'He's showing off!' - Father and son get close-up orca experience of a lifetime

An Auckland father and son got the experience of a lifetime when a curious pod of orca came right up to their boat.

The encounter took place on Boxing Day on the eastern side of Tiritiri Matangi island in the Hauraki Gulf, and video was posted online yesterday by Kane Westgaard.

Mr Westgaard and his youngest son were excited to see a small pod of orca in the area - but they never thought they were in for a close-up show.

"They came towards our boat from the north, then disappeared," Mr Westgaard said, before popping up "right next to us".

"They had a calf, too, that was playing around, coming straight up pointing to the sky, and coming back down.

"A truly amazing experience for me and my youngest boy to share."

Despite being sometimes referred to as killer whales, orca are actually the largest members of the dolphin family.

According to the Department of Conservation, New Zealand's coastlines are home to an estimated 150-200 individual orca, which travel long distances.

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