With snowcapped mountains providing a chilling backdrop, about 50 hardy young souls braved the bracing water at Tahunanui Beach last week.
The annual mid-winter swim saw students, teachers and parents of Tahunanui School shake and shiver away in temperatures a little over 1C.
Swimmers were adorned in colours of competing countries at the Football World Cup.
Tahunanui School principal Barbara Bowen says it was by far the coldest swim she had experienced.
“However, the sun out today is very nice to defrost in.”
The annual event is a special one for the school.
“We can’t quite pin the first day, but it has been going for well over twenty years.”
She says it’s a tradition that all students remember doing.
“It is something that is looked forward to and is a bit of a rite of passage.”
Barbara says some of the parents have been taking part in the icy dip for over a decade.
“While we all moan and groan, we would feel bad if we didn’t do it.”
She says it’s nothing a hot shower and Milo can’t fix.
“Plus, we can gloat about it for the rest of year.”
Tahunanui students Briana Barber and Ania Moore say, despite their frozen extremities, they were both glad they took the polar plunge.
“It was freezing, the coldest one yet.”
Ania says, when she touched the water she thought, ‘oh my gosh, that is like ice!’
“My toes went numb, but the feeling is slowly coming back.”