A monster from the deep has washed up on a beach in Kaikoura.

The giant squid, spotted at South Bay, is around 7 metres in length from top to tentacle.

Photos of the creature were posted to Facebook by Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium, who said they moved the find "before the birds got to it."

"We got help to move it to the aquarium where it is safe inside a freezer," they added.

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The Marine Centre says the giant squid has a body over 2 metres long, with eyes that are 19 centimetres in diameter.

They have the squid in a freezer with glass windows so it can be viewed by the public.

- nzherald.co.nz