About 200 pilot whales milling around in the sea near Farewell Spit yesterday seem to headed into deeper waters overnight.
At first light DoC rangers scoured the beaches of Golden Bay, from the spit to Collingwood, to check for new strandings.
They found no newly beached whales and no sign of the pod, which was last seen about 1.5km from shore at 6pm yesterday.
It was an encouraging sign for the medics who have been in the area for nearly a week, after more than 400 whales got stuck on the spit on Thursday night.
DoC staff will continue to monitor the coastline today.
Contractors yesterday used a digger to move the carcasses of about 350 whales that died last week to a nature reserve that is closed to the public.