Aucklanders treated to neon-blue waves as bioluminescence lights up Army Bay beach

Auckland's Army Beach.
Auckland's Army Beach. Photo credit: Matthew Davison

Aucklanders in Army Bay were treated to a magnificent sight on Wednesday as bioluminescence turned the waves a stunning neon blue. 

Whangaparāoa resident Matthew Davison captured images of the marine phenomenon, which showed the entire beach glowing blue. 

Bioluminescence - the illumination of thousands of tiny marine organisms - is a chemical reaction that occurs when algae or phytoplankton are agitated or disturbed by a splash or a wave.

Davidson told Newshub it was one of the best shows of bioluminescence he has ever seen.

"Giant beams of blue illuminated from every wave. Rivers of sparkles cascaded through the rocks. Rain droplets made the ocean glow endlessly," he said. 

Auckland's Army Bay.
Auckland's Army Bay. Photo credit: Matthew Davison

Algal blooms are usually more common after a period of rain and in warm, calm waters. The  Hibiscus Coast is widely known as the best place to see bioluminescence in Auckland. 

It's not the first time Davidson has been treated to bioluminescence. Back in May, he captured a stunning video that showed Tindall's beach lit up by the algal bloom. 

Auckland's Army Bay.
Auckland's Army Bay. Photo credit: Matthew Davison

It was so stunning it attracted local kids, who came to play in the bright blue waves. 

"It's just unreal. I mean, when you're going for a walk on the beach at night, you don't really expect to see the entire ocean illuminated in this beautiful kind of neon-blue colour," Davidson said at the time. 

"It was clearly a lot lighter than it normally is, a lot more illuminated. I have witnessed another one about six months ago that was probably on par, but this is the first time I've managed to capture a video of bioluminescence in the waves."