In the aftermath of rescue efforts, some successful, the beach was littered with hundreds of ticking time bombs in the form of whale carcasses, as reported by Reuters.
Another 200 were found alive on a nearby beach on Saturday morning, with the majority making their own way back to sea at hightide that night. Around 17 whales from the latest pod remain on the shore with carcasses of hundreds of other pilot whales that had become stranded there.
DOC spokesman Herb Christophers said he hopes the strandings are over but that it was possible the mammals might return to the beach again.
New Zealand authorities have said they will move the carcasses of hundreds of whales that died in a mass stranding to an area not open to the public.
The Department of Conservation says the Golden Bay coastline is clear from Farewell Spit to Collingwood.
"For such a majestic animal, it's really unusual to seem them doing this", volunteer Jonathan Jones said.
"It's not going to be a fun job".
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Volunteers form a human chain to prevent whales from stranding themselves on the beach. The group said the larger pod and the 17 were a few kilometers off shore Sunday.
The shallow seabed surrounding the spit is believed to interfere with the whales' sonar navigation systems and regularly sees mass strandings. The problem with towing them out to sea or leaving them is that they could become gaseous and buoyant, and end up causing problems by floating into populated bays.
Pilot whales grow to about 25 feet and are common around New Zealand's waters.
Farewell Spit is a 26-kilometre (16 mile) hook of sand that protrudes out into the sea and has been described as a flawless whale trap.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of whale strandings in the world, and Friday's event was the nation's third-biggest in recorded history. "They've been singing songs to them, giving them specific names, treating them as kindred spirits".
About 1000 whales beached themselves on the Chatham Islands in 1918 and 450 near Auckland in 1985.