A whale has stranded on a Northland beach and was spotted by locals on their way to school.

The whale has since died, despite the efforts of locals to rescue it.

Jillian Shuttleworth said her husband Bill had been on his way to drop their three children at Whananaki Primary School when they spotted the stranded whale at Moureeses Bay about 8.15am today.

Shuttleworth quickly posted on social media to rally the locals to help the whale that was "still very much alive" at that stage.

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"We're getting buckets and spades and heading down to the beach now," she said.

The whale was on the beach with small waves washing over it as it struggled to try and get itself back into the ocean.

However, the whale died.