Organisers of an anti-drilling protest on Otago Harbour says the turnout shows the depth of feeling against offshore drilling in Otago.
The Texan oil company, Anadarko, plans to drill a test oil well in the Canterbury Basin, 60 kilometres offshore from Dunedin next month.
About 260 people took to the water in boats, waka, kayaks and paddle boards on Sunday to show their disapproval to the plan.
Oil Free Otago spokesperson Niamh O'Flynn says despite treacherous conditions, the turnout was much better than expected.
She says organisers now have a rapid response team of 260 people who are happy to be contacted to take part in protests against deep sea oil drilling.
Ms O'Flynn says more protests are likely.