A visit by one of Kaikoura's world-famous whales has lifted the spirits of the town's quake-struck residents today.

Whale Watch Kaikoura posted on its Facebook page today a video of a whale breaching the surface - the first sighting since the 7.8 quake hit on Monday.

"Today 6 days after the 120sec that changed our lives we decided to journey off the Kaikoura coast and look for our taonga and whanau the Tohora [whales], [I'm] sure you can appreciate the huge excitement when we found him," the company posted.

"What an amazing sight to see that our Tohora is still with us."


Hector's dolphins and Dusky dolphins had also been sighted, along with "huge numbers of albatross and other pelagic seabirds, our canyon is still full of life!!!".