A grey beaked whale has beached at Taurikura, in Whangarei Harbour.

A rescue operation, including members of the Department of Conservation, Whale Watch, whale expert Ingrid Visser and locals, has started to refloat the whale, which was discovered on the beach this morning.

DoC spokeswoman Abi Monteith said they were waiting for a mat to arrive to help refloat the whale while the volunteers were helping keep it wet.

The tide is coming in and the rescuers hope the whale can be refloated and sent on its way. What caused the whale to strand is not known at this stage.