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Whale frolics while motorists drive rashly

Despite bad weekend weather, eager whale spotters took every opportunity to try to get a glimpse of the city’s new aquatic star, thronging coastlines over the weekend. But not everybody followed the road rules.

Photograph by Sean Gillespie

Wits on Twitter are asking if there’s anyone in Wellington who hasn’t got a photo of the visiting Southern Right whale. Locals were certainly out in force on Saturday and Sunday, trying for photos or just sightings of the whale, causing Wellington Police to urge motorists to drive safely.

Motorists had been slowing down on the motorway, or even stopping and getting out of their cars in an effort to try and catch a glimpse of the celebrity mammal, which has been sighted frequently around the Interislander ferry docking area.

Police were advised of several near-misses on the motorway on Saturday.

Traffic was also slowed on Sunday around Evans Bay as hopeful locals braved the wind and rain and fill any parking space along the Maupuia peninsula.

Police advise whale-watchers to seek out a designated parking spot before getting out of the car.

Meanwhile, inter-city whale rivalry sprung up yesterday, when a humpback whale, described as “bigger and better” than the Wellington whale was spotted swimming around the entrance to Otago Harbour.