A spectacular video has been captured showing the terrifying moment orcas were swimming in Queen Charlotte Sound, one near a six-year-old girl who was water skiing for the first time.
Natalie Kepa was boating at Kumamoto Bay on Sunday evening. She was in the boat while her daughter, Stella, was on the water.
She was filming Stella's debut water skiing experience, when an orca swam between her daughter and the boat.
Additional footage from the scene shows four orcas rising to the surface to breathe.
"It was the most terrifying moment of my life," Natalie told Newshub.
"I can't even believe it."
She first became aware of the killer whales when the driver of the boat, Ben Harrow, said he'd seen a "big black shadow".
"I thought it was like a shark - I was so terrified, and meanwhile Stella got straight up onto her skis.
"All of a sudden all these boats appeared around us because they'd been following the orcas."
Natalie told Newshub it all happened so quickly.
"One of the families we're with come here every year and have never seen anything like it, ever."
Amid the whole ordeal, Natalie said her daughter was oblivious.
"She was just cruising along."
This incredible moment follows another sighting in Northland's Mangawhai Estuary on Tuesday, where footage showed two large orcas rising to the surface to breathe.
That sighting came just days after an injured orca whale was successfully freed from a crayfish line he became tangled in near Tutukaka, also in Northland.