Playful encounter with Dunedin's 'Roger' the sea lion

Divers in Otago Harbour got more than they bargained for over the weekend, running into a sea lion while taking pictures on the bottom of the sea floor.

The friendly encounter was caught on camera by Dive Otago dive master Tom Bliss, who says the sea lion is well-known and even has a name, Roger.

"You certainly don't see them every weekend that you pop out, it's an amazing experience," he says.

Mr Bliss says the playful experience happened near Wellers Rock off the peninsula near Dunedin and while sea lions have an intimidating reputation, Roger was all too happy to play around, biting at the bubbles from oxygen tanks and chewing the divers' fins.

"[We were] just minding our own business taking pictures on the bottom and this young male Hooker sea lion came down to say hello.

"They're unbelievable underwater, they're very agile beasts the complete opposite [to being] on land.

"[Under water] is really the only way you can really appreciate them."

Watch the video.