A Waikato farm worker got a surprise after digging up an old, unexploded bomb today.

Waikato police Senior Sergeant Dean Anderson said police were called to the farm at an old Hopuhopu army camp firing range near Taupiri this morning after a farm worker unearthed the old shell while carrying out excavations at the property.

Anderson said the military were called to the scene and had since detonated the device. However, other shells had also been found and would also likely be detonated, he said.

"They're checking those but it is an old firing range from the Hopuhopu army camp days. They do unearth those things every now and then."

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Anderson said they hadn't had any calls about the noise from the bomb being set off but suggested if residents heard any 'pops' this afternoon, it would likely come from Hopuhopu farm.

"Apparently they're not too loud and they're [locals] probably used to it because there have been many over the years recovered and exploded by the military."