NZ Local News

Orca pod at Waipū Cove, Northland, captivates large beach crowd

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About 1000 holiday makers were stunned as a pod of orca chased stingray just metres from the coastline at Waipū Cove, Northland.

James Graham was at the beach with his family when the orca came past, saying dozens of people left the water and a wave of excitement swept over the beach.

“Everyone was freaking out, it was a huge buzz … People were running down from houses up on the hill behind the beach, to try and get a glimpse, it was a pretty hectic thing to be a part of,” he said.

“As the orcas were cruising along, you could see stingray right in front of them jumping out of the water, and just trying to get away.”

Beachgoer James Graham says New Year's Day 2024 will be remembered as the day the killer whales came to Waipū Cove. Photo / James Graham
Beachgoer James Graham says New Year’s Day 2024 will be remembered as the day the killer whales came to Waipū Cove. Photo / James Graham

Orca at Waipū Cove captivated a crowd of about 1000 at the beach on Monday. Photo / James Graham
Orca at Waipū Cove captivated a crowd of about 1000 at the beach on Monday. Photo / James Graham

Graham recorded video of the passing pod, estimating they were about five metres from the shore.

He said he’d never seen anything like that at Waipū Cove.

“I spoke to some of the old heads, the guys up in the tower, who have never seen anything like that. Never that close and definitely not orca. The odd dolphin maybe, but … orcas are pretty foreign for out here.”

“It was definitely something you look back on. That New Year’s was the one that the killer whales came.”



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