A photographer preparing for a wedding shoot on a pontoon in Wellington harbour was treated to a close up view of an orca pod on Monday.
Paul Howell, a photographer for 13 years, was on the pontoon at the entrance to the Wellington lagoon when the orcas swam passed him.
“I was down there doing a reconnoitre for a wedding with some clients then all of a sudden they just came out of nowhere. It was amazing,” he says.
Mr Howell quickly snapped some photos of the orca, which has attracted crowds of people to the area within minutes.
“They came up real close, two or three metres away, and swam into the lagoon then stopped, turned around and headed out.”
He also had a close encounter with a pod of dolphins that came into the harbour last week.
“I was out at Princess Bay, went in the water and swam out to them. It was amazing. They came right towards me and came within a few metres then hightailed it out of there.
“It’s been one of those weeks,” he says.
Orca have been spotted in the harbour numerous times in the last two weeks, with one man donning a snorkel and swimming with them yesterday.