'Just magic' - Rainy day delight as orca hunt stingray at Northland marina

A soggy day became a "magic" experience for a family who watched an orca pod dive and hunt stingray right below their feet at a Northland marina.

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A family standing on a pontoon captured the incredible up-close encounter. Source: Supplied

Multiple orca visited the Marsden Cove Marina during the weekend, to the delight of onlookers.

Funky Monkey, Pumpkin and Pickle were all part of the hunting pack, according to an Orca Research Trust member at the marina.

Meanwhile, Rob van Gelder's family headed down after getting a tip-off from the trust.

After watching the orca play for a time, their behaviour suddenly shifted as they saw a stingray.

"The stingray hid just underneath the pontoon and that's when they started to come over and really have a go," Mr van Gelder told 1 NEWS.

The family were standing on the pontoon when the orca came close.

Mr van Gelder says the orca didn't seem to be distressed by the humans' closeness, only intent on the hunt.

"They got super close, it was just magic to have them so close," he says.

"We feel privileged and very lucky."

It's only the second time Mr van Gelder can recall that orca have come right into the marina.

"They came in here probably 10 years ago, a different pod apparently," he says.

Anyone who encounters orca in New Zealand's waters is asked to report it to the Orca Research Trust as soon as they can, by calling 0800 SEE ORCA.

"We... would rather receive 10 calls about the same sighting than not hear about the orca at all," the charity says on its website.

Marsden Cove Marina is also a popular resting spot for Owha the leopard seal, a usually Antarctic marine mammal who's visited New Zealand regularly since at least 2015.