Three orca whales which were beached in a bay in Northland's Kaipara Harbour have made it safely back out to sea.

It is believed a mother and her two calves became stranded at low tide on Pouto Peninsula, south of Ruawai.

Both the Department of Conservation and the Fire Service attended the scene in Oneroa Bay to try to free the large mammals after receiving a call at 2.50pm.

The trio made it back into the water around 4pm, said DoC conservation manager Luke Archbold.


"They pretty much got themselves out of trouble," he said.

The whales were monitored for a while to make sure they made their way out of the harbour safely and successfully, he said.

DoC staff will now carry out an assessment to see how the whales became beached.

However, it is believed they got stuck on a sand bank at low tide, northern fire communications duty manager Colin Underdown said earlier.