An Auckland father and his two sons were treated to a special one-off performance from a pod of orca over the holiday break.

Kane Westgaard and his two sons, Bailey and Tyler, were out fishing on their launch on Boxing Day near Tiritiri Matangi Island when they were visited by the orca.

"We went to the inside of Shag Rock and then they popped up and my youngest said 'can we go over and see them in the dinghy?'," he said.

"So went over to them on the dinghy and they were playing around in one spot for a little while.


"As soon as I got about 30-40m away I turned the motor off and drifted towards them so they must have heard me coming and checked me out."

Westgaard and Tyler, 13, were both excited to see the orca's and were even treated to a close-up performance.

One of them came up to the back of the boat and squealed at them on the boat before rolling over on its back with its belly to the sky.

"It was epic ... it was the experience of a lifetime mate, it was so overwhelming," Westgaard said.

Meanwhile, a pod of five orca gave holidaymakers to a special treat in the Hauraki Gulf during a tour earlier this week.

The pod of two calves, two females and a male spent about 20 minutes around the tour group with Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari.

Marine research and conservation officer Catherine Lea said while she was not on board at the time she heard it was a "very special" encounter for all of those on board.

"They are an endangered species and we don't see them all of the time, so even the crew were really stoked to get to see them," she said.


"Everybody loves orca and seeing them is on many bucket lists, so I can guarantee pretty much everybody would have loved it."