Eight pilot whales stranded on Stewart Island have been euthanised by Department of Conservation staff.
A pod of 29 whales stranded at the remote Doughboy Bay this week were discovered on Tuesday evening by two trampers.
The pair found the pod were dead or dying, but it was two days before they could raise the alarm via a water taxi operator.
Two DOC staff immediately flew to Doughboy Bay to assess the situation, and found the whales were stranded the length of the beach at low tide.
Stewart Island ranger Phred Dobbins said only eight of the whales were alive when they arrived, but had to be euthanised because of their poor condition.