A week ago, Farewell Spit was left a graveyard of more than 300 dead whales, after one of the biggest strandings in New Zealand history. Reporter Michael Cropp went there and found eight more stranded on the beach.
Ten minutes into walking down the beach and I begin to understand why the locals nod about the name Farewell Spit.The bones of birds and fish give it away. It is here that 300 pilot whales have died in strandings since 10 February. Farewell Spit is now a graveyard. When I arrive, the beach is covered in whales' blood and scrape marks left by the diggers that moved them. Pilot whales are social creatures. They probably followed each other onto the spit's tidal flats. They remind me of big, wet, blubbery lemmings, beaching en masse because their leader did.