A spectacular video has been taken of a mother orca and her calf swimming just metres away from a boat in Akaroa Harbour.
The passengers were on a 12:45pm dolphin-spotting cruise yesterday when they spotted the orca pop up from the waves.
- Plan to protect Maui dolphin slammed by environmentalists, academics
- Petition calls for better protection of Māui dolphins
- Endangered Māui dolphin found dead in Auckland
The orcas were joined by a pair of rare Hector's dolphins, who swam alongside them for some time.
The boat's skipper, Ian Bain, said he had never seen anything quite like it in all his years working on the water.
Julia Waghorn, from Dolphins Akaroa, said the passengers were "in awe".
"The passengers, crew and even our dolphin spotting dog, Buster, were so excited," she said.