11 Aug 2015

Whale spotted off Auckland waterfront

6:26 pm on 11 August 2015

A southern right whale has been spotted in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

A southern right whale has been spotted in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

A southern right whale has been spotted in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Photo: Radio NZ / Kate Newton

The whale has been swimming around Hobson Bay, and offshore from Tamaki Drive.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) said it appears to be the same whale recently seen near Mt Maungauni in Bay of Plenty.

It appeared to be healthy and not in any distress, it said, and a police launch was out on the water to keep an eye on things and make sure boaties did not get near it.

Coastguard spokesperson Georgie Smith said staff at Auckland's Maritime Rescue Centre were surprised to see the whale and got a good view.

"There was one incredibly large whale just basking on the surface, to be honest, and she stayed there for probably a good 45 minutes before wandering along. It was pretty impressive - there were flukes, and tails, and a whole lot of things."

Ms Smith said Coastguard staff had seen orca and seals in the harbour but this was the first time they had spotted a whale.

To share pictures or video of the whale with us, please email to: iwitness@radionz.co.nz