A pod of killer whales hunting close to the shore gave boaties memorable photo opportunities in the Hauraki Gulf at the weekend.

Seven orcas were seen in Oneroa Bay on Waiheke Island on Saturday and three were seen yesterday morning off Maraetai, near the mainland.

Waiheke visitor Matthew Wilson said seven orcas hunted among anchored boats near the tip of Oneroa Bay.

"They were acting together to herd what we think were stingray close in to the rocks for over half an hour.


"We were looking straight down on them from the tender and they were not worried about us at all."

Orcas in the Waiheke and Maraetai sightings could be part of the same group which ranges up and down the New Zealand coast and often comes into the bays, said Jo Halliday, of Whale-Rescue.org.

"They can also part from the group and do their own thing hunting out rays."