A kayaker has been rescued off Wellington's south coast after losing his kayak.

Police were called to help the man who was waiting about 60m off Island Bay, but when they arrived he had gone.

A spokeswoman said a staff member from The Bach Cafe rang police after spotting the man in a wetsuit, stuck on rocks holding a paddle.

She said inquiries revealed a Dive Centre boat picked up the kayaker and a dog and brought them safely to shore.