Swimmers flee shark at Waihi beach

Swimmers fled the water at a popular east coast holiday beach today after a shark was spotted for the second time in three days.

A swimmer, who declined to to be named, reported that the north end of Waihi Beach, about 40 kilometres northwest of Tauranga, was closed about 2pm due to a shark sighting. All bathers had to exit the water.

It's understood the shark was seen swimming too close to swimmers, forcing the surf lifesaving club to err on the side of caution.

The closure comes after a similar incident about 1pm on Sunday when the bustling swimming spot was closed after a shark was sighted near the shore.

It's unknown whether it was the same shark on both occasions or what species they were.

It's understood that on both occasions the sharks were no longer than two metres from nose to tail.