"These things explode from the stomach and if you're standing right there it's not very nice getting a "gut bomb" on your face," Ogle said, adding that arrangements to clear the beach of the unfortunate sea creatures will be made on Monday. In February 2015, about 190 whales were stranded on the beach there. More than 500 people worked for days to help save as numerous stranded whales as they could. It has a long protruding coastline and gently sloping beaches that make it hard for whales to swim away once they get close.
Authorities have set about moving hundreds of whale carcases into the sand dunes in a part of Farewell Spit not open to the public where they buried them with a digger.
There were references on social media in New Zealand suggesting the strandings and a 5.2-magnitude natural disaster early Sunday near Kaikoura, which was severely damaged by a 7.8 quake in November, may have been linked.
What's most unnerving about the whole situation is that no one has been able to explain it, and it's not just happening in New Zealand - hundreds of whales have been running themselves aground all over the globe for years.
The agency is now trying to figure out what to do with the carcasses of the dead whales.
That last group was reportedly so disoriented, of the 36 individuals that rescuers managed to refloat, many of them ended up back on the beach.
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"There's no strong evidence that strandings are linked to natural disaster events". In 1985, about 450 whales stranded in Auckland.
Volunteers at Farewell Spit worked to keep the stranded whales wet.
Louisa Hawkes, from the environmental group Project Jonah which has been assisting with the rescue, told them it was only natural they would feel emotionally drained.
"They may have been picking up some calls from the whales here and come in to respond".
"Rangers this morning searched coastline on the western side of Golden Bay to as far along the inner side of Farewell Spit as it was possible to go and no stranded live whales were seen", the department said in a statement.
In shallow waters, the animals' use of echo location can become impaired, and if whales that become beached send out distress signals, others will follow.