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Charlotte Macshane, husband Tim Camp and their children Viarnah (13) and Mineeka (6) Macshane-Camp were among a crowd of amateur whale watchers who trailed a pod of orcas in Otago Harbour on Saturday.
The Port Chalmers residents learned on a social media page the pod had been seen near Deborah Bay.
They trailed the orcas from Deborah Bay to Back Beach, and back again, Mr Camp said.
Mineeka and Viarnah said it was the first time they had seen orcas.
''It was awesome,'' Viarnah said.
''We saw the baby's head poke out.''