began shrinking and then, suddenly, a wave rolled in covering most of the sand bank and everyone scrambled for their belongings," said one attendee.
"Within about five minutes the sand bank was pretty much clear [of people and their belongings] as everyone made for their boats while the band played on.
"It was a great day and really well organised."
Organisers said the party attracted about 200 people last year, some coming from as far away as Perth and one boat sailing from Wellington. It was even more popular this year.