Sight-seeing at Whanganui's Virginia Lake took an unusual turn for Thursday evening walkers when a turtle was spotted laying around 10 eggs.

Alannah Hoskin was out walking with her mum when she came across a huddle of people and children screaming with excitement.

"We went over to check it out and spotted the turtle on the ground which was a bit of a surprise because it was a pretty unique thing to see."

She said for a while it was just sitting there and everyone was wondering what it was doing.

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"Then it just lifted its bum and a egg fell out and then about 10 more."

Alannah said she had seen the turtle there about a year ago but never laying eggs.

"It's usually on the island hanging out and stays in that corner. I think there's two turtles that have been living there for a couple of years now."

Interest circulated on social media when Alannah posted a video of the turtle on Wanganui's Facebook page late on Thursday night.

Many people were in shock not knowing that turtles even existed in New Zealand, others said because they were not native to New Zealand they should be recognised as a pest.

But most were thrilled to see the turtle thriving.