'Do not swim' warnings issued at Auckland North Shore beaches after large shark sighted

If you want a post-Christmas lunch swim to cool down, avoid these Auckland beaches.

A shark sighting at the North Shore's Orewa Beach on Tuesday forced swimmers out of the water on Christmas Eve.

Safeswim has now issued a 'swimming not advised' Christmas Day warning at Red Beach, Orewa and Hatfields.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region duty officer Dan Short says the two-metre-long shark was spotted about 500-metres offshore yesterday, closing the beach twice.

"The shark itself wasn't showing any dangerous activity, the only thing that was actually visible was the fin coming out of water," he told Newshub.

These are the beaches to avoid.
These are the beaches to avoid. Photo credit: Safeswim

Short says more people at beaches this time of the year means it's more likely any shark will be spotted.

"It's their playground, it's their home," he says.

"There are always sharks around, sometimes you can see them on a nice clear day when the sun's out and the water's nice and glassy, and other times you can't."

And Short has some good advice for people thinking about heading to the beach - check Safeswim and look out for any warning signs.

"We've put up that warning at local beaches just to say there was a large shark sighted and just to exercise caution when swimming," he told Newshub.

"If the shark is showing any dangerous activity like breaching out of the water or chasing schools of fish, we do normally close the patrolled area at that point in time until the shark is gone."