Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Rare whale sighting delights Milford Sound tourists

The Southern Right Whale in Milford Sound. Photo / David Newman
The Southern Right Whale in Milford Sound. Photo / David Newman

A rare sighting of a Southern Right Whale has delighted tourists in Milford Sound.

The 7m whale spent the day patrolling the waters and was captured on camera by tour guide David Newman.

Initially spotted from the Milford Sound wharf, the juvenile whale, finally left Milford Sound at about 4.20pm yesterday, heading north past Dale Point out into the Tasman Sea.

"It's only the second time I've personally seen a Southern Right in Milford Sound, so getting the chance to see one for a second time made me feel extremely excited and also very lucky," said Mr Newman, of Southern Discoveries' Encounter Nature Cruise.

"I take my camera to work every day in the hope of coming across a whale again, and it certainly paid off this time.

"Conditions were perfect, with the region having had very little rain over the past couple of weeks, so the waters of the fiord were crystal clear allowing us to see the whale in all its glory."

He said both tourists and crew were "very excited" by the sighting, while the whale did not seem to be fazed by sightseeing vessels, surfacing close to them on a number of occasions.

It is two years since a Southern Right Whale was last spotted at the entrance to Milford Sound.


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