A group of friends out for a scenic helicopter ride found themselves with the best seats in the house as a whale and her calf put on a show at Omaha Beach, near Warkworth.

Miriam Godfrey snapped this shot of a Southern Right whale and her calf during a helicopter ride with husband Doug and friends Steve (pilot) and Pam Taylor.

They were flying over the southern end of Omaha Beach around lunch time on Sunday when they spotted the pair below.

"It was so exciting. When we first approached, she was nudging her calf up to the water.


"We did two or three passes over them and at one stage the calf was beneath her. My husband wondered whether it was suckling but we couldn't tell.

"It was just a fluke that we saw them ... We didn't stay over them very long. We hoped the helicopter wasn't frightening them."

The whale and her calf were first seen last week at Browns Bay and Takapuna Beach.

Sunday's sighting at Omaha came three years after a whale and a calf were also seen in the bay.

Mrs Godfrey describes herself as a passionate amateur photographer who loves photographing nature and animals.