Auckland's North Shore residents were treated to a spectacular sight, as more than 20 dolphins frolicked in the waves.

Chris Bretherton, 33, snapped pictures of the pod "flipping and playing" at Torbay's Waiake Beach on Sunday evening.

He said the dolphins put on a "spectacular show" for the crowd of around 40 onlookers gathered on the shore front.

Bretherton was driving home when he spotted the dolphins, who were jumping out of the water and chasing fish.

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Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"It's not often you see them this close, they were about five to ten metres off shore."

The Torbay resident said it wasn't unusual to see dolphins at Waiake Beach, but it was rare to see them in such a large group and so close to the shore.

"They've been there since about 5 o'clock, just playing."

He said it was a "pretty special moment" for him, and credits his photos to "a combination of good luck".