A beach clean-up along a stretch of Marine Parade last weekend resulted in more than just a dozen bags and buckets of rubbish.
"We came across a complete bed base and mattress dumped down by the surf," co-ordinator for the Friends of Marineland clean-up crew Emily Otto said.
While that was a surprise to say the least, the real surprise came shortly after the hour-long clean-up began, with Marion Coppelmans discovering more than just a bottle.
This one had a well-sealed cap and a rolled up piece of paper inside it.
"The kids were all pretty excited about that," Mrs Otto said.
The bottle was carefully opened and after some intricate manoeuvres with sticks and small fingers, the piece of paper was removed.
However, their hopes it was a message from a distant land, and from a distant time, were not realised as it was discovered the message had been sent just a couple of days earlier ... not far from where it had been found.
"It would have gone out on the tide but then the tide's brought it back in again."
It did, though, include the name of the bottle's sender - Napier 6-year-old Kate Watson, a little girl with a fascination for the sea, and for mermaids.
She and dad Lyndon sent the message out - which ended with the words: "May you always keep a childlike sense of wonder in your life."
"The kids were delighted when that was read out, and we got in touch with Kate and returned the bottle to her," Mrs Otto said.
Mr Watson told the group they would re-send the message a few days later - but this time from a boat, so the tides would not return it so soon, and hopefully take it far, far away.
The volunteers also came across messages inked on to a stone from 2002 and 2004 and again managed to track the writer.
"She was amazed someone had found it," Mrs Otto said. "She's 20-something now and said she wrote the messages when she was about 15."
They were the high-point finds during a clean-up venture which left the 30 or so volunteers stunned at how much rubbish had been collected in just one hour, and along just 1km of Marine Parade seafront.
"From just that stretch between the Sound Shell and the aquarium - it leaves you wondering just what's dumped along the rest of the beachfront," Mrs Otto said.
Amidst the rubbish were old shoes, fishing lines, broken glass, bottles, cans, food wrappers, strips of plastic and broken pieces of wooden furniture.