A humpback whale described as ''bigger and better'' than the southern right whale currently in Wellington Harbour has been spotted swimming around the entrance to Otago Harbour.

Royal Albatross Centre operations manager Chris McCormack said he saw the humpback swimming happily between Taiaroa Head and the Aramoana mole about 10am on Sunday.

The solitary cetacean was ''about the size of a campervan'' and was about 100m offshore when he captured it on camera, he said.

Mr McCormack said sightings of whales, including humpbacks and southern right whales, had increased in the past few years, and he had seen two while kayaking last weekend.


''You do see more and more and it's fantastic''.

He believed the whale had come into the harbour entrance for a bit of a rest on its way south to the Auckland Islands.

Asked how the whale compared to its counterpart currently delighting the capital, Mr McCormack agreed the Otago whale was ''bigger and better''.

It was last seen heading south, about 300m off shore.