New Zealand's Surfing Orca Whales

Many people dream of swimming with dolphins and turtles, but how would you feel about sharing a few waves with an orca whale? Photographer, Michael Cunningham recently asked himself this question when he was having a swim at Sandy Bay (New Zealand), a popular surf spot occasionally visited by certain large wildlife.


Cunningham was in the water with some local surfers when he noticed a fin (three feet high) heading towards the line up. Soon after getting back to shore, he realised there was more than one orca whale - and that they were riding waves like a school of playful dolphins.

"They knew what they were doing and pulled out before getting into trouble," Cunningham told reporters. "They looked like they'd done it before." Funny. The orca whales might have been thinking the same thing about Michael Cunningham and the surfers.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.