A visit by one of Kaikoura's world-famous whales has lifted the spirits of the town's quake-struck residents today.

Whale Watch Kaikoura posted on its Facebook page today a video of a whale breaching the surface - the first sighting since the 7.8 quake hit on Monday.

"Today 6 days after the 120sec that changed our lives we decided to journey off the Kaikoura coast and look for our taonga and whanau the Tohora [whales], [I'm] sure you can appreciate the huge excitement when we found him," the company posted.

"What an amazing sight to see that our Tohora is still with us."

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Hector's dolphins and Dusky dolphins had also been sighted, along with "huge numbers of albatross and other pelagic seabirds, our canyon is still full of life!!!".