A large pod of orca wales delighted about 500 ferry passengers at Matiatia, Waiheke Island, yesterday.

About 10 whales swam around the moored boats as the 9am ferry arrived at the wharf.

Waiheke resident Mark Trubuhovich said a large crowd watched as the whales played about 40m from the shore.

"They are still out there around the island. They were at Pakatoa at the weekend and then they came into Matiatia, but they've gone again."

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Trubuhovich said they were only in Matiatia for 30 minutes.

He estimated one of the whales would have been about the size of one of the 10m launches in the bay.