Onlookers hoping to peek at dead whale on Hawke's Bay beach asked to show restraint

Onlookers hoping to get a peek at the remains of an 18-metre whale washed up in Hawke's Bay are being asked to show restraint. 

The large sperm whale washed up at Mahia Beach last night and died from natural causes about 8am today, Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Jamie Quirk said.

He said while whales were known to wash up in the area once every five years or so, the size of the animal made it peculiar and had attracted dozens to see the carcass.

"What we're asking is if you are going to come down to see this incredible natural phenomenon, to do it with common sense and dignity," he said.

The whale's remains - currently about 50m from the shoreline - would be brought onto land tomorrow, and the jaw and teeth would be removed by local iwi before a burial in the nearby dunes.

Meanwhile, a group of holidaymakers rescued an Orca stuck in the shallows at Papamoa Beach, near Tauranga this morning - their efforts captured on video.

The 18-metre whale stranded at Mahia after a stormy night and died. Source: 1 NEWS