The southern right whale which has been visiting Wellington Harbour over the past week, delighting locals, appears to be moving on.
Photographer Victor Huang spotted the mammal, affectionately named Matariki, waving from the water off Wellington's south coast about 8am today.
"Thank you for your magical grace and for bringing everyone in Wellington together with your wonderful presence!" Mr Huang wrote.
NIWA says the whale - which has not been identified as male or female yet - is likely heading north away from sub-antarctic waters where it feeds over summer.
The whales have been recorded in increasing numbers near New Zealand over past decades, but at one point in recent history their numbers were decimated by commercial whaling.