Police were taken out to the island in a boat with the help of the local surf lifesaving club but they could not find the men and the Westpac rescue helicopter was called in.
Taputeranga was a large and rocky island and it was "dark, windy, and horrible" at the time, police said.
Using a spotlight the helicopter found the men and led searchers on land to them.
They were taken back to land by boat about 12.30am on Wednesday.
Police condemned the men's drunken behaviour saying it was lucky they made it to the island.
"They could have easily been blown out to sea by the wind.
"They've put their lives at risk.
Police would be talking to the men further.
They thanked volunteers from the surf lifesaving club, some of whom got out of bed to help in the rescue.'
I can only say that the expedition had been in no danger at all until that giant nudibranch thing developed amorous intentions towards our novelty elephant-seal inflatable and knocked Another Kiwi into the water.
Oddly enough, the same thing happened this time a year ago:
Police rescue five students from the sea at Island Bay'Maritime police have rescued five university students, thought to have been drinking, from Wellington's Island Bay after they got in to trouble on toy inflatables and were swept out to sea in gale-force winds.
Just after 2pm Maritime Police Sergeant Andy Cox said four of the group of university students, none of whom were wearing life jackets or had paddles, made it to Island Bay's island.
The fifth tipped out and was stranded struggling in the water before being rescued by Constable Tom McBride, a member of the police national dive squad, who swam him to shore.'
Everyone is hoping that the Stranding of the Students will continue as an annual event, like the Blessing of the Boats, with students riding out to Taputeranga in a Dunkirk-scale flotilla of inflatable sex dolls and Gerry Brownlie pool novelties.
Monoprint yoinked from Margaret Elliot